Since 17 April, some 2000 prisoners in Israeli jails embarked on an open-ended hunger strike to protest the conditions of their detention. News about an imminent deal mediated by Egypt and the Palestinian National Authority with Israel to respond to the prisoners' demand have spread on Monday. Many celebrated the news as victory for the prisoners' steadfast resistance.

Palestinian Poet and Professor of Political Science Sharif Elmusa wrote the following poem in tribute to the prisoners of Israeli jails.

When I entered the cell

I looked at the ceiling

it was moving

coming down

harassing me

I smoked a cigarette

I touched my nose

with a fresh one  

as if to remind myself why I smoked

I kept shifting the end in my mouth

like someone sifting through his vague thoughts

some days I inhaled four packs

and expelled a dozen demons

I kept a bucket of water by my side

to moisten my dry mouth

cool my agitated guts

and bring my pulse down

when I ate my eyes stared into the distance

away from the rotten food

I sang songs to remember

the glow of the moon

summer’s ripe fruit

I listened to her Sirens voice

two tones lower

than the voice of the day woman

I felt I was the intended sailor

before my time came

One inmate confided to me

that when his cellmate lost his head

he asked the warden

to give him a moment

after which he kneeled before the head

kissed it

held it against his chest

and told the warden

to do what he was paid to do

When I went back to my hole

I heard the warden’s footsteps

approach the steel door

I lifted my head up

and watched the insinuation of the ceiling.

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