Palestinian Intifada Leader Announces Hunger Strike Via the New York Times

Palestinians push a container during clashes with Israeli forces following a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners in the West bank City of Bethlehem Monday
Palestinian Intifada Leader Announces Hunger Strike Via the New York Times
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18 April, 2017

The prisoners, who launched their action on Monday to coincide with Palestinian prisoner day, are demanding more family visits, an end to administrative detention where inmates are imprisoned without being brought to trial, improved medical services and greater access to educational materials.

The strike has been called for by prominent Palestinian prisoner and leader Marwan Barghouti, who is now serving a life sentence over his role in the second Palestinian intifada - or uprising. "There will be an update later."Barghouti is now serving five life sentences for his role in murderous terror attacks during the Second Intifada in the early 2000s".

Israeli prison service said that 1,187 inmates had launched a hunger strike on Palestinian Prisoners' Day.

More than 1,300 Palestinian prisons have joined in the hunger strike.

. In 2014, dozens of detainees who were being held without trial or charges staged a two-month-long hunger strike to demand their release. Though most Palestinian political prisoners hail from the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, they are placed in prisons inside Israel, in direct contravention of global law.

"Israel's inhumane system of colonial and military occupation aims to break the spirit of prisoners and the nation to which they belong, by inflicting suffering on their bodies, separating them from their families and communities, using humiliating measures to compel subjugation", he wrote.

Top Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi called on the worldwide community to bring an end to the "inhumane" treatment of Palestinian prisoners, which she said was in violation of the Geneva Convention. Ahmed, who said he'd been arrested seven times in total, has spent a cumulative five and a half years in an Israeli prison-but has only had one family visit in that time.

Hamas recently suggested it would support a smaller Palestine state, without specifying if this would be a stepping stone to Israel's destruction.

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The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement: "The Palestinian prisoners are not political prisoners".

"This massive strike sends a strong message to the Israelis, after 50 years of occupation, suppression and oppression, that the prisoners. will lead their people from behind bars", she said.

About 6 500 Palestinians are now detained by Israel.

Opinion polls indicate that Barghouti enjoys widespread support in his quest to replace Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli authorities argue administrative detention protects at-risk informants and is needed for the country's security. Palestinians consider brethren held in Israeli jails as national heroes.

At the Ofer Prison near Ramallah a total of 11 protesters were injured, including the five by live fire, Israel's Channel 10 reported.

Of the some 6,500 Palestinian detainees held by Israel, 62 are women and 300 are minors.


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