Palestinian prisoners launch mass hunger strike

2017-04-17 10:54
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Ramallah - Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails launched a hunger strike on Monday following a call from leader and prominent prisoner Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Issa Qaraqe, head of prisoners affairs for the Palestinian Authority, said that "around 1 300 Palestinian prisoners" were participating in the hunger strike and the number could rise.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club NGO put the number at 1 500.

Israeli prison service spokesperson Assaf Librati said that 700 prisoners had announced on Sunday their intention to begin a hunger strike.

"We are checking this morning to see the number of prisoners actually striking as some of them said they would only observe a symbolic protest strike and then resume eating afterwards," he said.

"There will be an update later."

Barghouti is serving a life sentence over his role in the violent second Palestinian intifada. He is a popular figure, with polls suggesting he could win the Palestinian presidency.

The strike was called in connection with Palestinian Prisoners Day, which is observed annually.

About 6 500 Palestinians are currently detained by Israel.

Read more on:    palestine  |  israel

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