UN: Watching Palestinian hunger strike closely

2017-04-19 05:55
A Palestinian protester jumps during clashes with Israeli security forces in Bethlehem to show support for compatriots imprisoned in Israel. (Ahmad Gharabli, AFP)

A Palestinian protester jumps during clashes with Israeli security forces in Bethlehem to show support for compatriots imprisoned in Israel. (Ahmad Gharabli, AFP)

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New York - The United Nations on Tuesday said it was following closely a hunger strike by more than 1 000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons and urged restraint following clashes with the strikers' supporters on the West Bank.

"We are obviously aware of the situation and following the developments closely," said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

The Palestinian detainees led by popular leader Marwan Barghouti launched the hunger strike on Monday to press for demands such as better medical services and access to telephones.

Dujarric noted that clashes had taken place in the occupied West Bank in support of the prisoners, adding: "We call on all parties to exercise maximum restraint".

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan vowed that authorities would not negotiate with the prisoners and said Barghouti had been placed in solitary confinement in another prison.

Dujarric said that "as a matter of principle, wherever it may be, we always call for prisoners to be treated in a humane way".

The UN Security Council will discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during an open debate on Thursday.

Read more on:    us  |  middle east conflict

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