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Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel's Prisons

Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel's Prisons

Issa Qaraqe, chairman of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission, said that more than 1,300 prisoners in various prisons in the Israeli occupation are participating in the mass hunger strike in protest against the policy of medical negligence, violations, detention without charge or trial, unfair trials and prevention of family visits by the Israeli prison authorities.

A leader of a sweeping hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails was put in solitary confinement on Monday as Israel was seeking to break the protest, officials and local media said. "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".

The relatives of Palestinian prisoners carry their portraits during a rally in the West Bank town of Hebron to show support to Palestinians detained in Israeli jails after hundreds of them launched a hunger strike on April 17, 2017. In 2014, dozens of detainees held without trial went on hunger strike for two months. Palestine views the inmates as political prisoners, while Israel has charged them with attacking nationals and other grave offences.

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. The strike began at Hadarim prison, where Barghouti is now held. In doing so, it has unlawfully and forcibly transferred Palestinian civilians into captivity, and has used this situation to restrict family visits and to inflict suffering on prisoners through long transports under cruel conditions.

He is a popular figure among Palestinians, with polls suggesting he could win the Palestinian presidency.

Prisoners' advocacy organisations like Addameer and the Palestinian Prisoners Club say that 1,500 prisoners are in poor health and receive little medical care.

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"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.

In an opinion piece in The New York Times on Monday, Barghouti said a strike was the only way to gain concessions after other options had failed.

A footnote to the op-ed describes Barghouti only as "a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian", omitting any reference to his 2004 terrorism conviction.

Graffiti showing the iconic image of his cuffed hands raised above his head flashing a peace sign while being led away by Israeli authorities can be seen in the West Bank.

Now 500 Palestinians are being held in this way, according to Mr Fares.

He added that hundreds of detainees intend to join the strike in the coming few days.

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