Hundreds of Palestinians held by Israel launch hunger strike

Hundreds of Palestinians held by Israel launch hunger strike

However, the hunger strikers have denounced the torture, ill-treatment, and medical neglect of Palestinian prisoners at the hands of Israeli authorities, as well as Israel's widespread use of administrative detention - internment without trial or charges - which is only permitted under global law in extremely limited circumstances.

There are around 6,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, according to Palestinian figures.

On Monday, the Times online and worldwide print editions ran a piece by Marwan Barghouti titled "Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel's Prisons".

Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian protesters standing in solidarity with their compatriots embarking on hunger strikes in Israeli prisons.

The Israel Prison Service threatened to punish the hunger strikers.

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

Majority are jailed for participating in the struggle against the Israeli control over the West Bank and Gaza, lands that Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East War and where the Palestinians wish to establish their future state.

Palestinian officials and activists put the number of hunger strikers at 1,300 and 1,500, respectively, saying it is hard to get updates from inside the prisons.

On Sunday, the Times published an essay by Barghouti complaining about Israeli prison conditions, but left out any mention of his terrorism conviction. Some 500 are held under administrative detention, which allows for imprisonment without charges or trial.

"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.

Just a day later, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan vowed not to negotiate with the protesting detainees, confirming the popular Palestinian leader had been moved to another prison and placed in solitary confinement.

Barghouti's call for the strike has given it added credibility, with the 57-year-old serving five life sentences over his role in the violent second Palestinian intifada.

About 6,500 Palestinians are now detained by Israel on a wide range of offenses and alleged crimes. According to the BBC, while Palestinians regard these protestors as political prisoners, Israel prefers to view them as terrorists. One of the immediate circumstances of this violation is a perpetual difficulty with family visits to the prison. Barghouti has been calling for a strike since talks on the issue between prisoners's representatives and the Israel Prison Service broke down previous year.

It also stated that "in accordance with the policy set by the minister of public security, the Prison Service does not negotiate with the prisoners".

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