The Times of Israel: Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners launch mass hunger strike
20 April, 2017, 00:36
Unsurprisingly, Barghouti makes no reference to his role in organizing the second intifada, in which Palestinian militants killed nearly 1,000 Israeli citizens despite the generous peace deal offered to Yasser Arafat. Those leading figures taking part in the movement have been transferred to solitary confinement, while other willing participants have had their clothes and belongings confiscated.
Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails began a hunger strike on Monday.
The strike, led by high-profile Fatah-linked prisoner Marwan Barghouti, is the largest in recent years.
The protest comes amidst a spate of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, and at a time of renewed attempts by the United States to revive the peace talks.
Palestinian protesters wave their national flag during a demonstration in the West Bank town of Bethlehem to show their support for inmates in Israeli jails on April 17, 2017.
The prisoners seek better conditions, including more contact with relatives, and an end to detention without trials by the Israeli occupation regime.
Barghouthi is to be "prosecuted in a discipline court" as punishment for his op-ed published by the New York Times on Monday, where he described the daily struggle of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and the ambition behind the hunger strike, the statement said.
Earlier on Monday, 13 Palestinians were reported wounded in clashes as demonstrations swept the West Bank in solidarity with the prisoners.
They said some 6,500 Palestinians are now in Israeli lockups. They are murderers. They are terrorists and we never lose our clarity because we are on the right side.
Many receive monthly "salaries" from the Palestinian Authority, and Israel provides study opportunities for those who are interested.
The strike also comes at a hard time for the Palestinian Authority, whose leader, Mahmoud Abbas, is aging and unpopular.
Some 6,500 Palestinians are being held in Israeli prisons, including 300 minors, according to Palestinian human rights organization Addameer.
"After exhausting all other options, I decided there was no choice but to resist these abuses by going on a hunger strike", Barghouti wrote.
"The paper recanted after we pointed it out to them", Netanyahu said, adding that calling Barghouti a political leader was akin to calling Syrian President Bashar Assad a doctor.
"The New York Times has provided a platform to a terrorist without noting the fact that he planned and carried out the cold blooded murder of Jews simply for having been Jews", she said.
"They are terrorists and incarcerated murderers who are getting what they deserve and we have no reason to negotiate with them", Erdan told occupation army radio. "It is to be emphasized that the (Prisons Service) does not negotiate with prisoners".
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