News Worms
News Worms


1200 imprisoned Palestinian terrorists launch hunger strike

Barghouti and another strike leader, Karim Younis, were reportedly transferred to solitary confinement by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) on Monday in an apparent attempt to curb the protest.

Starting Sunday, numerous more than 5,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons declared that they were on a hunger strike, which prompted demonstrations of support Monday in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority's de facto capital, and elsewhere in the West Bank.

In an op-ed published in The New York Times, Barghouti wrote Israeli prisons have become the "cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination".

Palestinian leaders, including Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi, have backed the strike.

There are now 6,300 Palestinian political prisoners, 500 of them in administrative detention, according to the Palestinian prisoners' rights group, Addameer. Strikers are demanding access to phones, better visitation and improved medical care inside the prisons. Palestinian officials and activists estimated the number of participants to be as many as 1,500. According to Palestinian prisoners' groups, there were about 7000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

The last mass hunger strike occurred in 2014, when hundreds of prisoners protested the use of administrative detention.

"It is to be emphasised that the [prison service] does not negotiate with prisoners", he said.

Barghouti is now serving five life sentences for having a prominent role in the second Palestinian intifada - a period of uprising against Israel between 2000 and 2005 that saw the deaths of 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis.

The hunger strike was launched as the approaching half-century mark of Israeli rule over Palestinians appeared to generate renewed interest in the long-running conflict, which in recent years was often overshadowed by war and turmoil elsewhere in the region.

Israeli public radio reported that Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has ordered intervention units to be put on standby and a field hospital to be set up outside one prison to avoid having to take sick prisoners to civilian hospitals.

There is no mention that Barghouti was convicted of five counts of murder and one attempted murder after being given a fair trial, and that he was the commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades during the Second Intifada.

Israeli politicians and diplomats swiftly protested the misleading biographical blurb, leading the NYT to append a note to the article online: "This article explained the writer's prison sentence, but neglected to provide sufficient context by stating the offenses of which he was convicted".

Prison Service spokesman Assaf Librati refused to elaborate on Barghouti's role.

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