Over 1000 Palestinian Prisoners Go On Hunger Strike In Israel

Palestinian prisoners launch mass hunger strike

There are now 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel, including more than 500 administrative detainees, according to Jerusalem-based prisoner rights group Addameer.

Around 1,300 Palestinians in Israeli prisons on Monday started an indefinite hunger strike to demand an improvement in their conditions.

Palestinian families seeking to visit imprisoned relatives require permits to enter Israel, which are usually given selectively and declined during Israeli army border closings. Barghouti is considered to be Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' successor.

Protests were also held in Palestinian cities in connection with Prisoners Day, including one in Bethlehem that led to clashes with Israeli forces. According to the BBC, while Palestinians regard these protestors as political prisoners, Israel prefers to view them as terrorists.

Of that number, 300 are minors and some 500 are held under administrative detention, which allows for imprisonment without charges or trial.

An article by Mr Barghouti was published in the New York Times worldwide edition on Monday, Palestinian Prisoners' Day.

Prisoners have so far declared strikes in eight different Israeli prisons. "The prisoners see hunger striking as the only door they can knock on to attain their rights", Amina al-Taweel, spokesperson for the Hebron-based Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, told Al Jazeera.

Abbas and his supporters seek a Palestinian state, roughly in the pre-1967 lines.

The Israel Prisons Service spokesman Assaf Librati said Barghouti had been transferred from Hadarim Prison to the Kishon Prison, near Haifa.

Furthermore, Israeli has moved at least 35 detainees from Section 11 to Section 13, in Nafha Israeli prison, in addition to transferring what it regards as "strike leaders" to various other prisons, and forced many of them into solitary confinement. Because Barghouti highlights two of Israel's most pernicious lies: that there is no one to talk to on the Palestine side (when in fact it is the Palestinians who are still seeking a partner for peace), and that the resistance to Israel's occupation is violent.

A day before the strike began, Barghouti had described his personal experience in Israeli prisons, speaking of "inhumane" treatment and "humiliation" when explaining the reasoning behind the protest.

According to a report released by three Palestinian non-governmental organizations, a total of 6,500 Palestinians, including women, children and lawmakers, are being held in prisons and detention facilities across the occupied territories.

"We are already talking to those prisoners and there is absolutely no reason for a hunger strike, we have a dialogue with those prisoners".

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