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Hundreds of Palestinians held by Israel launch hunger strike

117 April 2017

An activist says more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have launched an open-ended hunger strike

to demand better conditions in Israeli prisons, including more contact with relatives, and an end to

Israel’s practice of detentions without trial.

The protest began Tuesday and was led by Marwan Barghouti, a prominent figure in President

Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement. Opinion polls suggest Barghouti, who is serving multiple life

terms for his role in a violent Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, is the top contender to

succeed Abbas.

Qadoura Fares, an advocate for prisoners’ rights, says 6,500 Palestinians are currently held by Israel.

Palestinians marked Tuesday as Prisoners’ Day.

Fares says hundreds of prisoners launched a 28-day strike in 2012. In 2014, dozens of detainees held

without trial went on hunger strike for two months.

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