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Hundreds of prisoners join solidarity strike

800 inmates in three prisons take part in day-long strike

Gulf News

Ramallah: Some 800 Palestinians serving time in Israeli jails were on Tuesday refusing food in solidarity with four fellow inmates who have been on long-term hunger strike, officials said.

According to the Ramallah-based Prisoners’ Club, 800 prisoners in three prisons were taking part in the one-day strike, among them members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).

Sivan Weizman, a spokeswoman for the Israel Prisons Service (IPS) confirmed hundreds of prisoners had refused their breakfast but said it was 500 prisoners in two facilities.

“Five hundred Palestinians in the Ramon and Eshel prisons refused to eat breakfast this morning and have said they will refuse to eat lunch and dinner,” she told AFP.

The one-day strike was the latest show of solidarity with four detainees who are on long-term hunger strike and whose state of health has sparked mass protests across the West Bank as well as statements of concern from rights groups and Western governments.

Statistics published by Israeli rights group B’Tselem show by the end of 2012, 4,500 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails.