Palestinians in Israeli Jails begin Hunger Strike

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In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Barghouti's wife, Fadwa, joined about 1,500 marchers.

The Israeli Prison Service simultaneously transferred the Palestinian prisoners who called for disagreement to other facilities, where they remain isolated, arguing, 'the call for a hunger strike is contrary to the prison regulations'.

Roughly 6,500 Palestinian prisoners are now languishing in Israeli prisons, according to Palestinian figures.

Barghouti wrote that Israeli prisons have become the "cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination".

The former Tanzim leader, wrote in the op-ed that a hunger strike was "the most peaceful form of resistance available" against what he said is "Israel's illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners".

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the June 1967 war.

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Hundreds of Palestinians jailed in Israeli prisons launched a hunger strike today, demanding to improve their captivity conditions, in one of the largest protests in recent years, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

Librati said that some 1,100 detainees in several prisons had announced their intention to go on hunger strike.

They said some 6,500 Palestinians are now in Israeli lockups. For the Israelis, the primary goal is to debunk the impression that all Palestinians are political prisoners rather than security prisoners most of whom were convicted of violent crimes including murder.

He is popular among Palestinians, with polls suggesting he could win the Palestinian presidency. However, Palestinians from the West Bank need an entry permit into Israel and Israeli authorities often deny such permits.

"Mr. Barghouti declined to offer a defense at his trial and refused to recognize the Israeli court's jurisdiction and legitimacy", the editors note read.

In an opinion piece published this week in The New York Times, Barghouti alleged that Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israel "have suffered from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, and medical negligence".

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

Referring to the amended description of Barghouti, Netanyahu added that "the paper retracted it because we pointed [the error] out to them".

"They are terrorists and incarcerated murderers who are getting what they deserve and we have no reason to negotiate with them", Erdan told army radio. "It is to be emphasized that the (Prisons Service) does not negotiate with prisoners".

The International Red Cross said that it informed the families of Israel's decision to cancel all visits until further notice, in addition to the confiscation of their clothes and belongings, and isolating them in their rooms.

He said Israel has established field hospitals outside the prisons to respond to any immediate medical needs.

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