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Haniyeh urges Palestinians to join 'prisoners' intifada'

March 3, 2013 5:29 P.M. (Updated: March 4, 2013 2:33 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday urged Palestinians at home and in the diaspora to continue the "prisoners' intifada" to support detainees in Israeli jails.

"We will fight in all arenas, take responsibility and pay the toll for the sake of their freedom," Haniyeh said at a photo exhibition in Gaza City in support of prisoners.

Detainees on hunger strike are not seeking media attention but are fighting a real battle, the Hamas premier said, adding that solidarity activities were a duty to prisoners.

"These images tell the story of a people and a cause. They tell a story of imprisonment and a blessed march of Jihad on the land of Palestine, namely in prisons," Haniyeh added.

Samer Issawi has been on hunger strike for 214 days and Ayman Sharawna has refused food since July, aside from a brief period in December.

They were both rearrested after being granted amnesty in the Oct. 2011 prisoner swap agreement between Israel and Hamas. Israeli military prosecutors are trying to reinstate their former sentences.

Issawi was transferred from Ramle prison clinic to the Kaplan Medical Center last week. His lawyer Jawad Bolous said he was hospitalized because his pulse dropped dangerously low.

On Sunday, Issawi told Bolous that security guards and nurses were deliberately placing milk and juices near him to tempt him, and ignoring his requests to remove them.

Issawi also said he was considering boycotting Israel's military courts after hearing that military judges had ignored all arguments posed by Sharawna's lawyers and accepted Israeli military prosecutors' allegations.

The plight of the hunger strikers and the death of 30-year-old Arafat Jaradat in Israeli custody have sparked mass protests across the West Bank and Gaza, leading to violent clashes with Israeli forces.

In a report released Saturday, the PA prisoners ministry said Jaradat was savagely tortured by Israeli interrogators at a Shin Bet facility in Jalameh detention center.

"Then he was moved to an interrogation facility in Megiddo (the "stool pigeons" room) for further investigation because he wouldn't admit to the charges at Jalameh. Two days after he was moved, he was murdered," the report said.

The ministry’s report described the "stool pigeons' room" as the most dangerous arm Israeli intelligence services turn to when interrogating Palestinian detainees.

"Prisoners are beaten, tortured, blackmailed and threatened in that room in the absence of any watchdog."

The report added: "Israeli courts and intelligence services rely on the results of investigations conducted in informer rooms without questioning and scrutinizing the interrogation methods used in these rooms."
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