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Israel approves several hunger strike demands

Oct. 9, 2011 1:55 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 11, 2011 6:27 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli prison authorities have decided to meet some of the demands by Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, detainees said Sunday.

The prison administration has agreed to allow the transmission of satellite television, has allowed prisoners to go on family visits without handcuffs, and has permitted visits between different sections of prisons to take place.

A demand by prisoners to be given whole chickens, instead of chopped chicken, has also been met, detainees told Ma'an.

Prison authorities are still refusing to end the practice of prisoner isolation, and have also refused to increase detainee allowances to more than 300 shekels.

The prison administration will hold a hearing to discuss the rest of the demands by detainees, prisoners said.

Palestinians jailed in Israel went on a mass hunger strike on Sept. 27 to protest harsh conditions.

In June, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to toughen conditions for Palestinians in Israeli jails, in an effort to pressure Hamas to release captured Israeli solider Gilad Shalit.

The hunger strike has now lasted 13 days.

Thousands of demonstrators staged rallies in the West Bank and Jerusalem this week to support prisoners who are refusing food.

According to latest reports from the Palestinian Authority 6,000 Palestinians are being detained in Israeli prisons, including 219 in Administrative Detention who are held without charge.
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