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Fayyad rallies support for prisoners' hunger strike

Oct. 10, 2011 8:24 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 12, 2011 3:32 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Monday called for the UN to support Palestinian prisoners' rights in Israel, as he visited sit-in tents in solidarity with a detainees' hunger strike.

Fayyad, chief of the Ramallah-based government, expressed sympathy for strikers, saying their refusal of food since Sept. 27 was "means to express their rejection to the practices of the occupation that denies them basic human rights," a government press statement said.

Addressing protesters who have camped in Ramallah's center and the Red Crescent compound in the al-Bireh district to support the strike, Fayyad called for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN institutions to stand by the prisoners.

"The greatest injustice is keeping them in detention against international convention and norms," he said.

The statement said protests would be held at Israel's Ofer jail on Tuesday, and a general strike in the West Bank on Wednesday.

Prisoners have refused food in Israeli jails for 14 days to protest against worsening conditions, including solitary confinement, shackling and prevention of family visits.

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