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4 hurt in Ramallah protest to support detainees

April 26, 2012 7:06 P.M. (Updated: April 28, 2012 9:21 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Four Palestinians were injured Thursday when clashes erupted at a demonstration outside Israel's Ofer detention center near Ramallah, a Ma'an correspondent reported.

Israeli forces fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets as protesters threw rocks at soldiers in a demonstration for Palestinian detainees on hunger strike in Israeli jails.

Forces detained Abdullah Abu Rahmeh, a leader in the non-violent resistance movement from Bilin, the reporter said.

An Israeli military spokesman said forces used riot dispersal means in response to rocks thrown by protesters, adding that around 250 Palestinians took part in the demonstration.

Thousands of Palestinians detained in Israeli jails launched on a mass hunger strike on April 17, Palestinian Prisoners Day. Their demands include family visits -- particularly for prisoners from Gaza, who have been denied visits since 2007. They are also demanding an end to solitary confinement and night-time cell raids.

Israeli prison authorities have revoked privileges of striking prisoners, moving them to a separate area and denying them all visits.

Detainees 'at risk of sudden death'

Some prisoners held in administrative detention without charge are also on hunger strike demanding their release.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights on Thursday expressed concern for the lives of Bilal Diab, 27, and Thaer Halahla, 34, who have been on open hunger strike since Feb. 29.

On Monday, an Israeli military court rejected an appeal for their release.

Jawwad Boulous, a lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoners Society, told PCHR the men were at risk of sudden death. They have been in Ramla prison hospital since March.

"Diab and Halahla's case highlights the conditions of more than 300 Palestinians who are currently placed under administrative detention in Israeli prisons and detention facilities, including the Speaker and 20 Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council," PCHR said in a statement.

"These detentions violate of the right of a detainee to a fair trial, including the right to receive appropriate defense and to be informed of charges against him."

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