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PFLP leader transferred to hospital after hunger strike

April 29, 2012 3:03 P.M. (Updated: April 30, 2012 4:50 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was transferred to hospital on Sunday after suffering a serious deterioration in his health, a statement said.

Ahmad Saadat was transferred to Ramla prison hospital by Israeli authorities after joining a hunger strike on April 17 in protest against Israel's policy of solitary confinement, under which he has been imprisoned for three years.

PFLP prisoners reportedly turned down an offer by Israeli prison authorities to end Saadat's solitary confinement if they stopped their hunger strike, a PFLP statement said.

The group held Israel responsible for their leader's life.

Saadat was seized by Israeli forces in 2006 from a Palestinian Authority jail in Jericho after a long standoff between prisoners and troops.

He was sentenced to 30 years for his alleged role in masterminding the assassination of former Israeli tourism minister Rahavam Zeevi in 2001.

At least 1,200 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched an open-ended hunger strike on April 17.

The hunger strikers have a long list of complaints, including the Israeli use of solitary confinement, the difficulty many having in securing family visits and the strip searches that are imposed on visitors.

Palestinians also denounce administrative detention, whereby Israel can imprison suspects indefinitely, without ever informing them of the charges they face or presenting their lawyers with any evidence.

Over 300 Palestinians are held without charge in Israel.

Reuters contributed to this report
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