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Haniyeh calls for intifada for prisoners

April 30, 2012 6:01 P.M. (Updated: May 3, 2012 11:10 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called on Monday for a new intifada to support Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, who started a mass hunger-strike two weeks ago.

The premier urged Arab and Islamic nations to intervene to support detainees, in remarks at a rally for prisoners in Gaza City.

Haniyeh stressed the unity of the government and the people in support of Palestinian detainees.

Prisoners are our first priority, and all Palestinians are behind them, he said. The prime minister charged human rights groups to "break their silence" to free all Palestinians jailed in Israel.

More than 4,000 Palestinians are imprisoned in Israel, around 320 of them without any charge.

On April 17, marking Palestinian Prisoners Day, at least 1,200 prisoners in Israeli jails launched an open-ended hunger strike, with prisoner groups estimating that 2,000 people are now refusing food.

They are demanding a change in their living conditions, and an end to solitary confinement, night raids and bans on family visits for prisoners from Gaza.

Prison authorities have responded by denying them family visits and separating them from inmates not taking part in the protest.

On Monday, PA ministry of prisoners affairs said a prison chief met imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti and other prisoners' representatives, saying authorities will respond soon to prisoner demands.
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