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Lebanon camps rally for hunger strikers

Dec. 14, 2012 9:54 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 16, 2012 6:48 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian refugees in Lebanon on Friday demonstrated in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails.

Ayman Sharawneh has been on hunger strike for 167 days and Samer al-Issawi has refused food for 136 days in Israel's Ramle prison. Both men were rearrested after their release in Israel's Oct. 2011 prisoner swap with Hamas.

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine held a sit-in at UNRWA offices in al-Badawi camp. Refugees from al-Bared camp joined the demonstration, as well as popular committee members and factional representatives.

"The prisoners' friend committee calls for supporting Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, especially those on hunger strike," said Gamal Skaf.

Skaf demanded an explanation of the whereabouts of his brother Yahya Skaf who disappeared in 1978. The family maintains that Yahya is in Israeli detention but Israel has said he was killed while carrying out an attack on Israelis.

The union for the right to return also participated in the demonstration. Its secretary-general Ahmad Mousa stressed the need to continue the struggle for an independent state of Palestine.

Palestinian Peoples Party leader Jalal Mansour called on the international community to secure the release of al-Issawi and Sharawneh and all political prisoners.

DFLP leader Abdullah Deib praised the determination of Palestinian prisoners and held Israel responsible for their lives.

Dieb said prisoners should be the highest priority of the Palestinian leadership and called for national reconciliation.
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