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Jailed PFLP leader calls for solidarity with hunger strikers

Dec. 19, 2012 4:56 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 21, 2012 10:03 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Jailed Palestinian leader Ahmad Saadat on Wednesday called for a national solidarity campaign with long-term hunger strikers Samer al-Issawi and Ayman al-Sharawneh.

In a letter leaked from Hadarim prison, the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine praised al-Issawi and al-Sharawneh for their determination. Saadat said they would be victorious despite their critical medical conditions.

Sharawneh has been on hunger strike for 172 days and al-Issawi has refused food for 141 days.

Both prisoners are protesting their detention. They were arrested after their release in a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas in Oct. 2011. Israeli prosecutors are trying to renew their previous sentences.

Prisoner rights group Addameer on Tuesday said the prisoners were in danger of imminent death without immediate independent medical care or release.

The group's lawyers visited Sharawneh, 36, in Ramle prison on Tuesday and said he had lost his vision. He is suffering severe kidney, liver and leg pains.

Al-Issawi was attacked by Israeli special forces when he tried to greet his family during a court hearing on Tuesday, rights groups said.

His sister Shireen was later detained from her home, Addameer says.

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