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Hundreds of prisoners launch solidarity hunger strike

Feb. 19, 2013 11:04 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 21, 2013 11:55 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Around 800 prisoners in Israeli jails launched a one day hunger strike on Tuesday to show solidarity with long-term hunger strikers, a prisoner group said.

Prisoners in the Israeli jails of Nafha, Ramon and Eshel launched the strike action to put pressure on Israeli prison authorities to deal with the demands of long-term hunger-strikers, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine all announced that they would participate in solidarity strike action, the PPS said.

On Monday, protesters rallied in Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah in support of hunger striking prisoners in Israeli jails, with Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqe warning of a popular uprising.

On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians protested across the West Bank in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike, sparking clashes with Israeli forces.

Outside Israel's Ofer jail, near Ramallah, hundreds gathered in solidarity with Samer Issawi, who has been on hunger strike for 202 days, and Tareq Qaadan and Jaafar Azzidine who have refused food for 84 days.

Last week, the mother of long-term hunger striker Ayman Sharawna, 37, began an open-ended hunger-strike in solidarity with her son.

Sharawna first launched hunger strike action on July 1, 2012, ending his protest on Dec. 23 after believing there were developments in his case, Addameer said this week.

Sharawna has now restarted hunger strike action again, the prisoners group said, adding that they are still waiting to confirm the exact date he began.

On Feb. 20, Israel's High Court will hear a petition by several lawyers, including from Addameer, against article 186 of Israeli military order 1651, which gives an Israeli military committee the power to cancel amnesty for a prisoner based on confidential information not available to the detainee, or the detainee's lawyer.
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