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West Bank cities shut down to mourn Abu Hamdiyeh

April 3, 2013 12:28 P.M. (Updated: April 8, 2013 4:00 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Hebron and East Jerusalem shut down on Wednesday in mourning for a cancer-sufferer who died in Israeli custody a day earlier.

Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, from Hebron, died in Israel's Soroka Hospital aged 63. Palestinian officials say his cancer spread because he was denied treatment by Israeli authorities, who refused to release him.

The Fatah movement in Hebron called for a general strike to mourn the death and urged all residents to respect the period of mourning.

All shops, schools and universities as well as government and community organizations closed on Wednesday across the Hebron district.

Fatah leader in Hebron Kifah al-Uweiwi called on the Palestinian people to support the plight of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Shops, restaurants and businesses also shut their doors in mourning in Jerusalem's Old City. All schools affiliated to the Islamic endowment department in Jerusalem suspended classes at 11 a.m., said education ministry official Samir Jibril.

A full strike was also being observed in the northern West Bank city of Nablus where thousands of demonstrators gathered in the city centre for a mass rally, an AFP correspondent said.

In Ramallah and the Gaza Strip, the strike was being partially observed, other correspondents said.

Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinian prisoners refused their breakfast at the start of a one-day hunger strike in protest over Abu Hamdiyeh's death, an Israel Prisons Service spokeswoman said.

"4,600 prisoners refused their breakfast this morning in a protest after the death of a prisoner yesterday," Sivan Weizman said, the figure representing the entire Palestinian prison population.

Abu Hamdiyeh will be given a military funeral after noon prayers in Hebron on Thursday.
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