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Partial strike in support of hunger strikers across West Bank

June 8, 2014 2:26 P.M. (Updated: June 9, 2014 1:10 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A one-day strike by shops across the West Bank in support of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike was widely observed in Tulkarem and Ramallah Sunday, while shops elsewhere largely went about business as usual.

The strike was called for by the Higher Follow-up Committee of Prisoner Affairs to support the hunger strike of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who are protesting the indefinite detention of Palestinians without trial, a process known as administrative detention.

In the central commercial hub of Ramallah, most shop owners respected the strike and many did not open their doors on Sunday morning.

In Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, all shops remained close and commercial exchange was completely paralyzed.

"Commitment to the strike is 100 percent," Sayil Khalil, a senior official in the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said.

Khalil, who is also in charge of inter-factional coordination, added that Tulkarem businesspeople and shop owners "demonstrated patriotic and moral commitment to the the prisoners' plight."

In other cities across the West Bank, however, no signs of the strike were seen at all.

In Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, most were open. It was not clear, meanwhile, if those that were closed were closed because of the strike, given that Sunday is normally observed as a holiday in the historically majority-Christian city.

In Nablus and Jenin districts in the northern West Bank, meanwhile, cross-factional committees announced that the strike was not applicable because the cities had already participated in strikes.

In Hebron as well, life went on as normal despite the strike.

Around 125 prisoners have been on hunger strike for more than 45 days, while hundreds more have joined the hunger strike since that group began on April 24.

Palestinian prisoner human rights organization Addameer estimates that around 183 Palestinians are currently being held in administrative detention.

Over 800,000 Palestinians have been detained since 1967, with 5,224 currently being held in Israeli prisons, according to the PLO.
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