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Islamic Jihad prisoners threaten hunger strike

Dec. 6, 2014 7:52 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 8, 2014 2:40 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Islamic Jihad-affiliated prisoners in Israeli jails said Saturday that they would go on open hunger strike if Israeli authorities did not respond to the demands of a prisoner who has been refusing meals for over two weeks.

Nahar al-Saadi, 33, has been on hunger strike for 16 days in protest of being banned from receiving family visits and being held in solitary confinement, the Palestinian Prisoner's Center for Studies said in a statement.

Islamic Jihad prisoners said they would go on open hunger strike if prison authorities did not respond to al-Saadi's demands by Sunday, according to the Center's statement.

Former prisoner Rafat Hamduna, the director of the rights group, said that Israeli violations against prisoners have escalated recently, with an increase in prisoner transfers, solitary confinement, banning visits, medical neglect, collective punishment, room raids, and confiscation of personal belongings.

Hamduna called on "humanitarian groups and organizations to pressure Israel to stop its racist actions against prisoners."

Earlier Saturday, Issa Qaraqe, the head of the Palestinian Authority Department of Prisoner Affairs, said that 2014 has been "the most difficult year" for prisoners.

Around 7,000 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons, more than 2,000 of whom were arrested by Israeli forces over this summer amid heavy tensions and violence in the West Bank and Gaza.
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