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Hunger strike committee calls for commercial strike, confrontation with Israeli forces

May 15, 2017 12:37 P.M. (Updated: May 16, 2017 4:06 P.M.)
(File)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The national committee established to support hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike for the past 29 days in Israeli prisons announced a three-hour commercial strike on Monday, and also called for Palestinians to clash with Israeli forces in the coming days to mark the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or "catastrophe."

The committee said all shops must shut down from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday to express support for the hunger strike. A general strike called for by the committee on the 11th day of the strike was widely observed across the occupied West Bank, as thousands of Palestinians shut down their shops and businesses in solidarity with hunger strikers.

The following day, widespread clashes erupted across the occupied West Bank, with several Palestinians being injured, after the Fatah movement called for a Day of Rage in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners.

On Monday, the national committee urged Palestinians to clash with Israeli forces again in the coming days, as the Palestinian people mark the 69th anniversary of the Nakba, when approximately 750,000 Palestinians were forcible displaced from their lands during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

Palestinians were scattered in refugee camps across the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, with Palestinian refugees and their descendants now amounting to over five million people, according to the United Nations.

In its statement, the committee also urged the United Nation's Security Council and General Assembly, along with other international human rights groups, to protect hunger-striking prisoners and coerce the Israeli government to respect international conventions and laws.

Some 1,300 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, out of the total of 6,300 Palestinians held by Israel, have been calling for an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention -- imprisonment without charge or trial -- among other demands for basic rights.
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