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Activists block West Bank roads calling for increased support of hunger strikers

May 16, 2017 5:02 P.M. (Updated: May 16, 2017 5:11 P.M.)
TULKAREM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian activist youth closed a number of roads in the northern occupied West Bank on Tuesday, using rocks and burning tires to block Palestinian commuters and Israeli settler vehicles.

Activists have been blockading commuter thoroughfares across the West Bank in recent days to voice support for the ongoing mass hunger strike launched by more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, which entered its 30th day on Tuesday.

Dozens of angry youth were able to close the road leading from Nablus to the cities of Tulkarem and Qalqiliya with rocks and burning tires for more than two hours.

The activists also set fire to tires on a road leading to the illegal Israeli settlement of Shavi Shamron, preventing settlers from using the road.

Israeli forces arrived to the area, fired dozens of stun grenades at youths, and detained an unspecified number of Palestinians including mayor of the village of Burqa Sami Daghlas, witnesses said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into reports.

Meanwhile, dozens of activists and family members of Palestinian prisoners closed several streets in Tulkarem city in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners.

People gathered on the Jamal Abd al-Nasser Street to block traffic, demanding that Palestinian leadership intervene to save the lives of prisoners.

“Enough silence. We need serious action taken on all levels to support prisoners, to save their lives, and achieve their demands,” Muhammad Jayyusi, brother of hunger-striking prisoner Hatem Jayysusi, told Ma’an in Tulkarem.

A solidarity march traversed across Tulkarem, before returning to a sit-in tent in the center of the city.

Protests across the occupied Palestinian territory have been staged daily in solidarity with prisoners who are calling for an end to solitary confinement, medical negligence, the denial of family and lawyer visitations, and internment without charge or trial under administrative detention.
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