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Protesters shut down UN office in Ramallah in solidarity with hunger strike

May 17, 2017 5:07 P.M. (Updated: May 17, 2017 8:16 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian protesters shut down the United Nations headquarters in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday morning to denounce the international body’s inaction regarding the month-long hunger strike undertaken by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody.

A number of youths gathered early on Wednesday in front of the UN headquarters in the Ein Munjid and prevented UN staff from entering the premises.

The demonstrators who waved Palestinian flags and signs said that the protest intended to call out the UN’s failure to apply international law and its own resolutions with regards to Palestinian prisoners.

When contacted by Ma'an regarding the demonstration, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said: "I hope that a resolution is found as quickly as possible and there are efforts to address the situation."

"The hunger strike is in its 31th day and the risk to the health of the prisoners increases by the day," he added. "International humanitarian law and human rights obligations towards all prisoners must be fully respected."

Palestinians across the occupied territory have been demonstrating, blocking roads, and carrying out other actions in solidarity with some 1,300 imprisoned Palestinians who marked the 31st day of their hunger strike on Wednesday, notably denouncing the international community's inaction regarding the prisoners' fight for their human rights.

Since the beginning of the strike on April 17, prisoners 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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