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25 Palestinian prisoners in Etzion jail launch open hunger strike

Dec. 24, 2015 6:27 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 12, 2016 7:29 P.M.)
The Palestine Poster Project Archives/ Hafez Omar
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Twenty-five Palestinian prisoners held in Etzion jail launched an open hunger strike on Thursday in protest of violations carried out by Israel’s prison service.

A lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, Jacqueline Fararj, told Ma’an that she had documented ongoing violations against Palestinians held in the jail, including physical assault and poor living conditions.

Fararj said that among those in Etzion that began on hunger strike were Abdul-Rahim Zamara, 24, and Yazan Marqtan, 23, who had both been violently assaulted by members of Israel's prison service with the butts of rifles repeatedly during their detention.

Palestinian prisoners -- nearly 7,000 of whom are currently held in Israeli jails -- frequently undergo hunger strikes in attempt to pressure the prison service and Israeli authorities to abide by international standards regarding detention.

Several prisoners being held in an Israeli prison in Huwwara launched a hunger strike last week.

Last month, Israel released famed Palestinian hunger-striker Muhammad Allan.

The 31-year-old lawyer was held without charge or trial for seven months before he began a hunger strike in June to protest what he described as "the absence of law in Israeli court."

The detainee came close to death and the Knesset, Israel's parliament, approved a law during his strike allowing Israel’s prison service to force-feed hunger strikers if their condition becomes life-threatening.

Allan ended his hunger strike after 66 days when Israel's Supreme Court agreed to suspend his sentence.
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