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40 Palestinian prisoners join mass hunger strike

Palestinians hold the pictures of Palestinian prisoners, who are on hunger strike in Israeli jails, during a solidarity demonstration in Ramallah, West Bank on April 18, 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians hold the pictures of Palestinian prisoners, who are on hunger strike in Israeli jails, during a solidarity demonstration in Ramallah, West Bank on April 18, 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

As many as 40 Palestinian prisoners held in the Israeli Megiddo prison have joined the collective hunger strike which began on 17 April, the Media Committee of the Freedom and Dignity movement said.

The committee quoted the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Committee which visited the Megiddo prison yesterday as saying that six prisoners joined the hunger strike on Thursday and were immediately isolated by authorities, while the remaining 34 prisoners joined yesterday morning.

Palestinians throughout the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have continued their solidarity activities in support of the hunger strikers. In Nablus city, north of the occupied West Bank, hundreds of students organised a march towards the solidarity tent in the city centre. Quds Press said the participants held pictures of the prisoners and called to increase popular and official support for the strikers.

Read: Palestinian Prisoners' Day marked with mass hunger strike

Another march was organised in the city of Al-Bireh, in the centre of the occupied West Bank, towards the Israeli Beit El checkpoint north of the city, and clashes broke out with Israeli forces.

Hundreds of children and action groups gathered in the besieged Gaza Strip in support of the prisoners. They called on human rights organisations and the international community to support the prisoners and pressure Israel to provide prisoners with their basic rights.

Witnesses told Quds Press that at least two people were shot with rubber bullets, while others suffered from suffocation after tear gas was fired at them.

More than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails began a mass hunger strike on Palestinian Prisoners' Day to demand better detention conditions.

The strikers are demanding family visitation rights, access to medical care, an end to the abuse at the hand of prison guards, an end of the use of solitary confinement, and ceasing administrative detentions which violate international laws.

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