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British man begins hunger strike in support of Palestinian prisoners

Palestinians in London launch a solidarity hunger strike and protest outside House of Parliament in London, UK

A British man has launched a hunger strike in solidarity with the 1,600 hunger striking Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails.

Ayssar Shamallakh, an active member and co-founder of the 17 April Youth Collective in London, who is of Palestinian descent, has been on hunger strike for three days.

Shamallakh announced his strike outside the UK Parliament on 2 May from a caravan that he will be staying in for the duration of his open-ended hunger strike.

Read: UK students to begin hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners

Joined by other members of the collective, Shamallakh will be taking the caravan to various areas in London to distribute leaflets and raise awareness about the Palestinian prisoners' ongoing hunger strike. Nearly 1,600 Palestinian prisoners answered calls made by senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi for prisoners to take action and demand their basic rights starting on 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners' Day.

The collective, which Shamallakh co-founded, is made up of a group of independent youth and activists based in the British capital who chose the name "17 April" in reference to the international day of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners.

"We have committed ourselves to keeping up with the battle of the captive movement against the occupation and its detentions," a statement by the collective said, "by constantly escalating our activities to mobilise British public opinion and pressure the British government to exercise its political and moral role to support the prisoners' humanitarian rights."

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