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Palestinian hunger strikers want to be recognised as POWs as protest is suspended

May 27, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Image of demonstration in support of the Palestinian prisoners, outside the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza City, Gaza on May 22, 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

The head of the PLO’s Committee for Prisoners and Freed Prisoners has revealed that the hunger strikers have added Israel’s recognition of them as prisoners of war to their list of demands, reported on Friday. Issa Qaraqe said that this new demand came after 40 days of the protest, during which the Israeli occupation authorities have been refusing to talk with the hunger strikers.


However, early on Saturday, Qaraqe announced that the prisoners had suspended their hunger strike on condition that the Israeli occupation authorities discuss their demands. “After 20 hours of talks with the hunger strike’s leaders,” he said, “the hunger strikers agreed to suspend their strike as the Israeli occupation agreed to discuss the prisoners’ demands.”

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the International Red Cross, Sohair Zaqqout, said that the hunger strikers had already “ended” their strike. “As a neutral mediator, the IRC played an important role in the secret bilateral talks in order to avoid losses of souls, especially after the strike had become dangerous on day 40,” she explained.

Zaqqout did not reveal any details about the deal, but noted that “talks with the Israeli authorities and the other sides are still continuous and more details will be available in the coming days or weeks.”

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