Palestinian factions condemned on Wednesday the Palestinian Authority's "violent" crackdown on protests at Red Cross offices across the occupied West Bank in solidarity with a Palestinian hunger striker held by Israel. Maher Al-Akhras is being held indefinitely with neither charge nor trial and has been on hunger strike for 80 days.
"Despite the positive atmosphere of reconciliation and talks about a united leadership for the popular resistance," said the factions, "the PA has gone ahead with its non-patriotic behaviour by cracking down on people protesting in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners."
The movements insisted that the "violent" dispersal of the protests is not acceptable. They pointed out that the crackdown is proof that the PA is still involved in security cooperation with Israel.
"No PA leaders have supported Al-Akhras at a time when they should be putting pressure on the Israeli occupation authorities to end his suffering, not cracking down on the people protesting in solidarity with him."
In conclusion, the factions called on the people to organise widespread protests and action in solidarity with the hunger striker, whose health is deteriorating rapidly. They also called upon regional and international bodies to put pressure on Israel to release him.