More Than 1000 Palestinians In Israeli Prisons Go On Hunger Strike

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The issue of Palestinian prisoners and detainees held in Israeli prisons and detention centers transcends one of individual human rights; it is also one of collective rights of an entire people - the Palestinian people, who continue to be deprived of the right to self-determination and sovereignty - basic fundamentals of global law.

If sustained, the strike led by Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader jailed during the second Palestinian uprising, would be the largest in recent years.

Israeli security forces have detained around one million Palestinians in the nearly 69 years since the Jewish state was established in 1948, Palestinian prisoner rights groups have said.

The challenge to the Israeli authorities comes at a time of reduced violence. He is a popular figure, with polls suggesting he could win the Palestinian presidency.The hunger strike was called to coincide with Palestinian "Prisoners Day," an annual event held in solidarity with the more than 6,000 Palestinian security prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails.

PNA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah declared his support for the hunger strike that demands prisoners have their basic needs and rights met.

They are also calling for an end to solitary confinement and Israel's controversial administrative detention policy, which allows renewable six-month periods of detention without trial.

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Israeli public radio reported that Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan had described the demands as "unreasonable".

Under Israeli relevant regulations, prisoners are entitled to family visits once every two weeks.

Top Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi called on the global community to bring an end to the "inhumane" treatment of Palestinian prisoners, which she said was in violation of the Geneva Convention.

"After exhausting all other options, I decided there was no choice but to resist these abuses by going on a hunger strike", Barghouti wrote.

Barghouti, the strike leader, is prominent in the Fatah movement of Western-backed Palestinian President Abbas.

In an opinion piece published this week in The New York Times, Barghouti alleged that Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israel "have suffered from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, and medical negligence". All Palestinian political prisoners - regardless of their alleged political affiliations or charges - are entitled to fair trial guarantees under worldwide humanitarian law and global human rights laws.

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