United Nations says watching Palestinian prisoner hunger strike closely

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Some 6,500 Palestinians are now in Israeli jails. Such protection should aim to put an immediate end to their suffering, an official statement added.

The nation's officials have also refuted Barghouti's claims that prisoners held in the country are regularly subjected to medical neglect and torture, as well as inhumane treatment.

Some 6,500 Palestinians are being held in Israeli prisons, including 300 minors, according to Palestinian human rights organization Addameer. "My policy is that you can't negotiate with prisoners such as these..."

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), for its part, which administers prison visits, confirmed that the IPS had informed it of its decision to cancel scheduled visits to hunger-striking prisoners. It pointed out that 210 sick prisoners have died due to medical neglect, mentioning Mohamed Al-Jallad, the latest of such prisoners, who died in February. Palestinian Prisoners' Club is an organisation that advocates on behalf of the inmates.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he had read the Sunday article in the Times that "presents arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti as a "parliamentarian and leader".

Thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli jails have begun a mass hunger strike against detention conditions.

Israeli authorities have placed him under solitary confinement for calling the strike - now in its second day. Barghouti will reportedly soon be taken to court, where he will be prosecuted for an op-ed he released to The Times, in which he gave several quite damning statements concerning life in an Israeli prison.

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Barghouti has been touted as a possible future successor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

In an op-ed published in The New York Times, Barghouti wrote Israeli prisons have become the "cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination".

As far as the Israeli government is concerned, there will be no talks with the approximately 1,187 Palestinian prisoners engaged in a hunger strike since Monday.

"When a despicable murderer like Barghouti protests in prison for improved conditions, while the relatives of those he murdered are still in pain, there is only one solution - death penalty for terrorists", Katz wrote.

Palestinians push a container during clashes with Israeli forces following a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners in the West bank City of Bethlehem, Monday, April 17, 2017.

In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Barghouti's wife, Fadwa, joined about 1,500 marchers. According to Palestinian authorities and the advocacy group Addameer, some 500 of them are held under administrative detention which means they are jailed without charge or trial for a period of six months, which can be extended.

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