Palestinian Authority slams Israel’s refusal to talk to hunger-striking prisoners
Palestinian Authority official Issa Qaraqe gives a press conference in the Israeli occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on the large number of Palestinians staging hunger strikes in Israeli jails, April 19, 2017. (Photos by AFP)
Islam Times - The Palestinian Authority’s head of detainees' affairs says that the death of any hunger-striking prisoner may lead to a “new Intifada.”
Issa Qaraqe made the remarks on Wednesday, while condemning the Tel Aviv regime’s refusal to negotiate with the some 1,500 Palestinian prisoners who have been taking part in a mass hunger strike since Monday.
On Tuesday, Israel’s Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan said he believes the strike is politically motivated, and he sees no need to engage in negotiations with the Palestinian inmates.
He added that the hunger strike leader, Marwan Barghouti, has been transferred to another prison in the northern Israeli-occupied territories and placed in solitary confinement.
"If their demands are not met, more prisoners will join the strike," said Qaraqe while calling on the global community to intervene in the crisis besetting Palestinian hunger strikers.
"We have asked the international community and the UN to intervene immediately," he stressed.
On Monday, the United Nations said it was keeping a close eye on the hunger strike situation.
Israeli prisons hold around 6,500 Palestinians, including 300 minors. Some of the inmates are held under Tel Aviv’s policy of administrative detention, which enables confinement without charge.
Palestinian inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest against the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions.
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