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Starving Striking Palestinian Prisoners leader put in isolation

21 April 2017

It comes in protest of the inhumane detention conditions that Palestinian prisoners continue to face. 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. Barghouti was also convicted of masterminding a suicide bombing attack that backfired and only killed the bombers.

"Israeli authorities claim the decision [to cancel scheduled visits to prisoners] came due to the state of emergency declared in the prisons", he said.

Barghouti, a prominent leader in PA leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, called the strike, but in a show of unity it has been joined by prisoners from other Palestinian parties.

Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan said he believes the strike is politically motivated and that the prisoners have no legitimate complaints.

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"Having spent the last 15 years in an Israeli prison, I have been both a witness to and a victim of Israel's illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners", he wrote.

All Palestinian political prisoners - regardless of their alleged political affiliations or charges - are entitled to fair trial guarantees under global humanitarian law and worldwide human rights laws.

"We will not surrender to it", he wrote.

The protest has unsettled Israeli officials who also reacted furiously to an article penned by Barghouti justifying the strike in the New York Times.

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Ayman Muhammad Bani Nimra, the mother of an imprisoned Palestinian, told Ma'an that she had started refusing food and "would not stop unless our children in the (Israeli) occupation's prisons end their hunger strike and receive improvements in the conditions of their detentions".

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. "There will be an update later."Barghouti is now serving five life sentences for his role in murderous terror attacks during the Second Intifada in the early 2000s".

The striking prisoners are demanding access to phones, extended visiting rights and better medical service.

There are approximately 6,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, serving a variety of sentences.

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Israeli media slammed a recent column by Barghouti that was published in the New York Times, in which he explained the rationale for his hunger strike, criticizing the paper for failing to mention that Barghouti had been jailed for murder as a leader of Fatah's armed wing.