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Palestinian mass hunger strike ongoing for 18th day in Israeli jails

May 4, 2017, 11:14 pm

An open-ended mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners to draw the world's attention to harsh conditions at Israeli prisons has entered its 18th day, with some of those refusing food undergoing a sharp health decline.

The Israeli prison authorities have stepped up crackdowns on the Palestinian hunger strikers, who have been starving for 18 consecutive days.

According to the strike’s media follow-up committee, the Ashkelon prison administration has transferred the hunger strikers to unidentified locations. 

Nearly 1,700 Palestinian detainees have joined a mass hunger strike that has swept Israeli jails since April 17 to protest the infringement of their basic rights.

23 such mass hunger strikes had been staged by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails since 1967, the latest of which occurred in 2014 and lasted for 63 days to protest administrative detention, with neither charge nor trial.

Nearly 7,000 Palestinians, among whom 57 women, 300 children, 500 administrative detainees, and 1,800 patients, are held in Israeli lock-ups.

Over recent weeks, sit-in tents, rallies, and e-campaigns, among other protest moves, have been staged by pro-Palestine activists, nationwide and overseas, in solidarity with the hunger strikers.

Meanwhile, human rights groups have sounded distress signals over the turn for the worse the hunger strikers’ health has started to take over recent days.