Palestinian Intifada Leader Announces Hunger Strike Via the New York Times

Calling for Arab and global human rights groups to expose Israeli violations against the Palestinian prisoners, the Arab League also called for an worldwide mission to investigate the conditions in which they are held in Israel's prisons.

The Palestinian Prisoners' Club advocacy group said the Israel Prison Service (IPS), which on Monday warned of "serious consequences" for hunger strikers, was trying to break the open-ended hunger strike, which was initiated by prominent Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti.

Men play the role of jailed Palestinians and Israeli soldiers during a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in Gaza City April 17, 2017.

The United Nations says it is keeping a close eye on the situation of more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners, who have gone on hunger strike honoring a call by a fellow inmate.

Of that number, 300 are minors and some 500 are held under administrative detention, which allows for imprisonment without charges or trial. Benjamin Netanyahu is said to be fully willing to wait the situation out, whether it results in the prisoners changing their mind or dying the hard way.

His revelation of the daily struggles of more than 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners languishing in Israeli prisons and the ambition behind their hunger strike was, apparently, too sensitive for U.S. readers.

Barghouti has spent 15 years in prison since being arrested by Israeli forces in 2002, during the Second Intifada, as leader of the ruling Fatah faction's military wing.

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Some 740 Palestinians are held in administrative detention, according to Qaraqe.

Palestinian officials and activists put the number of hunger strikers at 1,300 and 1,500, respectively, saying it is hard to get updates from inside the prisons.

"Prisoners who decide to strike will face serious consequences", the Prison Service said in a statement, adding that "strikes and protests are illegal activities and will face unwavering penalisation".

The Public Editor of the New York Times took the newspaper to task for failing to identify Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti as a convicted murderer of Israeli Jews.

Palestinian families seeking to visit imprisoned relatives require permits to enter Israel, which are usually given selectively and declined during Israeli army border closings.

More hardline still was the reaction by Israel's intelligence and transportation minister, who tweeted that Barghouti should have been executed after his conviction for murder in 2004 in an Israeli court.

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said "Barghouti's strike is motivated by internal Palestinian political motives and therefore includes unreasonable demands regarding prisoner conditions".

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