Thousands of Palestinian prisoners go on hunger strike
Some 7,000 prisoners are believed to have went on hunger strike Wednesday (File/AFP)
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Thousands of Palestinian inmates held in Israeli prisons have gone on an open-ended hunger strike in protest at the mysterious death of a fellow prisoner.
Palestinian media reports say some 7,000 prisoners began their strike in Israeli jails on Wednesday.
This comes as a Palestinian prisoner died mysteriously in Israel’s Eshel prison in the southern city of Beersheva on Tuesday. The protesters hold Israeli authorities responsible for the death of Raed Abdul-Salam al-Jaabari.
Israel’s prison officials said the 35-year-old Palestinian detainee had hanged himself in the bathroom.
However, the Palestinian rights groups are skeptical of the Israeli claim about the detainee’s suicide, calling for an impartial probe.
In a statement, the Ramallah-based Prisoners' Club director, Qadura Fares, has "cast doubt" on the Israel's "claims that the prisoner committed suicide and asked international organizations to investigate his death.”
The Palestinians also say al-Jaabari was arrested in July for offences that were not immediately clear.
Approximately 2,000 of the Palestinian prisoners have been arrested over the past three months.
Palestinian Ministry of Detainees says Tel Aviv withholds identification information on Gazan detainees. The ministry has also expressed growing concern that some of the detainees have been executed.
Several international bodies and human rights organizations have condemned Israel’s increasing use of arrest and so-called administrative detention.
Back in June, tens of Palestinian prisoners who had been on a hunger strike in protest against administrative detention - a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months - were hospitalized over health concerns.
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