Palestinians Held in PA Jails for Zeevi Killing Go on Hunger Strike
At least 37 Palestinians held in Palestinian Authority (PA)prisons under suspicion of involvement in the assassination of Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi began a hunger strike on Friday to protest against their arrests, reported the Tel Aviv-based daily Haaretz.
Al Jazeera satellite channel reported seven more arrests Saturday.
The hunger strikers, who belong mainly to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which claimed responsibility for killing the far-right minister on October 17, said they had been in police custody for eight days.
"We declare that our hunger strike started this morning under the slogan 'freedom or death'," they said in a statement.
The PFLP killed Zeevi to avenge Israel's assassination of their leader, Abu Ali Mustafa, in a missile strike in August.
Israel sent troops and tanks into six Palestinian cities in the West Bank and attacked Beit Reema village near Ramallah after Zeevi was slain, in its largest offensive since the start of the current Intifada over a year ago.
Israel has agreed to withdraw from the re-occupied West Bank cities if the Palestinian Authority keep the areas “quiet."
A gradual pullback is to start Saturday night from Beit Jala and Bethlehem, according to AFP.
Al Jazeera said that a low-profile joint security meeting was being held Saturday morning to prepare for Israel’s withdrawal from Beit Jala.
Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said that a significant number of “terrorists” have been apprehended in the 10 days of incursions into PA-ruled areas – Albawaba.com
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