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United Nations says watching Palestinian prisoner hunger strike closely

United Nations says watching Palestinian prisoner hunger strike closely

The open-ended strike was launched on Monday to coincide with Palestinian Prisoners Day amid calls by detainees for more frequent prison visits, better medical care and better treatment for female prisoners.

Barghouti's call for the strike has given it added credibility, with the 57-year-old serving five life sentences over his role in the second Palestinian intifada or uprising.

The New York Times later changed its description of Barghouti, while noting that the Palestinian leader had refused to provide a defense at his trial as he did not recognize the court's legitimacy.

Israel's controversial "administrative detention" policy sees a varying number of Palestinians held without charge in prisons, often accused of links to militant group Hamas. The other cage bore the pictures of two Israeli soldiers killed in the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, and the pictures of two Israeli civilians who disappeared after entering Gaza.

Unprecedented in scale, the protest action involves a reported number of 1,500 prisoners.

Many of these people's medical requirements are neglected, and owing to this more than 50 Palestinian prisoners lost their lives since 1967, says the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

Israel denies Palestinian inmates are mistreated, and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the Barghouti-led protest was "prompted by internal Palestinian politics and therefore includes unreasonable demands".

Demonstrators gather during a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in the West Bank city of Ramallah April 17, 2017.

Pence says South Korea-US free trade agreement to be reviewed, reformed
Russia, too, warned that the Trump Administration was on what Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called a "very risky path". He also described the bond between the United States and South Korea as "unshakeable" during an address on Monday.

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

The Palestinian observer mission to the United Nations on Monday called for Israel to release thousands of Palestinians it said were "illegally and inhumanely" imprisoned and detained.

Erdan said Barghouti was transferred to another prison in northern Israel and was placed in solitary confinement.

Barghouti wrote that Israeli prisons have become the "cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination".

More than 300 Palestinians have been in prison since before Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization signed the Oslo accords in 1993.

"It doesn't have to do with publishing the article (in the New York Times) but rather that he is instigating mutiny and leading the hunger strike and that is a severe violation of the rules of the prison", he said.

Palestinians consider brethren held in Israeli jails as national heroes.

Opinion polls indicate that Barghouti enjoys widespread support in his quest to replace Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.


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