Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti (C) is accompanied by Israeli prison guards after a deliberation at Jerusalem Magistrate's court January 25, 2012.
Issa Qaraqe, the head of prisoner affairs for the Palestinian Authority, said on Monday that about 1,300 prisoners were on hunger strike and the number could rise. He was convicted on five counts of murder and one attempted murder, and was implicated in - and held responsible for - four other terror attacks.
Among them are detained leaders, legislator Marwan Barghouthi, and Karim Younis, who were transferred from solitary confinement in Hadarim to solitary confinement in al-Jalama prison.
The strike could also heighten Israeli-Palestinian tensions at a time of renewed US attempts to restart stalled peace negotiations.
Some 6,500 Palestinians are now detained by Israel for a range of offences and alleged crimes, and of those, 62 are women and 300 are minors. "He is a lowly murderer who should rot in prison until the day he dies". Polls suggest that the 58-year-old Barghouti is the most popular choice among Palestinians to succeed the 82-year-old Abbas.
"Calling Barghouti a "political leader" is like calling Assad a 'pediatrician, '" Netanyahu said of the New York Times media bias. Palestinian prisoners and detainees have suffered from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and medical negligence.
"Shame on NYT for printing libelous op-ed by convicted killer Barghouti, the Palestinian Dylann Roof", Oren wrote on Twitter. The Prisons Service did not initially comment on his status.
Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) chairman Qaddura Fares told Ma'an that the measures were a "punitive" procedure by Israeli authorities, adding that IPS had moved hunger-striking prisoners around in its detention facilities in order to separate them from Palestinian prisoners who were not participating in the hunger strike.
Demonstrations took place across the West Bank, including in Ramallah, Bethlehem and, as this video shows, Hebron.
The Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement: "The Palestinian prisoners are not political prisoners". They are murderers. They are terrorists and we never lose our clarity because we are on the right side. Building new settlements in the occupied territories is considered a violation of worldwide law. According to Palestinian authorities and the advocacy group Addameer, some 500 of them are held under administrative detention which means they are jailed without charge or trial for a period of six months, which can be extended.
The Palestinian prisoners seek better conditions, including more contact with relatives, and an end to Israel's practice of detentions without trials.
Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in support of the inmates.
Israeli troops and settlers pulled out of the Gaza Strip in 2005 but started a naval blockade after Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007. Zomlot also handed Ratney a document summarizing these claims, which Ratney, according to the Palestinian reports, said he will pass to the senior ranks of the administration.
Barghouti, the strike leader, is prominent in the Fatah movement of Western-backed Palestinian President Abbas.
For Palestinians, the prisons have become a stark symbol of Israel's occupation. He condemned what he called Israel's intransigence in the face of "fair" prisoner demands.
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