1200 imprisoned Palestinian terrorists launch hunger strike

More than 1,600 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails launched a mass hunger strike on Monday to coincide with Palestinian Prisoners Day.

There are more than 6 500 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including 500 prisoners held in administrative detention, that is without facing charges or a trial, according to the prisoners' commission.

In an interview on Monday with the Times's editorial board, Mansour also said he had spoken by telephone with Barghouti's wife and quoted her as saying that "we hope this hunger strike will be short" and that the Israelis would grant the strikers' demands.

Imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, Karim Younis and Mahmoud Abu Srour were moved from Hadarim prison to solitary confinement in Jalama prison on Monday evening, according to the Prisoners' Affairs committee.

"Prisoners are doing the same, so it's really about who cracks first", he added, noting that if more prisoners were to join the strike, the Israeli authorities may have trouble handling the large numbers.

Demonstrators hold pictures of jailed Palestinians during a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in Gaza City April 17, 2017.

He is popular among Palestinians, with polls suggesting he could win the Palestinian presidency. The protests led to clashes with Israeli forces.

For its part, the administration of the Israel Prison Service (IPS) said that the article was unlawful, because Barghouthi was not given permission to write it.

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

Some 6,500 Palestinians are now in jail in Israel.

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In an op-ed published in The New York Times, Barghouti wrote Israeli prisons have become the "cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination".

Erdan added that prisoners who endanger their lives by refusing food will be force-fed in accordance with a 2015 law upheld by a Supreme Court decision previous year.

The last large-scale hunger strike was in February 2013, when 3,000 Palestinians refused to eat for one day in protest at the death of a fellow detainee.

The essay asserted that "Israel has established a dual legal regime, a form of judicial apartheid, that provides virtual impunity for Israelis who commit crimes against Palestinians, while criminalizing Palestinian presence and resistance".

Such incidents have greatly subsided in recent months.

Missing from the op-ed and the Times byline was that Barghouti is in prison after being convicted of overseeing three terrorist attacks that killed five people, including a police officer and a Greek Orthodox priest.

For Palestinians, the prisons have become a stark symbol of Israel's occupation.

The hunger strikers' immediate demands include more contact with relatives, improved medical services, and more access to educational materials.

Erdan continued his remarks on Israeli public radio by describing the prisoners as "terrorists".

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