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Inmates begin hunger strike on Palestinian Prisoners' Day


Israel

Inmates begin hunger strike on Palestinian Prisoners' Day

Palestinians have marked the annual Prisoners’ Day with marches in solidarity with inmates taking part in an open-ended hunger strike in Israeli jails.

More than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners are said to be refusing food to demand better conditions, including an end to the practice of detentions without trial, activists say.

Clashes broke out at a similar rally in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.

The hunger strike is being led by Marwan Barghouti. Widely considered the top contender to succeed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Barghouti is serving five life terms for the murder of Israelis in a 2000-2005 uprising.

Some 6,500 Palestinians are being held in Israeli prisons, including 57 women and around 300 children, according to NGO the Palestinian Prisoners Club.