Protests in the West Bank in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners

GAZA (BNO NEWS) — Protests in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners, who have been holding a hunger strike in Israeli jails for 12 days, took place on Friday in the West Bank, Palestinian media reported on Saturday.

In the southern West Bank village of al-Walajeh, Israeli soldiers allegedly shot tear gas canisters to end a demonstration of about 50 people. At least three Palestinians and one German solidarity activist were arrested, Palestine News Network (PNN) reported.

Two people were reportedly injured in nearby al-Ma’sara village when Israeli soldiers suppressed a protest. In the central West Bank village of Bil’in, popular committee media coordinator Ratib Abu Rahma said that dozens of Palestinians suffered from “severe tear gas inhalation.”

Violent clashes were also reported in the central West Bank village of al-Nabi Saleh, where three Palestinians were hit by Israeli tear gas canisters.

Hundreds of Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli jails have been refusing to eat since September 27 in protest of what they call ‘worsening’ prison conditions. The main demands of the prisoners are to end an alleged policy of isolation and of collective punishment. They also demand that Israeli authorities allow their families to visit them without restrictions and shackles, PNN reported.

The strike includes at least 500 people as of Friday. There are almost 6,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel, including 143 people who have been detained for more than 20 years for serious crimes.

The hunger strike was called after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the country would revoke benefits and privileges from Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli prisons. Netanyahu was responding to Hamas’ refusal to let the International Red Cross visit soldier Gilad Schalit.

On June 25, 2006, Shalit, a Staff Sergeant with the Israeli Defense Forces, was abducted by Hamas militants and has been held in captivity since. His family has been trying to have contact with him without avail.

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

Source: Wire Update.


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