Bloomberg News

Palestinians in Israeli Jails Start Hunger Strike, Official Says

September 28, 2011

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- More than 6,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails started a hunger strike and campaign of disobedience today to protest against their treatment, a Palestinian official said.

The action will include refusal to wear uniforms or obey the instructions of prison authorities, Eassa Qaraqea, minister of prisoner affairs in the Palestinian National Authority Cabinet, told Voice of Palestine radio. The prisoners “have the right to protest against the inhuman measures practiced against them,” he said.

Palestinians demand the release of all prisoners as part of a permanent peace agreement with Israel. Israel says prisoners who were involved in the killing of Israelis cannot be freed.

The U.S. and its allies are pushing for the resumption of talks between the sides which broke down last year, to forestall a vote at the United Nations on Palestinian statehood. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas presented the demand at the UN General Assembly last week. Israel and the U.S. say statehood must be achieved via a peace agreement.

--Editors: Ben Holland, Digby Lidstone.

To contact the reporter on this story: Saud Abu Ramadan in Ramallah via Jerusalem at sramadan@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gwen Ackerman at gackerman@bloomberg.net


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