11:19 GMT08 August 2020
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    Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) began official visit of Palestinian prisoners Israeli jails, who have been staging hunger strikes since mid-April, according to media reports.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) started visiting Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, who have been staging hunger strikes since mid-April, media reported on Wednesday, citing head of the Palestinian Prisoner's Affairs Committee Issa Qaraqea.

    Qaraqea said in an interview with the WAFA news agency that the health condition of the majority of the prisoners being on hunger strike since April 17 had significantly deteriorated, and some of them had been transferred to hospitals.

    According to Qaraqea, the Israel Prisons Service also took severe punitive measures against the prisoners, trying to break their hunger strike.

    Ten days ago, some 1,800 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails started a hunger strike, demanding more rights from Israel and better detention conditions, as well as urging the ICRC to revive its program of supporting two visits of prisoners’ families a month.

    In 2016, the ICRC reduced the program, limiting the number of monthly visits of family members to prisoners to one, saying that a large percentage of family members did not make use of the option of the second visit.

    This is the 27th hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners since 1969, with the latest prior to the current one taking place in 2014 and lasting for 63 days.

    A total of 6,300 Palestinians, including 300 children, were sentenced to imprisonment in Israel for political crimes, according to Palestinian non-government Human Rights Association ADDAMEER, founded 25 years ago to advocate the rights of Palestinian nationals in Israeli jails.

    Tensions between Israel and Palestine have continued to escalate throughout the years. Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state in the West Bank and seek the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territories it occupied after the Six-Day War in 1967.


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    hunger strike, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Palestine, Israel
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