World Bulletin / News Desk
Palestinians in Israeli jails were on Tuesday refusing food in solidarity with four fellow inmates who have been on long-term hunger strike, officials said.
According to the Ramallah-based Prisoners' Club, 800 prisoners in three prisons were taking part in the one-day strike, among them members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).
The one-day strike was the latest show of solidarity with four detainees who are on long-term hunger strike and whose state of health has sparked mass protests across the West Bank as well as statements of concern from rights groups and Western governments.
The four, Samer Issawi, 33, Tareq Qaadan, 40, Jafar Ezzedine, 41, and Ayman Sharawna, 36, have been refusing food for between two and seven months.
An Israeli court in Jerusalem was on Tuesday to hold a hearing on Issawi's case, his lawyer said.
Prisoner rights group Addameer says Qaadan and Ezzedine were arrested on November 22 and handed a three-month administrative detention order, meaning they can be held without charge.
Both began refusing food on November 28 in protest and their detention orders are due to expire or be renewed on Friday.
Issawi, 33, and Sharawna, 36, were long-term prisoners who were released by Israel under a prisoner swap deal in October 2011, but both were rearrested last year.
Israel has ordered that they serve out the remainder of their original sentences, prompting Sharawna to start refusing food on July 1 followed by Issawi who stopped eating on August 1.
Statistics published by Israeli rights group B'Tselem show by the end of 2012, 4,500 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails.
Tear gas at protesters
Israeli forces clashed with protestors outside Ofer detention center near Ramallah on Tuesday at a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners.
The rally in solidarity with hunger-strikers marched towards the Israeli prison from Birzeit, Beitunia and Ramallah.
Israeli forces fired tear gas at protesters and youths responded by throwing stones at military forces.
At least 18 people were lightly injured, witnesses told Ma'an news agency, and journalists at the scene said Israeli forces deliberately targeted them with smoke bombs and sound grenades.Last Mod: 19 Şubat 2013, 16:42