World Bulletin/News Desk
West Bank traders on Sunday staged a strike in a show of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails.
Shops were shuttered in the Palestinian commercial capital on Sunday in solidarity with nearly 300 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike against Israeli detention without trial.
Black-and-white flags bearing slogans such as "Freedom for Prisoners" and "Chains must be broken" flew in the streets of the West Bank city of Ramallah, where the commercial strike was observed.
"The commercial strike aims to send a message to Israeli authorities that all segments of the Palestinian society back the demands of the prisoners," Palestinian activist Essam Abu Bakr told Anadolu Agency.
In Hebron, also in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, dozens of Palestinian protesters marched in the streets in support of the hunger strikers.
The Palestinian government on Saturday called for an all-out commercial strike in all cities in solidarity with the prisoners and in protest against the failure of Israel's jail authorities to meet their demands.
Some 120 Palestinian administrative detainees have been on hunger strike for more than six weeks protesting their indefinite detention without trial.
Israeli administrative detention orders can range from one to six months in length and can be extended by up to five years by Israeli military courts.
They were later joined by scores of other Palestinian prisoners in a show of solidarity.
Around 5000 Palestinians continue to languish in more than 20 detention facilities throughout Israel, according to a report by the Prisoners Center for Studies and Research, a Palestinian NGO.
These include 200 minors and 19 female prisoners, the report said.
Lawyers who visited prisoners over the past several weeks said Israel had begun a dialogue with some of the hunger strikers' representatives but no progress had been made.
Israel's Prisons Service said 65 hunger strikers were being treated in hospitals, although none was in critical condition and all were conscious. The Palestinians put the number of prisoners who had required hospital care at 100.
"The weight of striking prisoners has gone down by an average of 16 kilograms," said Jawad Bolus, a Palestinian lawyer who visited eight of the hospitalised inmates.
On Friday, a U.N. spokesman said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was concerned about "reports regarding the deteriorating health of Palestinian administrative detainees". Ban, the spokesman said, reiterated his long-standing position that they be charged or released without delay.
Last Mod: 08 Haziran 2014, 17:36