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Palestinian Prisoners End Hunger Strike in Israel After 40 Days

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Palestinians celebrating in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday after prisoners ended a hunger strike over their conditions in Israeli jails. Credit Mohamad Torokman/Reuters..

JERUSALEM — Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails ended a hunger strike late on Friday after 40 days, as their health was deteriorating and after, media reports said, the authorities agreed to at least one of the prisoners’ demands.

About 1,000 men had taken part in the strike, and Israeli officials said this past week that nearly every prisoner had needed hospital care, including the leader of the strike, Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian politician convicted of five murders in the Palestinian uprising that began in 2000.

In a statement on Saturday, Mr. Barghouti confirmed the end of the hunger strike, timed to the beginning of Ramadan, the holy Muslim month of fasting. But he did not specify any agreements with the Israeli authorities. The statement called the strike an “important step towards full respect of the rights of Palestinian prisoners.”

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Fadwa Barghouti in front of a picture of her husband, Marwan Barghouti, at a news conference in Ramallah, West Bank, earlier this month. Credit Nasser Nasser/Associated Press

Israeli prison officials could not be immediately reached for comment on Saturday.

The strikers, among 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, had demanded more family visits, an end to solitary confinement, better health care and greater access to education. Media reports said the Israeli authorities had agreed to a prisoner’s demand for a second monthly family visit.

Source: NYT > World

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