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180 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails go on hunger strike

Posted on Apr 24 2014 | IANS

Ramallah, April 24 : Around 180 Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails began a hunger strike Thursday, protesting their indefinite administrative detention.

"The prisoners have insisted they would go on with their hunger strike until they are released," Palestine's Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Ziad Abu Ain told Xinhua.

According to data from the Palestine's prisoners' affairs ministry, Israel has recently extended the detention orders of 60 percent of Palestinian inmates under administrative detention.

In all, 180 of around 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are being held in administrative detention.

Israel has come under fire for its administrative detention policies that enable the country to keep Palestinians in prisons without trial using renewable six-month extensions.

Last year, the case of Samer Essawi, a Palestinian prisoner who went on the longest hunger strike against Israel, after more than 17 months in jail, garnered international publicity and condemnation, which helped his release in December 2013.

Israel has issued 23,000 administrative detention orders since the outbreak of violence in 2000, during the second Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, according to the prisoners' affairs ministry.

In 2012, around 1,500 Palestinian prisoners ended their 28-day hunger strike after Egypt brokered an agreement between the prisoners and Israel to improve day-to-day prison conditions.

However, Palestinian officials have accused Israel of failing to implement the agreement.

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