1 killed at West Bank rally for Palestinian hunger strikers

Beth Cruz
May 14, 2017

Clashes erupted in the occupied West Bank on Thursday between Israeli soldiers and hundreds of Palestinians protesting in support of hunger strikers in Israeli jails.

The United Nations Committee Against Torture has called on Israel to ensure that prisoners on hunger strike are not subjected to force-feeding or other medical treatment against their will, as it could amount to torture.

He is the most high-profile Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail.

Meanwhile, Barghouti's lawyer, Khader Shkirat, said the Israel Prison Service abruptly canceled a planned prison meeting with his client that had been scheduled for Thursday.

He is the former head of Tanzim, the armed wing of the Fatah party which controls the West Bank. Barghouti is serving five life sentences for his role in orchestrating deadly terror attacks during the second Palestinian intifada. He is now serving multiple life terms. At the time, Barghouti said the trial was illegitimate and refused to deliver a defense to his charges. Israel and Gaza militants have fought three wars since 2008.

Barghouti's role in the protest appears to be cementing his reputation as a man who will be hard to ignore.

"I hope in the near future [Odeh] will go on hunger strike between the walls of prison, for supporting and inciting terrorism", Ilatov added.

Last local elections took place in 2012 in the West Bank only, which was a first in seven years.

But in an interview with Sky News, he warned Israel that there would be consequences if the prisoners' demands were ignored and their health deteriorated.

Librati said "we thought it's important for the public to see the behavior of the hunger strike leader", but he did not address the privacy issue.

Cabinet ministers have accused Barghouti of leading the hunger strike to bolster his political standing as a potential successor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

It claims the video shows Barghouti eating in his cell on two occasions in late April and May - unwrapping candies and biscuits and sneakily consuming them in the toilet of his cell.

Israel, however, has argued the prisons meet worldwide standards. Despite that, Barghouti remained politically active behind the bars.

"Israel will not give in to extortion and pressure from terrorists".

Organisers of the Red Carpet Human Rights Film Festival, running for the third time since 2015, say the goal is to raise awareness of hardship in the Gaza Strip, home to nearly two million Palestinians.

A few days into the hunger strike, which started on April 17, a group of Israeli settlers held a barbecue outside Ofer prison in an effort to taunt and demoralise the prisoners.

The Israel Prisons Service also did not comment on the claim, but Israeli officials have long rejected the idea of negotiating the strikers' terms of imprisonment.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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