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At least 65 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows Palestinian prisoners at the Israeli Megiddo prison.

At least 65 Palestinian prisoners have reportedly gone on hunger strike at detention facilities in the occupied territories in a show of protest at the Tel Aviv regime’s practice of administrative detention and to express solidarity with a fellow inmate.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said in a statement on Sunday that 60 prisoners affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) have refused to take their meals at Megiddo prison in northern Israel.

The PPS added that five other prisoners have also gone on hunger strike at the Gilboa prison, noting that more prisoners will join them within the next few days.

The hunger strike came in opposition to Israeli authorities’ decision on June 13 to order Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayed to six months in administrative detention without any charge or trial.

Kayed was arrested in 2001 and spent 14 and a half years of imprisonment in Israeli jails.

Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayed

The 34-year-old was repeatedly denied family visits, and was subject to solitary confinement. He has staged multiple hunger strikes — the most recent one last February, when he protested against his isolation in Ashkelon prison.

There are reportedly more than 6,500 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, which is a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.

Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years.

The Palestinian inmates regularly hold hunger strikes in protest at the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions.

Israeli forces detain 14 Palestinians in West Bank

Meanwhile, Israeli military forces have arrested 14 Palestinians in separate overnight raids on a number of houses across the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israeli soldiers detained six Palestinians in the southern West Bank city of Hebron (al-Khalil), situated 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of al-Quds (Jerusalem) early on Monday.

Two brothers, identified as Mohammed Taha and Rani al-Haymoni, were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets during their arrest. 

This file photo shows Israeli military forces arresting a young Palestinian man during clashes in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli forces also arrested two young Palestinian men, including a minor, as they raided and violently ransacked a number of Palestinian homes in the city of Bethlehem, which lies about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) south of al-Quds. Other Palestinians were arrested in Ramallah and Nablus.

Tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories have escalated over the past weeks. In August, the Israeli regime imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Palestinians are angry at increasing violence by Israeli settlers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and their attacks on Palestinian properties, saying that the Tel Aviv regime seeks to change the status quo of the compound.

At least 213 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in what is regarded as the third Palestinian Intifada (uprising) since the beginning of last October.

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