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Jordanians stage rally in support of Palestinian inmates on hunger strike

Demonstrators gather during a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in the Jordanian capital city of Amman on May 5, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Hundreds of people have staged a rally in Jordan to express solidarity with hundreds of Palestinians who have stopped eating their food portions in Israeli jails in protest at the administrative detention policy and harsh prison conditions.

The protesters marched through a street in downtown Amman, holding up a sign reading “In Support of the Brave Prisoners” in Arabic. Member of parliament Deema Tahboub was among the marchers.

“Our message is that we stand with the prisoners' movement. The Palestinian cause is the only just cause in the world that no one can disagree with. We support the prisoners in all their demands, and we hope this movement will lead to the liberation of all the prisoners in the occupied territories,” demonstrator Ghada Amar said.

Tahboub said, “This is a march in solidarity with the prisoners in Israeli jails. We send a message of solidarity from Amman; we call on the international community to stand beside the prisoners for ... [defending] their human rights. You can see that all the people here amassed for one and only reason. We call for the support of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and for them to have their basic human rights.”

The development came on the same day that the Palestinian Prisoners' Society (PPS) announced that more Palestinians in the Israeli-run Ofer prison near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah have launched an open-ended hunger strike.

Israel preparing to force-feed hunger strikers

Meanwhile, the Israeli regime is reportedly preparing to coerce hundreds of the Palestinian hunger strikers to end their protest by force-feeding them.

The Israeli Health Ministry has ordered hospitals to get ready to receive hundreds of hunger strikers. The ministry said hospitals should force prisoners to take medicines or nutrients if they are in a life-threatening condition or risk permanent disabilities.

More than 1,600 Palestinian prisoners have joined the protest action dubbed the Freedom and Dignity Strike since April 17, which was initially called by imprisoned and former Fatah movement leader Marwan Barghouti.

The strikers are demanding basic rights, such as an end to the policies of administrative detention, solitary confinement and deliberate medical negligence.

The much criticized administrative detention is a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge. Back in 2012, a similar hunger strike, involving some 2,000 Palestinian inmates, ended after an agreement was reached with Israeli authorities to terminate the policy of internment without trial or charge.

Nearly 700 prisoners are currently held in administrative detention. Some of the inmates have been held in prison under the policy for up to 11 years.

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

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