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At least 120 Palestinian prisoners launch hunger strike to protest Israeli repressive measures

The file photo shows Palestinian prisoners in the yard of Israel's Megiddo prison. (Photo by AFP)

At least 120 Palestinian inmates in an Israeli jail have continued their open-ended hunger strike for the second consecutive day in protest against the regime’s repressive measures, a Palestinian prisoners advocacy group has said.

In a statement released on Monday, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said the Palestinian political prisoners started the mass strike to protest against the inhumane conditions’ at Israel’s notorious Negev Prison.

The commission said the inmates announced their decision to launch a hunger strike in response to the new repressive measures imposed on them by Israeli prison authorities.

“The protest step constitutes a response to the repressive measures practiced against Palestinian prisoners in sections 26, 27, and 8 in Negev prison,” the PPS said, adding that the Israeli prison service isolated the prisoners and deprived them of their basic human needs.

The development came after Israeli forces stormed several sections in Megiddo, Ofer, and Negev desert prisons on Saturday, attacking Palestinian prisoners and placing a group of them in solitary confinement.

Meanwhile, Palestinian political prisoners are refusing to exit their cells in several Israeli jails following a decision to transfer a female prisoner, who is affiliated with the Islamic Jihad resistance movement, to solitary confinement in Damon prison.

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are held under administrative detention, in which Israel keeps the detainees without charge for up to six months, a period which can be extended an infinite number of times.

The detention takes place on orders from a military commander and on the basis of what the Israeli regime describes as ‘secret’ evidence. Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.

Rights groups describe Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to end this move.

There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express outrage at the illegal detentions.

Israeli jail authorities keep Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions without proper hygienic standards. Palestinian inmates have also been subject to systematic torture, harassment, and repression.

Hamas reacts to US Secretary of State’s visit

In a separate development, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas condemned US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to the occupied al-Quds, saying the trip will increase Washington’s support for the Israeli regime.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif al-Qanoa said Blinken’s trip is a cover for the new extremist Israeli cabinet to advance its “criminal” policies and escalate its aggression against Palestinians and their holy sites.

The remarks come as Palestinians living in Jabel al-Mukaber neighborhood in southern East al-Quds have gone on a strike in protest against the Israeli military’s recent raids on the area and the destruction of Palestinian homes.

The Tel Aviv regime regularly flattens Palestinian homes and structures in al-Quds under the pretext that they lack building permits.

However, Palestinians and rights groups say the moves are aimed at seizing more Palestinian lands to expand Israeli settlements.

Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds. The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian lands.

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