[QODLink]
Middle East

Strike in Jerusalem over jailed Palestinians

Shops in Arab-dominated East Jerusalem shut in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners in Israeli jails.

Last updated: 12 Jun 2014 14:08
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The Palestinian leadership has called for international intervention over the hunger strike [EPA]

Shops in occupied East Jerusalem have downed their shutters in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, many of whom have been in hospital.

Business owners closed their shops on Thursday in the normally bustling Old City in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, an AFP news agency correspondent said, to observe a strike called by an umbrella group of various political parties and factions.

The Palestinian National and Islamic Forces said there would be a demonstration in the evening outside the offices of the Red Cross, also in East Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, the Palestinian leadership called for international intervention over the hunger strike, asking that Israel be held responsible for the health of the prisoners.

A letter addressed to the UN Security Council and the European Union, signed by senior Palestinian figure Saeb Erakat, said more than 400 prisoners had joined the strike, of whom approximately 130 had been refusing food for more than six weeks.

"We call on you to call on Israel to annul the policy of administrative detention and to condition deepening your bilateral ties with Israel pending Israel's fulfilment of all its obligations," he wrote in English.

Force-feeding inmates

Most of the strikers are administrative detainees who are being held without charge for indefinitely renewable six-month periods in a procedure dating back to the British Mandate (1920-1948).

Sivan Weizman, a spokeswoman for the Israel prisons service, told AFP on Thursday that the current hunger strike was the longest staged by Palestinian detainees so far.

In contrast to Erakat's claim, she said 250 inmates were refusing food, of whom 80 were being treated in hospital.

Earlier this week, the Israeli parliament approved the first reading of a bill to enable doctors to force feed hunger strikers.

It must pass two more readings before becoming law.

Some 5,000 Palestinians are being held in Israeli jails, with nearly 200 in administrative detention.

308

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
join our mailing list