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Middle East

1,500 Palestinian detainees on hunger strike: NGO

Israeli soldiers detain a protester during a demonstration by Palestinians protesting against the Israeli-built West Bank separation barrier and calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees, in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, Saturday, May 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

RAMALLAH: The number of Palestinian detainees on hunger strike in Israeli jails reached 1,500 Sunday, a Palestinian NGO said.

"More non-administrative detainees have joined the hunger strike in solidarity with administrative detainees, bringing the total number of striking detainees to 1,500," the Prisoners' Club said in a statement.

Some 120 Palestinian administrative detainees launched a hunger strike on April 24 to protest their continued detention without trial by Israeli authorities.

Administrative detention orders can range from one to six months in length and can be extended by up to five years by Israeli military courts.

The striking administrative detainees have since been joined by hundreds of non-administrative detainees as a sign of solidarity.

The NGO said Israeli occupation authorities and the striking detainees have not engaged in serious dialogue so far, even as the health conditions of these detainees continue to deteriorate.

Around 5,000 Palestinians continue to languish in more than 20 detention facilities throughout Israel, according to a report by the Prisoners Center for Studies and Research, a Palestinian NGO.

These include 200 minors and 19 female prisoners, the report said.

 

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