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Officials say 60 hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners hospitalised

Officials say Palestinian prisoners on an ongoing hunger strike were brought to hospital on Wednesday due to deteriorating health conditions.

Iaraeli and Palestinian officials said 60 prisoners were transferred to the hospital.

The Palestinian prisoners’ committee said, while dozens have been transferred over the past few days, though the group declined to give a specific number.

The health situation for some of the 1,000 prisoners who have been on hunger strike against the conditions in Israeli jails for more than a month has become dire, the committee said, quoting their lawyers.

An Israel Prison Service spokeswoman said that around 140 prisoners were brought to hospital for examination on Wednesday due to their deteriorating condition, of whom nine had to remain in hospital.

Hundreds of Palestinian security prisoners declared an indefinite hunger strike on April 17 to protest grievances including medical negligence, administrative detention and limited family visits.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had used his meeting with US President Donald Trump in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Tuesday to call on Israel to meet the prisoners’ demands.

Protesters had gathered in Bethlehem’s Manger Square on Tuesday in support of the prisoners, and a letter from the prisoners’ families was reportedly given to Trump during the visit.

On Monday, dozens of Palestinians across the West Bank were injured in clashes with Israeli security forces while rallying in support of the prisoners, and a general strike in solidarity shut down businesses, stopped public transportation and closed schools.

The strike was called by imprisoned Fatah party leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life terms for his involvement in the killing of Israelis earlier this century.

Israel passed a highly controversial law in July that allows prison authorities to request court permission to force-feed a prisoner.

The law has been vehemently condemned by doctors and human rights groups.


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