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Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Entertainment | By Alexander Flowers

Palestinians slam Israel for refusing talks with hunger strikers

Palestinians slam Israel for refusing talks with hunger strikers

They called for tough punishments for the protesting Palestinians, including worsening their conditions.

Summary⎙ Print Many Palestinian prisoners in Israel have hesitated to join the hunger strike championed by Fatah leader Marwan Bargouti because they doubt Barghouti is motivated by concern for their welfare.

Meanwhile, Agence France Press reported that several dozen Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli occupation forces Thursday outside Ofer, confirming reports of the group of Israeli hardliners that sought to taunt prisoners by barbecuing.

Barghouti is popular among Palestinians, with polls suggesting he could win the Palestinian presidency.

On Sunday, Marwan Barghouti published an op-ed in the New York Times. He said he organized the hunger strike to fight back, after exhausting all other options.

Israel's foreign ministry went even further, stating that "the Palestinian prisoners are not political prisoners. Some have been killed while in detention", he wrote.

Israeli officials have said that they will not negotiate with the hunger strikers, while Palestinian leaders within the Palestinian Authority have threatened a renewed Intifada in the event that any hunger strikers die. The prison service did not confirm Mr Qarage's figure.

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Bourghouti's rise to power would also anger the PLO's Israeli negotiating partners, many of whom have denounced him as a terrorist and incapable of ever being a partner for peace.

"These are terrorists and incarcerated murderers who are getting exactly what the global law requires", he told Israel's Army Radio. "They were brought to justice and are treated properly under worldwide law". It will create a wider radicalization within the Palestinian political arena, and undermine any politicians who take a more moderate tone while perhaps undermining Fatah itself in relation to Hamas. While the sense of gloomy fatalism that enveloped the Palestinian leadership at Trump's election may have dissipated given his apparent willingness to push Netanyahu and the Israeli government on settlements and Jason Greenblatt's praiseworthy performance in the region last month, it does not mean that Abbas is going to suddenly give Trump anything he wants.

Some 6,500 Palestinians are now detained by Israel for a range of offences and alleged crimes.

Yediot Acharonot reported that the terrorists have 13 demands, including better and more food, more visits with relatives, and more visits from worldwide medical groups like the Red Cross, which the terrorists are demanding be allowed to visit them twice a month.

Palestinians consider brethren held in Israeli jails as national heroes.

Issa Qaraqe, head of prisoner affairs for the Palestinian Authority, said that around 1,300 prisoners were on hunger strike and the number could rise.

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