Mass hunger strike begins in Israel jails

Hundreds of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons have gone on hunger strike, expected to be joined by hundreds of more inmates.

Hundreds of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons have gone on hunger strike in one of the biggest actions of its kind and are expected to be joined by hundreds of more inmates.

At least 1,500 prisoners started a mass hunger strike on Monday, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club. The number was expected to soon rise to 2,000.

The head of the prisoner’s affairs for the Palestinian Authority, Issa Qaraqe, said the number would rise.

The prisoners have gone on the hunger strike to protest the harsh conditions of captivity. They demand the family visitations, the installation of public telephones in all prisons to allow communication with relatives, and health care.

Some prisoners have also said they were being denied water during illnesses.

The long-planned strike, which is led by a jailed leader of the Fatah Movement, Marwan Barghouti, coincided with the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, annually commemorated on April 17.