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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike may be ending

Tags: Israel
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Palestinian protesters burn tires and throw rocks during clashes with Israeli security officers at a demonstration held in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, outside Ofer prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah. [Flash90 photo]

JERUSALEM — It’s unclear whether a deal to end the hunger strike of at least 1,400 Palestinian prisoners is near completion.

Unnamed Palestinian officials told Reuters Monday that Egypt had finished brokering a deal that would bring the hunger strike to an end. Rumours about the deal had been circulating over the weekend.

The prisoners and Israeli officials must now hammer out some specific details, according to Reuters.

But Israeli sources reportedly told Ynet Monday that no agreement had been reached.

Some 1,400 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are on an open-ended hunger strike launched more than three weeks ago. They are calling for an end to solitary confinement and isolation; permitting families of prisoners from the Gaza Strip to visit their loved ones; and allowing prisoners to have newspapers, learning materials and specific television channels. The strike is also protesting administrative detention. A prisoner can be held in administrative detention without charges being brought, for up to four months. The detention can also be renewed.

Ten of the hunger strikers are reportedly under hospital supervision.

Two of the hunger strikers – Bilal Diab, 27, of Jenin, and Thaer Halahla, 33, of Hebron, who are both members of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization – have been on a hunger strike for more than 70 days, placing their lives in danger.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have threatened consequences if any of the hunger strikers die.

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