Palestinians say dozens wounded at protests for prisoners

Islamic Jihad Movement leader Ahmad Al Mudallal addresses the crowd in Gaza City Gaza

Islamic Jihad Movement leader Ahmad Al Mudallal addresses the crowd in Gaza City Gaza

The Palestinian Embassy has opened a support-and-solidarity book for well-wishers and supporters of peace and global justice to express their solidarity with more than 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners now on hunger strike in Israeli jails, an embassy statement said.

Palestinians from across the West Bank staged marches and demonstrations on Friday to show solidarity with hundreds of jailed Palestinians who have remained on hunger strike for the past 11 days.

Qaraqe added that prisoners were now entering a critical stage of the strike, which has become unsafe to the lives of the prisoners, particularly the elderly and sick.

Separately, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visited a solidarity tent Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank.

Stores were closed and roads empty across the West Bank, the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel for 50 years.

"The United Nations should not remain silent about Israeli violations against prisoners and Palestinian people", the prime minster said.

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The widely observed strike in the West Bank and east Jerusalem reflects the Palestinian consensus on prisoners.

Palestinian defence sources said that Israel has signalled that if PA forces refuse to stop protesters that the Day of Rage could turn into "Bloody Friday", Al-Monitor reported.

Palestinian officials says some 1,500 Palestinian prisoners were ingesting only water and salt.

In the 1980s, Israel practised force-feeding of hunger strikers in order to coerce them to end their hunger strikes without any legislation to regulate this measure and consequently several prisoners died when the feeding tubes entered their lungs instead of their stomachs.

The protest has led to a new social media campaign, called #saltwaterchallenge or #تحدي_مي_وملح, where supporters drink a glass of saltwater on camera in support of the prisoners' protest. Many are also imprisoned under a controversial administrative detention law, which allows Palestinians to be held without charge.

Palestinian prisoners have mounted repeated hunger strikes, but rarely on such a scale.

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