[Ppnews] Hundreds protest across West Bank to support hunger strikers
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 15 11:05:28 EST 2013
*Hundreds protest across West Bank to support hunger strikers*
Published today (updated) 15/02/2013 16:18
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Palestinians protested across the West
Bank on Friday in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike, sparking
clashes with Israeli forces.
Outside Israel's Ofer jail, near Ramallah, hundreds gathered in
solidarity with Samer Issawi, who has been on hunger strike for 198
days, and Tareq Qaadan and Jaafar Azzidine who have refused food for 80
Palestinian youths threw stones at Israeli forces, and soldiers
attempted to push back the crowds, a Ma'an reporter said. Medics said
156 Palestinians were treated for tear gas inhalation.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces were responding to
stone-throwing with riot dispersal means.
Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghouthi, Palestinian Knesset member Ahmad Tibi
and Islamic Movement in Israel leader Shiekh Raed Salah attended Friday
prayers outside the jail.
Barghouthi said around 1,000 Palestinians had gathered to show support
to the Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli jails.
Near Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, protesters raised Palestinian
flags at the entrance to Efrat settlement.
Israeli forces assaulted journalists Samer Hamad, Ahmad Mizher and Ma'an
cameraman Luai Sababa. Activists Moath al-Laham, Mahmud Alaa al-Din and
Marwan Hamoud were also attacked by Israeli soldiers.
Clashes also erupted between demonstrators and Israeli forces at a
protest in support of prisoners at Jalama checkpoint, in Jenin in the
northern West Bank.
A Palestinian was hit by an Israeli military vehicle and then detained
at the protest, a Ma'an reporter said. An Israeli military spokeswoman
was not familiar with the incident but said 150 Palestinians were
"rioting" at the checkpoint and hurling rocks at soldiers.
She said soldiers responded with riot dispersal means.
*'Release all prisoners'*
In al-Bireh, near Ramallah, President Mahmoud Abbas visited a solidarity
tent to support the hunger strikers.
"As our dream of a state came true, I promise you the release all
prisoners from the Israeli jails," the president said.
He called for previous agreements with Israel to be implemented
regarding prisoners, and called on Arab countries to help pressure Israel.
The issue of prisoners is the most important part of the Palestinian
cause, Abbas said.
Issawi, Qaadan and Azzidine are being held in administrative detention,
without charge or trial, in Israel's Ramle prison.
Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqe warned
Wednesday that the hunger strikes were "a countdown to disaster."
"We are living in very dangerous moments, and we expect that any one of
the hunger strikers may die at any moment amid global silence," Qaraqe
said at a meeting with UN officials in Ramallah.
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