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Prisoner hunger strike victory a 'turning point' for Palestinians

Marwan Barghouthi [AFP]

Date of publication: 31 May, 2017

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Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi says the 40-day Freedom and Dignity hunger strike united Palestinian prisoners while hoping that it would bring about national unity.

The 40-day Freedom and Dignity hunger strike was a “turning point” for Palestinian prisoners and will change the way Israelis treat Palestinian prisoners, Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi said in a statement on Monday.

“The prisoners were deprived of all sanitary and hygiene materials, turning their lives into hell and releasing shameful rumours and lies” during the hunger strike, Barghouthi said.

“Yet, the record of the prisoners has been one of unprecedented steadfastness and the Israeli repression failed to break their will,” he added.

Barghouthi described the hunger strike as “a turning point in the relationship between the prisoners and mechanisms of the prison administration” and that “from now on and after today, we will not allow any infringement upon the achievements and the rights of the prisoners.”

Read also: Palestinian hunger strikers - The frontline of an imprisoned nation

Barghouthi also said that the hunger strike united Palestinian prisoners while hoping that it would bring about national unity.

“This battle is also a force to rebuild and unify the prisoners’ movement in its various components, as a prelude to the formation of a unified national leadership in the coming few months.”

Barghouthi had also hailed those who were participating in the struggle.

“From this historical and heroic scene, I stand on record, and with great pride, saluting this great steadfastness of the hunger strikers. And I salute with great reverence the martyrs, their families, and all those who rose up, were wounded and detained in this battle of freedom and dignity for Palestine.”

Some 6,500 Palestinians are currently detained by Israel for a range of offences and alleged crimes. Around 500 are held under administrative detention, which allows imprisonment of suspects without charge.

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