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Palestinians in Israeli prisons begin hunger strike
20 April 2017, 10:20 | Terri Saunders
According to reports, he was transferred along with three other prisoners from Israel's Hadarim prison to Jalama prison, north of Jenin in an effort to thwart the ongoing hunger strike among almost 1000 Palestinian prisoners.
The Israel Prisons Service spokesman Assaf Librati said Barghouti had been transferred from Hadarim Prison to the Kishon Prison, near Haifa.
Just a day later, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan vowed not to negotiate with the protesting detainees, confirming the popular Palestinian leader had been moved to another prison and placed in solitary confinement.
More than 1,000 prisoners in six Israeli prisons have joined the strike, making it one of the largest in recent years.
The large-scale hunger strike began on Monday, with prisoners demanding improved conditions, including visits, medical treatment, and education.
Barghouti has been touted as a possible future successor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The protests led to clashes with Israeli forces.
A spokesperson for Israel's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday that the prisoners were not political prisoners, but "convicted murderers and terrorists".
The last mass hunger strike occurred in 2014, when hundreds of prisoners protested the use of administrative detention.
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Strikers have also said they want access to more television channels and compassionate release for disabled prisoners or those sufferings from chronic illnesses. "It is to be emphasized that the (prison service) does not negotiate with prisoners".
Israeli security forces have detained around one million Palestinians in the nearly 69 years since the Jewish state was established in 1948, Palestinian prisoner rights groups have said.
Some 6,500 Palestinians are now in Israeli jails. He also called on the human rights institutions to compel Israel - the occupying state - to respect global law, as well as exposing Israel's violations of the law in its prisons.
Despite recurrent infighting between Palestinian factions, prisoners from multiple groups, including Hamas and the Palestinian People's Party, are also taking part in the hunger strike. "Israel knew about this imminent strike and prepared itself so it would have what it calls "maximum stamina", Zalzberg said.
Barghouti, a leader of the 2000 Palestinian uprising, is serving five life terms after being convicted by an Israeli court of directing two shooting attacks and a bombing that killed five people, including three Israelis.
Palestinian families seeking to visit imprisoned relatives require permits to enter Israel, which are usually given selectively and declined during Israeli army border closings.
It quoted Erdan as saying that the demands regarding prisoners' conditions were unreasonable.
Abbas made no mention of Barghouti in his statement on WAFA.
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