Palestinian security prisoners held in Israel have launched a hunger strike on Tuesday as 2,300 inmates returned their meals to the guards. Some 1,200 prisoners declared a hunger strike and the Prison Service (IPS) is taking steps to deny them of various privileges.
They were joined by eight foreign activists who arrived in Israel as part of the pro-Palestinian fly-in earlier this week. The women, who are held at the Givon Prison, said they will refuse food as an act of solidarity with the Palestinians.
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Some 2,300 out of 4,500 Palestinian security prisoners said they will return all meals served on Tuesday. Half of them said they were on hunger strike until further notice.
The strike began on Palestinian Prisoner Day, after the IPS rejected the inmates' requests for various benefits. The inmates are demanding that their leaders be taken out of isolation, access to more TV channels, higher education and more.
The IPS addresses hunger strikes only after inmates have refused food for the second day in a row and in response clean their cells of various food items, TV screens, radios and hot plates.
The IPS is estimating that many of the prisoners will stop their hunger strike on Wednesday. A special team will be on contact with the protest leaders but the IPS stressed there will be no negotiations. The protest leaders declared this will be the most determined hunger strike in decades.
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