No talks with Palestinian inmates on hunger strike

While Palestinian prisoners have mounted hunger strikes before, it has rarely on such a large scale.

Israeli troops and settlers pulled out of the Gaza Strip, now run by Hamas Islamists, in 2005, but peace talks on the creation of a Palestinian state collapsed with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2014.

Marking Palestinian Prisoners' Day, the organisation said that Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails "suffer violations classified as war crimes that need an International Criminal Court ruling".

The prisoners seek better conditions, including more contact with relatives, and an end to detention without trials by the Israeli occupation regime.

Prison officials have been ordered by the nation's government to instill "punitive measures", as it were, in order to pressure the Palestinians to give up their strike.

They said some 6,500 Palestinians are now in Israeli lockups.

The former leader of Fatah's armed wing, Tanzim and the founder of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a Fatah terror group, orchestrated the strike in what is being called the "Freedom and Dignity" strike, demanding better conditions in Israeli prisons. Several hundred are being detained without charges.

In his opinion piece in the Times, Barghouti said a strike was the only way to gain concessions after other options had failed. Polls suggest that the 58-year-old Barghouti is the most popular choice among Palestinians to succeed the 82-year-old Abbas.

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Furthermore, Israeli has moved at least 35 detainees from Section 11 to Section 13, in Nafha Israeli prison, in addition to transferring what it regards as "strike leaders" to various other prisons, and forced many of them into solitary confinement.

As over 1,500 Palestinian prisoners launch a collective hunger strike on Palestinian Prisoners' Day, Palestinian prisoners, political organizations and social movements have issued statements and positions on the strike.

In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Barghouti's wife, Fadwa, joined about 1,500 marchers.

Hana Herbst, a spokeswoman for the Israel Prison Service, said in a statement that striking prisoners were being transfered to separate cell blocks.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the hunger strikers "are terrorists and incarcerated murderers who are getting what they deserve and we have no reason to negotiate with them". Benjamin Netanyahu is said to be fully willing to wait the situation out, whether it results in the prisoners changing their mind or dying the hard way.

The Israel Prison Service was not immediately available to respond to Barghouti's accusation.

Erdan says the prisoners receive all privileges required by global law.