World Bulletin / News Desk
Palestinian political factions and civil society groups organized mass rallies on Friday in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip to express solidarity with scores of Palestinians in Israeli prisons who have been on hunger strike for over two weeks.
Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated in Ramallah and other West Bank cities to mark the 16th day of an open-ended hunger strike staged by 120 administrative detainees in Israeli custody.
"The prisoners' cause unites the Palestinian people," Hassan Youssef, a member of the Gaza-based Hamas movement, told Anadolu Agency at the demonstration.
"We're marching today to demand an end of [the Israeli practice of] administrative detention and to show solidarity with the detainees' legitimate rights," Youssef said.
Administrative detention is an Israeli policy by which Palestinians are held without trial, usually for reasons related to "security."
Administrative detention orders range from one to six months and can be extended by up to five years by Israeli military courts.
Hamas, which rules the besieged Gaza Strip, organized a hundreds-strong march in the coastal enclave on Friday to show support for the prisoners' cause.
Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and several other Hamas figures took part in Friday's march.
"Through their hunger strike, the detainees are attempting to win back their freedom and stop arbitrary detentions," said Abdel-Rahman Shadid, a spokesman for the detainees, who read out a statement on their behalf at the march.
Shadid went on to urge Arab, Muslim and international organizations to "move swiftly" to pressure Israel to free the detainees and end its policy of administration detention.
Around 5000 Palestinians continue to languish in more than 20 Israeli detention facilities, according to a recent report by the Prisoners Center for Studies and Research, a Palestinian NGO.
They include 200 minors and 19 women, the report said.Last Mod: 09 Mayıs 2014, 17:58