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Palestinian prisoners end their 40-day hunger strike

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who were jailed in Israeli jails have ended their hunger strike after 40 days. The hunger strike was called off ahead of the start of the holy month of Ramzan. It took 20 hours of intense discussions to convince the prisoners to end their strike. One of the demands of the prisoners, that there should be an additional visiting day for family members, has been accepted by the Israel Prison Service. The hunger strike began on April 17, which is knows as Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. More than 1600 prisoners participated in the hunger strike at the beginning of the strike. However, only 834 prisoners were able to continue their strike for the full 40 days. The rest gave up due to sickness or their inability to handle their hunger. The ones who fasted for the full 40 days survived on just water and salt.

Marwan Barghouti is the main leader who was leading the strike and he is considered to be the successor of the Palestinian Authority. He had termed the strike as the “freedom and dignity” strike. The strike was backed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi. Sources said that this is the longest hunger strike ever staged by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

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