Mass Palestinian hunger strike claims first victim

West Bank: A young Palestinian man becomes the first victim of an open-ended mass hunger strike by Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails as well as their supporters in the occupied West Bank.

The 30-year-old victim from the city of Ramallah, identified as Mazan al-Maghrebi, passed away at his home in Ramallah on Monday due to a kidney disease after joining the hunger strike in protest at the inhumane treatment of Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons, Saba news agency reported.

More than 1,600 Palestinian prisoners have joined the protest action dubbed the Freedom and Dignity Strike since April 17 which was initially called by former Fatah movement leader, Marwan Barghouti, to protest conditions in Israeli regime’s prisons.

Meanwhile, the media committee of the hunger strike announced on Sunday that several of the hunger-striking inmates had lost 10 kilograms of their weight, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.

A number of the hunger strikers held in the Israeli Ofer prison are suffering from low blood pressure, severe headaches as well as stomach and joint problems, according to the report.

It further noted that the Israeli authorities do not allow the Palestinian prisoners to drink cool water and instead force them to drink warm water.

Ma’an also reported on Monday that a hunger-striking inmate identified as Ayman Bisharat, who was released from prison on Sunday evening after being held captive by the regime for 16 years, told crowds in his hometown of Tammun in the Tubas district of the occupied West Bank that the health of the hunger strikers was deteriorating.

He held the Tel Aviv regime responsible for the well-being of the hunger-striking protesters.

Bisharat, however, insisted that the hunger strikers remained in high spirits and were determined to achieve their goals, calling on the world to support their “heroic” struggle.

According to January figures provided by the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, nearly 6,500 Palestinians are held captive in Israeli jails, 536 of them without charge or trial.

Palestinian prisoners have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in efforts to voice their outrage at the Israeli regime’s policy of enforcing administrative detentions, which amounts to jailing Palestinians for up to six months without charge or trial.

Palestinian inmates complain that they are often subjected to assault and torture inside Israeli prisons.

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