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Fifty Palestinians held by Israel launched an open-ended hunger strike Thursday to protest recent moves by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) to reduce monthly stipends paid out to prisoners and their families.
Axar.az reports citing Daily Sabah.
“Fifty inmates in Israeli prisons have launched a hunger strike in solidarity with former detainees in Ramallah who are now protesting the stipend cuts,” Mansour Shamasneh, a spokesperson for detained and formerly detained Palestinians, said at a press conference.
For the last 46 days, dozens of former Palestinian prisoners have been holding a sit-in in the West Bank city of Ramallah -- the PA’s administrative capital -- to protest the recent stipend reductions.
“The PA continues to cut stipends [for prisoners] and public-sector salaries, depriving us and our families of our most basic needs,” Shamasneh said.
According to Shamasneh, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with a Hamas delegation last week in Ramallah to discuss the issue.
“The meeting was positive,” Shamasneh told. “Abbas promised to quickly resolve the issue.”
“Until that happens, however, we will continue our sit-in in Ramallah,” he added.
Shamasneh also said that a delegation of ex-detainees had met Thursday with officials from the Palestinian Preventive Security (PPS) apparatus and Palestinian military intelligence, with whom they “exchanged views” on the stipend issue.
“The meeting was positive, but we only heard promises that have yet to be implemented,” he said.
Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chairman of Palestinian movement Fatah (which leads the PA), told Anadolu Agency that dialog would remain ongoing in the days ahead with a view to resolving the crisis.
In May, the PA reduced monthly stipends handed out to roughly 300 Palestinians who were released by Israel in a 2011 prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas.
About 50 of those released in 2011, however, have been re-arrested by Israel over the past three years.
The Israeli government has long accused the PA of “encouraging terrorism” by paying stipends out to ex-detainees and their families.
2017.08.03 / 20:59