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Palestinian Prisoners Continue Hunger Strike despite Grave Health Conditions.

Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Palestinian prisoners continued their hunger strike even after the country's envoy to the UN said a dozen of them have been hospitalized due to their grave health conditions.

In a letter to the UN Security Council, Riyad Mansour said the health condition of several other prisoners, on hunger strike for between 59 and 67 days, is at risk.

About 1,550 Palestinian prisoners are now on hunger strike in Israeli jails in protest at their detention.

Mansour noted that prisoners Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla - who have been on hunger strike for more than 65 days - are now in a "grave condition."

Both hunger strikers "are suffering life-threatening conditions, including severe weight loss, nerve damage, dehydration, decreased muscle tone and low blood pressure," the envoy wrote.

Meantime, a senior member of Hamas movement on Friday warned Israel there would be consequences if any of the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike dies in jail.

"You (Israelis) must realize that the hunger strike isn't a party, and we could be surprised by the death of some of them," Khalil al-Haya said.

"If that happens, you can expect both the expected and the unexpected from us," he said.

The Islamic Jihad, too, has threatened that it will no longer observe a truce with Israel if one of the hunger-strikers dies.

Rallies in solidarity with the prisoners were staged on Friday across the Palestinian territories,

Prisoners advocacy groups said Palestinian prisoners started an open hunger strike on April 17, Prisoner Day, demanding an end to holding prisoners in solitary confinement, some of whom have spent 10 years in isolation.

The prisoners demand an end to Israel's practice of administrative detention, under which 322 Palestinians are currently detained; a repeal of a series of punitive measures taken against Palestinian prisoners following the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, including the denial of family visits for all Gaza prisoners since 2007 and denial of access to university education since June 2011.

The administrative detention rules allow the Israeli forces to arrest and incarcerate Palestinians without charge or trial.

In reply, Israeli prison guards attacked Palestinian prisoners in an attempt to force the inmates to break their hunger strike.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Date:May 5, 2012
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