Palestinians celebrate after prisoners ended 40-day hunger strike

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A mass hunger strike staged by Palestinian prisoners over conditions in Israeli jails was suspended on Saturday after a deal with Israel, A prisoner officials – Issa Karaka, Chairman of Prisoners’ Affairs at the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) said.

About 1,500 inmates launched the action on April 17, in one of the largest such strikes.

The 40-day hunger strike raised tensions with Israel as protests in support of the strikers spilled over into clashes in the occupied West Bank and along the Israel-Gaza border.

More than 800 prisoners, who had stuck with the hunger strike until Saturday, ended it after talks held with the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Palestinian Authority concluded in an agreement with Israel, allowing prisoners to receive two visitors per month.

The strike was called by Marwan Barghouti, the most high-profile Palestinian jailed in Israel, to protest against solitary confinement and an Israeli practice of detention without trial that has been applied to thousands of prisoners since the 1980s.

Other demands included longer and more regular family visits, landlines installed in prisons and better healthcare.

Palestinian activists hailed the deal as a victory for the hunger strikers.
However, The Israeli Prisons Service did not initially divulge the full details of the agreement.

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