The New York Times Takes Heat over Terrorist's Op-Ed


The prisoners are also demanding the abolition of Israel's detention without trial provision.

The hunger strike is a way of "bringing prisoners closer to their basic rights and demands and preventing the occupation from harming the dignity of the Palestinian prisoners", he said in a statement. Many Palestinians see Barghouti as a potential future leader of the Palestinian Authority, despite his prison sentence.

The hunger strike actions are a continuation of global calls, including those made by the United Nations, for Israel to end its apartheid-style occupation of the Palestinian territories and its ongoing subjugation of Palestinians.

In the West Bank and Gaza on Monday thousands of people took part in solidarity marches to mark Prisoners' Day in the Palestinian areas. In 2011, Israel swapped more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for an Israeli soldier who had been held by Hamas for five years.

In his Op-Ed, Barghouti wrote: "Israel has established a dual legal regime, a form of judicial apartheid, that provides virtual impunity for Israelis who commit crimes against Palestinians, while criminalizing Palestinian presence and resistance".

Other requirements include installing air condition systems, allowing prisoners to keep books, newspapers, clothes, and food, as well as stopping administrative detentions, an indefinable incarceration without charges for renewable periods of six months, and solitary containment.

The latest strike is ostensibly an attempt to pressure Israel into improving the conditions for Palestinian prisoners.

Israeli public radio reported that Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan had described the demands as "unreasonable".

Mr Erdan said a field hospital would be erected next to one prison - an apparent move to preempt transfers to civilian medical facilities, which could draw wider media attention.

The strike was called by imprisoned Fatah party leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life terms for his involvement in the killing of Israelis during the second Intifada in the early 2000s.

It also stated that "in accordance with the policy set by the minister of public security, the Prison Service does not negotiate with the prisoners". According to the BBC, while Palestinians regard these protestors as political prisoners, Israel prefers to view them as terrorists.

Israeli authorities have arrested about one million Palestinians since 1948 and the subsequent occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in 1967.

Instead, though, Israel's prisons have become the cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination.

Librati stated that prison officials will be updating numbers later in the day as some prisoners "said they would only observe a symbolic protest strike and then resume eating afterwards".