Hundreds Protest in Israel, West Bank in Support of Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike

Violent clashes between protesters and police in Silwan

A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to hurl stones towards Israeli security forces during clashes following a demonstration in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on April 21, 2017.
MUSA AL SHAER/AFP

Hundreds participated in protests on Saturday across the West Bank and Israel in support of Palestinian inmates on hunger strike in Israeli prisons. 

Clashes with police broke out at one such protest in Silwan, in East Jerusalem. Meanwhile, protesters in Qalandiyah, in the West Bank, lit torches in support of the prisoners.

A protest was also held in the southern Israeli city of Be'er Sheva, organized by the Islamic Movement, while dozens more gathered outside Gilboa prison.

Family members of the prisoners from the areas of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights participated in the protests and the organizers, some of whom were former prisoners themselves, vowed to continue working as activists in support of the hunger strikers.

In the city of Araba in the southern Galilee region, a tent was erected on Friday in support of the prisoners, organized by the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee. The pitching of the tent coincided an event in support of Lina al-Jarbouni, a prisoner who was released after 15 years in jail for security-related crimes during the Second intifada.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Prisoner Club filed a complaint Saturday with prosecutors and the Israel Prison Service, saying that the Prison Service is still preventing the club's lawyers from visiting prisoners on hunger strike despite that fact that a few private lawyers reported that they visited some of the inmates.

Haaretz was told that the prison service is opposed to the visits of some lawyers, fearing that they would pass information.