Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians: 4 stone-throwers arrested

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Some 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel are expected to participate in a mass hunger strike on Monday to press for basic rights and shed light on the hard humanitarian conditions inside Israeli prisons.

Some 6,500 Palestinians are now detained by Israel for a range of offences and alleged crimes, and for many Palestinians the prisons themselves have become a stark symbol of Israel's occupation.

"As part of Israel's effort to undermine the Palestinian struggle for freedom, an Israeli court sentenced me to five life sentences and 40 years in prison in a political show trial that was denounced by worldwide observers", he asserts.

This hunger strike is the largest Palestinian prisoners have ever launched, said Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian politician and Vice President of Birzeit University. They were brought to justice and are treated properly under worldwide law."Palestinian officials said some 1,500 inmates affiliated with all political factions including rival Fatah and Hamas were taking part in the protest".

Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.

Many prisoners suffer from medical negligence in jails.

"The strike is a decision of the prisoners".

The prisoners' demands include more frequent family visits and easier access to telephones.

The NGO Palestinian Prisoners' Club said 1,500 people were taking part.

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Hana Herbst, a spokeswoman for the Israel Prison Service, said in a statement that striking prisoners were being transfered to separate cell blocks.

Al Jazeera reached out to the Israel Prison Service for comment but did not receive a response.

Palestinian families seeking to visit imprisoned relatives require permits to enter Israel, which are usually given selectively and declined during Israeli army border closings.

In an opinion piece in The New York Times on Monday, Barghouti said a strike was the only way to gain concessions after other options had failed. Although the campaign is led by Barghouti, a senior Fatah figure - who has been jailed since 2004 - prisoners belonging to other groups including Hamas and Islamic Jihad are supporting the strike.

He added that hundreds of detainees intend to join the strike in the coming few days.

According to Shakir, a mass hunger strike is an attempt by Palestinian prisoners to shed light on such practices that raise serious questions about Israel's policies under global law.

Palestinians consider those held in Israeli jails as national heroes.

Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts have been at a standstill since a US-led initiative collapsed three years ago.

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