Palestinians injured in West Bank clashes with Israeli troops

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In Bethlehem city, hundreds of Palestinians, including representatives of various factions, unions and students blocks, marched towards the solidarity tent at the Manger Square and Al-Manara junction, while carrying flags, posters of the detainees and signs calling for immediate and unconditional release.

Head of the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe said on Wednesday that IPS forces had "continued to escalate punitive measures" against prisoners, which started on the first day of the strike, with IPS forces transferring prisoners and leaders of the strike to solitary confinement, and preventing lawyers from visiting prisoners, particularly sick prisoners. She gave no other details.

Palestinians say between 1,300 and 1,500 prisoners have been on a hunger strike for 12 days demanding better conditions.

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The prisoners have refused to eat food until their demands are met and they are only consuming salt water as a means to steady their health. Israeli authorities have put the number of the hunger strikers at 1,200.

Ali was on board the Mavi Marmara, part of a flotilla which was challenging an Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip when it was intercepted by the Israeli Defence Forces in May 2010, the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

The Freedom and Dignity strike entered its thirteenth day on Saturday, with more than 1500 Palestinian prisoners in have been going ahead with their hunger strike, amid a continued Israeli crackdown on prisoners and Palestinians voicing solidarity with them as well.

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While Israel views Barghouti as a security threat, opinion polls have consistently shown him to be the most popular choice among Palestinians to succeed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Some 6,500 Palestinians are now detained by Israel for a range of offences and alleged crimes. Around 500 are held under administrative detention, which allows imprisonment without charge.

According to Mishaal, the mass hunger strike is an appeal for the concerned bodies to take up their duties vis-à-vis the prisoners' cause.

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