Palestinian prisoners hold solidarity hunger strike on ‘Catastrophe Day’

Ben Sales

(JTA) — Several hundred Palestinian prisoners in Israel went on a one-day hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners who have refused food for three weeks.

Wednesday’s strike comes on the Gregorian anniversary of Israel’s Independence Day, which Palestinians observe as Nakba Day, or “the catastrophe,” in which they mourn the creation of Israel and the ensuing displacement of Palestinians.

The strikers is in solidarity with a three-week strike held by 85  — A group of 85 administrative detainees — Palestinian prisoners who have been arrested but not yet tried — has been on a hunger strike, the Times of Israel reported. Israeli law allows administrative detention for up to six months.

Also Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in London in an effort to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, according to the Times of Israel. Israel suspended the talks in April after Abbas’ Fatah party signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas, the terrorist group that governs the Gaza Strip.

Tzipi Livni, Israel’s justice minister and lead negotiator in the talks, also will be in London on Wednesday to meet with William Hague, the United Kingdom’s foreign secretary, according to Haaretz. An attempt in Britain to have Livni arrested for war crimes was denied, as she has received “special mission” status from the British government.

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