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

Nick Mcbride
April 21, 2017

Their plight raised tensions between the Palestinian public and Israeli authorities.

"Decades of experience have proved that Israel's inhumane system of colonial and military occupation aims to break the spirit of prisoners and the nation to which they belong", Barghouti wrote in a NYT piece.

"We will not surrender to it", he wrote.

The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs released a statement on Monday saying that Israeli Prison Service (IPS) officials had forcibly moved hunger-striking prisoners to different sections of Israeli jails, confiscated clothes and personal belongings and placed leading figures in solitary confinement.

The Palestinian Prisoners' Club nongovernmental organization put the number at 1,500.

As reported by ABC News, the Israeli government has no current plans to enter talks regarding ending the Palestinians' hunger strike.

The Israeli Prison Service issued a statement threatening disciplinary measures for hunger striking.

The prison service has begun separating hunger strikers into separate cell blocks.

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The issue of Palestinian prisoners and detainees held in Israeli prisons and detention centers transcends one of individual human rights; it is also one of collective rights of an entire people - the Palestinian people, who continue to be deprived of the right to self-determination and sovereignty - basic fundamentals of worldwide law.

The protests, which is the biggest in recent years, has been led by jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti and will see prisoners from across the political spectrum participate from within six Israeli prisons.

"They were lawfully judged and receive conditions in accordance with global law", said the spokesperson.

The last large-scale hunger strike was in February 2013, when 3,000 Palestinians refused to eat for one day in protest at the death of a fellow detainee. Israeli officials were livid with the New York Times after it published an op-ed by Barghouti on April 16, in synch with the start of the strike and omitting any reference to his incarceration being the result of multiple murder convictions.

He was convicted of attacks that killed five people. It accused Israel of "the worst physical and psychological torture" against Palestinian prisoners. Prisoners are demanding the installation of a public telephone, resuming bimonthly family visits, allowing second-degree relatives to visit, increasing duration of the visits and allowing prisoners to take photographs with their families.

Gilad Erdan said the prisoners were "terrorists and murderers".

Despite - or perhaps because of - his prison sentence, Barghouti's popularity has grown among Palestinians, and he is one of the few Palestinian leaders with support from both Fatah, which governs the West Bank, and Hamas, which rules Gaza.

Other reports by VgToday

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