Mideast Daily News

Day 3 of Palestinian Prisoner Hunger Strike: Enter the Women and Boycott of Courts

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

April 20, 2017

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As the nascent hunger strike by as many as 1,500 Palestinians being held for security crimes in Israeli prisons enters its third day, organizers announced a full boycott of the Israeli judicial system and women prisoners entered the fray. The 58 women prisoners incarcerated at the Sharon prison have said they will refuse meals every ten days and two prisoners’ rights organizations have announced that the Israeli court system will be boycotted. The head of the PA prisoner committee has threatened that a new “intifada” will be launched if any striking prisoners die. Israeli officials were livid over the publication in the New York Times of an op-ed by strike leader Marwan Barghouti and have vowed to determine how the article was written and made its way to the newspaper. Barghouti’s piece was published originally without mentioning that he is serving five consecutive life terms for terrorist murder, prompting the Times to publish an Editor’s Note correcting the oversight. Notwithstanding his legal situation, Barghouti is nevertheless one of the most popular of all Palestinian leaders and invariably tops lists of those the population would like to see as the successor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Many see the hunger strike under his leadership as a ploy for increasing his visibility as rumors of an Abbas exit grow. Abbas is 82 years old and professes to have no interest in prolonging his term in office which actually ended five years ago. The failure to achieve any sort of unity between the Fatah faction which governs the West Bank and the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip have prevented new elections resulting in Hamas disavowing Abbas as an illegitimate president.

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