Israeli forces have attacked protesters marking Palestinian Prisoners’ Day throughout the occupied territories.
On Monday, Israeli troops used rubber bullets and teargas to suppress a demonstration in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Some 1,500 people were taking part in the demonstration in a show of support for some 6,500 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails, and in solidarity for a mass hunger strike that began on Monday.
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The protesters were carrying banners which read, “We do not forget you, our heroic prisoners” and “The night of the prison cell won’t last, the night of the prison cell is short lived.”
After being attacked by Israeli forces, several Palestinian protesters had to be treated for tear and smoke gas inhalation.
Similar protests were held throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Large numbers of people gathered in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) in a show of unity with the prisoners.
“The unity of prisoners in occupation prisons will leave the Palestinian street unified behind them,” said the head of the Palestinian Prisoners society in Hebron, Amjad Najjar. “Unity against the Israeli occupation’s arrogance has always been and still is Palestinian prisoners’ message to all,” he added.
According to a report released by three Palestinian non-governmental organizations, a total of 6,500 Palestinians, including women, children and lawmakers, are being held in prisons and detention facilities across the occupied territories.
Palestinian inmates regularly hold hunger strikes in protest against the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions.