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Red Cross visits Palestinian hunger strike leader

By AFP - May 11,2017 - Last updated at May 11,2017

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — The Red Cross visited the leader of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails on Thursday for the first time since the strike began, a spokesman said.

A delegate from the International Committee of the Red Cross visited strike leader Marwan Barghouthi on Thursday morning, the spokesman told AFP, the first such visit since the strike began 25 days ago.

The spokesman was unable to provide an update on his health "in accordance with the principles of medical confidentiality".

 The ICRC had been allowed access to other prisoners on hunger strike, but Israel had been restricting access to Barghouthi.

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners began refusing food on April 17, issuing a list of demands including better medical services, family visits and more dignified detention conditions.

Israel says conditions meet all international standards.

Barghouthi, a senior member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fateh Party and a highly popular figure among Palestinians, is serving five life sentences over his role in the second Palestinian Intifada, or uprising.

Earlier this week, Israel produced footage they said showed him secretly breaking his fast in his cell.


His wife Fadwa rejected the footage as fake, saying it was “intended to break the morale of prisoners”.

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