Palestinian Prisoners in Israel End Hunger Strike

Palestinian prisoners protesting conditions in Israeli jails have ended their hunger strike after 40 days as authorities reportedly gave in and agreed to meet one of their demands. The news comes after Israeli officials warned earlier this week that the hunger strikers’ health was seriously deteriorating, with almost all of the nearly 1,000 prisoners taking part in the strike requiring hospital care. On Saturday, Marwan Barghouti, the leader of the strike and a high-profile Palestinian prisoner, confirmed that it was over, saying it was timed to coincide with the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. Barghouti called the strike an “important step towards full respect of the rights of Palestinian prisoners” but didn’t provide any further details. Prisoners had demanded an end to solitary confinement, more family visits, better health care and more access to education. Authorities have reportedly agreed to grant an additional family visit each month, despite earlier promises by Israel officials that no demands would be met. The International Committee of the Red Cross warned earlier this week that the striking prisoners were facing “potential irreversible health consequences” as a result of the stunt.