MIDDLE EAST

Palestinians demand release of prisoners in Israel

PALESTINIANS DEMAND RELEASE OF PRISONERS IN ISRAEL

Dozens of Palestinians staged a rally outside the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza City on Monday to call for the release of their relatives in Israeli jails.

Protesters waved pictures of their beloved ones and banners calling for intervention of the international community to free their sons.

"We are here to show solidarity with our sons who are being held in Israeli prisons and who suffer from racist practices by prison guards," Feryal al-Zaanin, a mother of one of the detainees, told Anadolu Agency.

"We appeal to the world and human rights organizations to help save our sick children in Israeli jails," she said.

The Palestinian mother called on the Red Cross to pile pressure on Israel to allow access to winter clothes and blankets to the detainees as winter season is about to start in the region.

The rally came amid high hopes in the Palestinian territories for healing a decade-long rift between Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and President Mahmud Abbas's Fatah movement, which rules the West Bank.

Last week, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah made a landmark 3-day visit to the blockaded Gaza Strip and held a cabinet meeting for the first time since his government was formed in 2014.

According to official Palestinian statistics, Israel is holding about 6,500 Palestinian prisoners, most of them residents of the occupied West Bank.

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