MIDDLE EAST

Gazans call for freedom for hunger strikers in Israeli prisons

Dozens of Palestinians from the strip converged for Friday prayers on the city's Red Cross headquarters in solidarity with hunger strikers in Israeli prisons.

Partakers in the event -- organized by the Islamic Jihad movement -- called for "freedom for the detainees and salvation from the Israeli occupation".

Islamic Jihad leader Khedr Habib warned against silence from the international community and human rights institutions towards the issue of Palestinian prisoners in .

"Our Palestinian people should stand behind the issue of prisoners; they suffer the scourge inside the Israeli jails," Habib said.

Six Palestinian detainees have waged an open hunger strike to reject the administrative detention in Israeli jails.

The policy of administrative detention was first established by British colonialist forces during the British Mandate period (1923-1948) in .

According to Palestinian figures, roughly 5,700 Palestinians -- including a large number of women and children -- are languishing in Israeli detention facilities.

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