Israel: No Hamas prisoner hunger strike

June 27, 2011 at 9:24 AM

JERUSALEM, June 27 (UPI) -- Hamas inmates in Israeli prisons failed to start a hunger strike Monday as expected, officials said.

Hamas announced Sunday all its members in Israeli prisons would begin a hunger strike Monday, but the Israel Prison Service said all inmates ate breakfast Monday and said it had no intelligence a hunger strike was planned, Haaretz reported.

Sources later told Haaretz the strike is only being held at the Hadarim prison, to protest the transfer to solitary confinement of two Hamas officials imprisoned there.

Hamas said the overall purpose of the strike was to demand the release of Yihyeh Sanwar, who is considered the most senior Hamas official in prison, and his brother, Mohammad. Mohammad Sanwar was among those responsible for the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit five years ago.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said last week Israel would toughen the conditions of Palestinian prisoners, saying the "celebration is over for terrorists."

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