Palestinian detainees on hunger stike

March 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM

NABLUS, West Bank, March 23 (UPI) -- Twenty-two Palestinian prisoners being held by Israeli forces have gone on hunger strikes to protest their detention, officials said.

The hunger strikes began when Hana Shalabi, a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group, stopped eating after Israeli troops took her into custody in the West Bank on Feb. 16, Ynetnews reported.

Since then, 21 additional detainees have joined the hunger strike and several rallies have been held to support Shalabi.

An Israeli Prison Services official commented on the situation Wednesday, saying: "We're maintaining contact with the detainees and monitor their health." The official added prison officials have no authority to negotiate with the detainees.

Currently, there are about 300 detainees in the IPS system, Ynetnews said.

"We know how to handle various protest measures and are professionally prepared for the situation," the official said.

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