Palestinian hunger strike case to go to UN: Meshaal | #PalHunger

Arab League secretary general Nabil al-Arabi (R) speaks with Palestinian Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal during a meeting in Cairo on April 29, 2012 as part of talks on Palestinian reconciliation. (AFP PHOTO/STR)

The Daily Star | pril 29, 2012 08:57 PM

CAIRO: Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said on Sunday that the case of a mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails is to be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly.

Meshaal told journalists in Cairo that he had agreed on the course of action in talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and with Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi.

He was in “full coordination” with Abbas on the issue of the hunger striking prisoners, the Hamas chief said.

Some 1,350 Palestinian prisoners being held by Israel are currently 13 days into a mass hunger strike to protest against the conditions in which they are being held, with many more expected to join them in the coming days.

Another eight prisoners have been refusing food for longer, with two of them now into the 61st day of their hunger strike, despite increasingly chronic health problems.

A Palestinian MP said on Sunday that a top militant on hunger strike for nearly two weeks has been transferred to the hospital wing of an Israeli prison near Tel Aviv.

Ahmed Saadat, secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, began refusing food on April 17.

The Meshaal-led Hamas delegation visiting the Egyptian capital would stress the need for Arab and international support over the prisoners’ cause, Hamas politburo member Izzat al-Rishq wrote on his Facebook page.

According to the Palestinian Information Centre (PIC), a news website close to the Islamist movement Hamas which rules Gaza, the exiled Meshaal met Egyptian intelligence chief Murad Mohammed Muafi in Cairo on Saturday.

Sami Khater, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said the two discussed the prisoners’ hunger strike as well as the stalled attempts to implement a reconciliation agreement with the movement’s political rival, Fatah.

“We put our Egyptian brothers in the picture as to the situation of prisoners in the occupation’s prisons, and that their situation calls for a series of political, popular and media campaigns to show solidarity with them,” he told the website.

They also discussed ways of implementing the reconciliation agreement, which has made next to no progress since it was signed in May 2011, although Hamas was seeking to unblock the process, he said.

Meshaal, who arrived in Cairo on Friday, also met his Islamic Jihad counterpart, Ramadan Shallah, on Saturday, the website said, without saying what was discussed.


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