Israeli right-wing activists on Thursday held a barbecue outside an Israeli prison where Palestinian prisoners are waging a hunger strike to protest their conditions, according to Israeli media reports. Israel's Channel 7 reported that members of the right-wing National Union Party's youth wing held the barbecue at the entrance of the Ofer detention center near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
On Monday, more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners -- many of them at the Ofer facility -- began an open-ended hunger strike to protest Israel's detention policies. Participants in the strike, which was launched to coincide with Palestinian Prisoners Day, demand improved medical care and better treatment for female inmates.
There are approximately 6,500 Palestinians currently languishing in prisons throughout Israel, according to Palestinian figures. On the same day as the barbecue, hundreds of Palestinian youths were injured in clashes with Israeli forces near the Ofer facility. Israeli troops used teargas, rubber bullets and live ammunition to disperse scores of Palestinians who had gathered in the area to show solidarity with the hunger strikers. According to Palestinian medical sources, 20 Palestinians suffered temporary asphyxiation due to the excessive use of teargas by Israeli troops.