Businesses and schools across the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Arab-Israeli towns have been closed yesterday for a general strike called in support of a mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners. The strike's organizing committee called the general strike on Sunday as the protest against conditions in Israeli prisons entered its 36th day.
The hunger strike has been led by Marwan Barghouti, a senior leader in the dominant Fatah faction imprisoned for 15 years, who said all other attempts to redress their concerns have failed.
The hunger strikers' demands include longer and more regular family visits, landlines installed in prisons and better healthcare for the 6,500 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, according to the official Palestinian numbers. The strike has closed down Jerusalem's Old City, where U.S. President Donald Trump visited Christian and Jewish holy sites later Monday.
More than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have been on a hunger strike since April 17, known as Palestinian Prisoners' Day. Israel holds about 6,500 security prisoners — Palestinians jailed for offenses ranging from stone throwing and membership in organizations outlawed by Israel to attacks that killed or wounded Israelis. Several hundred Palestinians are being held without charges or trial in administrative detention.