Large crowds of people have staged a massive march in the occupied West Bank in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets on Saturday in the central city of Ramallah to voice their support for Palestinians who remain in Israeli jails without charge or trial. They held placards with pictures of the jailed Palestinians. Some were dressed as Palestinian prisoners, handcuffed and blindfolded. The demonstrators marched from the city center to the Palestinian Authority (PA) offices, where the PA Minister of Prison Affairs Issa Qaraqa made a speech, calling for an immediate release of all prisoners on hunger strike. In February, thousands of Palestinian prisoners went on a one-day hunger strike in protest at the death of Arafat Jaradat, a 30-year-old father of two, who allegedly had died of cardiac arrest in Israel's Magiddo prison. The death also prompted Qaraqa to demand an international investigation into the incident. More than 4,500 Palestinian prisoners are held in Israeli prisons. Among the inmates are Ayman Sharawneh, Samer al-Issawi, Jaafar Ezzedine, and Tareq Qaa'dan, who have been refusing food for months. The four embarked on a hunger strike to protest against their administrative detention, a controversial practice used by Tel Aviv that allows the Israeli authorities to incarcerate Palestinians indefinitely without charging them or holding a trial.