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Crowd of 20,000 Serenades Abie Nathan

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An estimated 20,000 people attended a “Serenade to Abie Nathan” on Sunday night, to show support for the peace activist, who has been on a hunger strike for the past four weeks to protest an Israeli law that prohibits contact with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Popular performers were joined by the crowd in the serenade, which was held around a tent which Nathan has erected in Malchei Yisrael Square, in front of the Tel Aviv municipality building. Nathan, who operates the Voice of Peace radio station from a ship moored outside Israeli territorial waters, is receiving supporters daily in the tent.

Among those who came to wish him well were Tel Aviv Mayor Shlomo Lahat, a maverick Likud politician who has urged the government to amend the law prohibiting contact with the PLO.

Nathan, who has been warned by doctors that he is endangering his life, has lost about 37 pounds since he began the hunger strike April 29. But he insists on drinking only water and fruit juice and takes no solid food.

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