Palestinian prisoners end hunger strike as Ramadan nears

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Dozens of Palestinians in Israeli jails suspended a nearly two-month-old hunger strike.

“The strikers, who have reached an agreement with the Israeli prison authorities, have decided to suspend their action with the approach of Ramadan,” one of the Palestinians’ lawyers, Ashraf Abu Snena, said late Tuesday night.

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins on Saturday evening, is observed with fasting during daylight hours.

Some 290 Palestinian prisoners began refusing food at the end of April in protest of administrative detention, which allows prisoners to be held without charge for four months at a time and can be extended indefinitely.

About 200 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli jails under administrative detention, according to reports.

At least 750 hunger-striking Palestinians have been hospitalized in recent weeks. Many will remain in the hospital for several more days or weeks until they recuperate.

The Knesset is scheduled to vote Monday on a bill allowing for the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners.

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