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Hunger Strike Renewed

July 29, 1980
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The 23 imprisoned terrorists transferred to Ramleh prison last week have renewed their hunger strike to protest the deaths of two fellow prisoners. They had begun their hunger strike three weeks ago to protest allegedly inhumane conditions at the maximum security Nafha prison in the Negev where they were serving their sentences.

The strike was resumed as a special committee appointed by the Interior Minister began its investigation into the deaths of Ali Mohammed Jaapari, 30, a Jordanian, on July 22, and Mouhammed Haloua, 28, of Gaza, who died two days later. According to initial reports, they suffocated when food they were being force-fed lodged in their lungs.

Some sources appeared to link the renewal of the hunger strike with the visit to Ramleh prison by Felicia Langer, an Israeli attorney representing some of the prisoners, who spoke to her clients. Ms. Langer subsequently wrote to the prison authorities claiming that three prisoners had scars on their bodies as a result of beatings.

Meanwhile, some 25 Arab women continued a hunger strike at the office of the international Red Cross in East Jerusalem as an expression of solidarity with the prisoners. The office has become a center for Arabs coming from the West Bank to wish the prisoners well. Families of some of the prisoners are also staging sit-ins at the Red Cross headquarters.

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