Palestinian prisoners' hunger strike ends after marathon negotiations

The Israeli Prisons Service announced Saturday that hundreds of Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails ended a 40-day hunger strike, Reuters reported. The prisoners' families will be able to visit them once more every month.

Israel Prison Service spokeswoman Nicole Englander said the deal was reached after talks between Tel Aviv on the one side and the Palestinian Authority and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the other.

Hundreds of prisoners observed the strike which they said was aimed at improving jail conditions.

There are now 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel, including more than 500 administrative detainees, according to Jerusalem-based prisoner rights group Addameer.

Public support for the strike had taken a violent turn in recent days, as family members and supporters vowed to escalate protests throughout the occupied territories if the prisoners' demands were not met. Israel says that measure is necessary to prevent attacks and protect security sources.

Spearheaded by Barghouti, the strike, widely known among Palestinians and supporters as the "Freedom and Dignity" battle, was joined by prisoners from all Palestinian political factions. Palestinians hoped the protest would draw the attention of a seemingly preoccupied global community as the Israeli occupation hits the 50-year mark in early June.

Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were refusing food over conditions for about 6,500 Palestinian inmates.

Barghouti is seen as a possible future successor to the Palestinian leadership. Barghouti's family has denied such claims.

However, the full details of the compromise have not yet been disclosed.

The agreement came just as the Muslims in Palestine, and around the world, began the holy month of Ramadan. In prison since 2002, he never mounted a defense, saying the court had no jurisdiction over him.

There were around 7000 Palestinians held in prisons by Israeli authorities by the end of 2016.

Earlier this month, Israel released footage apparently showing Barghouti breaking his fast.

Some 740 Palestinians are held in administrative detention, Qaraqe said.

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