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Security prisoners say 18-day hunger strike over

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    Last Update: 02/09/2004 13:05 Security prisoners say 18-day hunger strike over http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/472703.html By Associated Press and Haaretz
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2004
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      Last Update: 02/09/2004 13:05

      Security prisoners say 18-day hunger strike over
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/472703.html
      By Associated Press and Haaretz Service



      A Palestinian official said Thursday that a hunger strike by thousands of
      Palestinian prisoners had come to an end after 18 days.



      Palestinians said Israel had agreed to meet key demands for improving their
      conditions.

      Israeli authorities confirmed that the strike was winding down, but denied
      giving in to any Palestinian demands.

      A militant group associated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement has issued
      a death sentence against Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath for his
      readiness to meet with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom during the hunger
      strike.

      The Jenin Martyrs Brigades, which operates in the Gaza Strip, has
      distributed a pamphlet warning Sha'ath not to enter Gaza, on penalty of
      death, Israel Radio reported Thursday.

      About 4,000 prisoners launched the strike on August 15. The prisoners had
      presented a list of demands to improve their conditions. Prisoners also
      said the strike was in protest over Israel's occupation of the West Bank
      and Gaza Strip.

      Issa Karake, head of the Palestinian prisoners' association, said roughly
      3,500 prisoners had halted the strike on Thursday, and that the remaining
      holdouts were expected to resume eating by the end of the day.

      "It's over today," said Karake. Hisham Abdel Razek, the Palestinian
      minister for prison affairs, scheduled a news conference later in the day.

      Karake said Israeli authorities had given in to many important demands,
      including an end to strip searches, allowing prisoners to talk to their
      families on the phone, and removing glass partitions between prisoners and
      visiting relatives.

      Ofer Lefler, spokesman for the Israeli prison authority, said about 600
      prisoners remained on strike, but said he hoped it would end later
      Thursday.

      He insisted, however, that Israel had not caved in to any demands. "Nothing
      is being discussed," he said.

      The prisoners who remained on strike were in two facilities in the southern
      Israeli city of Be?er Sheva, Lefler said.

      In all, Israel is holding about 7,500 Palestinian prisoners on
      security-related offenses.
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