Group: Hunger Strike Leaders Meet Israeli Authorities

A Palestinian prisoners rights group said Thursday that leaders of a hunger strike met with the Israeli prison administration inside Nafha jail.

The Hussam organization said the administration indicated it was flexible about loosening the use of solitary confinement and promised to ease limitations on visitors and improve the cantine.

Leaders of the strike will meet soon with the administration and issue a response, the group said. It added that prisoners at Nafha recently stopped taking vitamins and are threatening to even give up water.

Meanwhile, prison doctors have told hunger-striker Thaer Halahla that he could die at any moment after 72 days without food, his lawyer Mona Neddaf said.

Neddaf visited Halahla, 33, in Ramle prison clinic, the prisoner rights group Addameer said in a statement.

He is vomiting blood, bleeding from his gums and lips and has extremely low blood pressure, she said. His temperature is fluctuating at dangerous levels and the prison doctor said he also has an infection.

He has refused food since Feb. 29 and now weighs 55 kilograms.

Israel has ignored calls by the European Union and the International Committee of the Red Cross to transfer long-term hunger-strikers to hospitals and to allow them family visits.

In Ramallah, President Mahmoud Abbas met with the United Nations envoy for the Middle East peace process to discuss the issue of Palestinian prisoners, a UN official said.

Robert Serry and Abbas discussed "issues of shared interest," including peace talks and the internal politics, a spokesman for the UN official said.

"In this context, there was a focus on the issue of Palestinian prisoners," Richard Miron said.


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