Palestinian prisoners end 40-day mass hunger strike after reaching deal

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who held a hunger strike to demand better conditions in Israeli jails have agreed to end their protest after 40 days. The prisoners' families will be able to visit them once more every month.

The Prisons Service said that most of the inmates on strike were aligned with Fatah.

"It is also an indication of the reality of the Israeli occupation which has left no option to Palestinian prisoners but to starve themselves to achieve basic rights they are entitled to under worldwide law", the statement read.

The hunger strike is a way of "bringing prisoners closer to their basic rights and demands and preventing the occupation from harming the dignity of the Palestinian prisoners", he said in a statement. Israel has defended the practice as a necessary tool to stop militant activity, including preventing deadly attacks. All prisoners have now ended the strike, according to the prison service.

The demands of the detainees include visitation rights, use of a public phone and ending solitary confinement and administrative detention, which is imprisonment without charges or trial. 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 president Mahmud Abbas had urged United States counterpart Donald Trump to raise the issue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to the region earlier this week.

May to tell Trump intelligence 'must remain secure'
Officials believe Abedi, who died after detonating explosives in Monday's attack, was part of a network. The victims ranged from an eight-year-old schoolgirl to parents who had come to pick up their children.

Both Karaka and the Israeli Prisons Service did not initially divulge the full details of the agreement.

The deal came hours before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The leader in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement was convicted of murder and sentenced to five life terms in 2004 over the killing of Israelis during the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

On Friday, the Mideast envoy of the United Nations, said that Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip will surely face a "humanitarian crisis" if further reductions of electricity are made.

The Israeli Authority noted that the Red Cross had previously funded the transportation for family members to visit prisoners twice per month but stopped funding the second visit for budgetary reasons.

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