Palestinians in Israeli jails start mass hunger strike to protest bad conditions in prisons.

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[Israel]–More than 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel launched a mass hunger strike on Monday to press for basic rights and shed light on the difficult humanitarian conditions inside Israeli prisons, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies Aljazeera reports.

The action is being led by Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader jailed by Israel for life for five murders.

Barghouti, a key figure in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction, has been touted as a possible future successor to Mr Abbas.

According to BBC, there are fears the protest could fuel tensions across the occupied West Bank.

Israel’s prison service has announced that 1,187 Palestinians in Israeli prisons are joining the hunger strike, which coincides with the annual Palestinian Prisoners Day.

The issue of Palestinians held in Israeli jails is an ongoing source of tension between the two sides.

Palestinians regard the detainees as political prisoners, many of whom have been convicted of attacks against Israeli and other offences.

Others are detained under so-called Administrative Detention, which allows suspects to be held without charge for six-month intervals.

There were about 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails by the end of last year, according to Palestinian prisoners’ groups.

According to Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, there are 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails out of which there 53 females including 14 minors, 300 minors under the age of 18 and 536 held under administrative detention among others.

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