Hamas in Gaza says it won't be cowed by Abbas' threats

Cheryl Sanders
April 28, 2017

Abbas is believed to be attempting to assert control over Gaza ahead of his meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington next week, where he will be under pressure to demonstrate that he is the leader of all Palestinians.

But ultimate responsibility for maintaining electricity supply lay with the Israelis, he stated, "because they are legally the occupying power".

Palestinian prisoners in Israel prepare for a massive hunger strike.

The strike was called in all cities in the West Bank, with only doctors and students nearing graduation excluded.

Barghouti launched the hunger strike on April 17.

The hunger strikers are now only ingesting water and salt and are protesting for better living conditions, including better medical care and access to telephones.

The head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, announced on Monday that Barghouti's health conditions had been critically deteriorating during the past week.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah, based in the West Bank, made no secret of the PA's political motives on Wednesday, saying at an event in Ramallah that the lifting of the salary cut depended on Hamas moving towards reconciliation.

"My cousin is on hunger strike". Preventing lawyer visits with prisoners as a punitive measure is a direct contradiction of previous Supreme Court rulings, the civil rights group said.

At least 1,200 Palestinian prisoners are taking part in the now-12-day hunger strike, demanding improved conditions in Israeli prisons. All the Palestinian people are with the prisoners.

The protest has led to a new social media campaign, called #saltwaterchallenge or #تحدي_مي_وملح, where supporters drink a glass of saltwater on camera in support of the prisoners' protest.

The Palestinian Authority security forces normally block Palestinian protesters from reaching friction points with the IDF.

While the strike has drawn most of its participants from imprisoned members of Barghouti's Fatah movement, smaller groups of prisoners from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine have also joined, with each organization pledging its support for the strikers and their goals. The Palestinian national crisis had become very deep and there was a feeling that it was impossible to act together with a single voice. Prisoners had access to numerous conditions now being demanded, but Israeli authorities revoked some of them as retribution for the 2006 capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit and 2014 deadly kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers.

A military spokesman said shots were fired toward Israeli forces that were "carrying out routine activity" near the fence with the southern Gaza Strip at about 11:00 a.m. local time (8:00 GMT).

Other reports by iNewsToday