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No talks with Palestinian inmates on hunger strike

A Palestinian Authority official, Issa Qaraqe, said Monday that "around 1,300 Palestinian prisoners" were participating in the hunger strike.

Just a day later, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan vowed not to negotiate with the protesting detainees, confirming the popular Palestinian leader had been moved to another prison and placed in solitary confinement.

Israel says it will not negotiate with more than 1,000 Palestinian detainees who have begun a mass hunger strike against conditions in Israeli jails.

Barghouti, a prominent leader in PA leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, called the strike, but in a show of unity it has been joined by prisoners from other Palestinian parties.

According to the BBC, while Palestinians regard these protestors as political prisoners, Israel prefers to view them as terrorists.

He said the strike was part of an internal Palestinian struggle for power.

Some 6,500 Palestinians are now in jail in Israel.

Hana Herbst, a spokeswoman for the Israel Prison Service, said in a statement that striking prisoners were being transfered to separate cell blocks.

People hold posters of imprisoned during a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners in the West bank City of Bethlehem, Monday, April 17, 2017.

Barghouti, who is serving five life terms for the murder of Israelis and a Christian monk, was initially described by the NYT only as "a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian".

Prison Service spokesman Assaf Librati refused to elaborate on Barghouti's role.

"Through our hunger strike, we seek an end to these abuses ..."

If continued the strike, being led by jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, would be the largest in recent years. He also called on the human rights institutions to compel Israel - the occupying state - to respect worldwide law, as well as exposing Israel's violations of the law in its prisons.

"During the first day of the strike, the prison service took several punitive measures against the prisoners by putting strike leaders in judicial confinement and transferring some prisoners to other prisons", Qadoura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners' Club, told Anadolu Agency.

Arrested in 2002, he was later sentenced to 40 years in jail by an Israeli court after being convicted for directing lethal attacks on Israelis during the second intifada in the early 2000s.

He has not publicly designated a successor.

Israel's controversial "administrative detention" policy sees a varying number of Palestinians held without charge in prisons, often accused of links to militant group Hamas. Because Barghouti highlights two of Israel's most pernicious lies: that there is no one to talk to on the Palestine side (when in fact it is the Palestinians who are still seeking a partner for peace), and that the resistance to Israel's occupation is violent.

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