Hundreds of supporters of the 1,500 Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails celebrated “victory” Saturday at Yasser Arafat square in Ramallah, where the same supporters, mostly young people, had taken part in meetings and discussions during the 40-day fast that began April 17.
The protest ended overnight Friday and Saturday, at the beginning of Ramadan, with an agreement between the strikers, the Israeli prison authorities and the Red Cross. The heat and the Ramadan fasting did not prevent the celebration of the crowd of supporters, activists and family members of detainees, with political songs and traditional dances.
Palestinians describe it as a success over the stubbornness of the Netanyahu government, which — unlike the Shin Bet, the internal security service — had declared itself against any negotiations with inmates demanding better living conditions in prisons. But the negotiations could only be avoided for more than a month. In the end, the officials “of the Israeli prisons service” had to start talking in the Ashkelon prison with the representatives of the strikers — Ahmad Barghouti, Nasser Uweis, Ammar Mardi and Nasser Abu Hmeid — and then, with the main inspiration behind the protests, with the soul of the fasting ongoing for 40 days, Marwan Barghouti.