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Hundreds of Palestinians declare hunger strike

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Ramallah hunger strikeHundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel launched a hunger strike on Tuesday, officials said, protesting their conditions and demanding an end to open-ended detentions without trial as the Palestinians marked their annual day of solidarity with the inmates.

Some 3,500 prisoners refused meals on "Prisoners' Day," and 1,200 of them said they would continue with an open-ended hunger strike, according to Israeli prison service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman.

The mass hunger strike is one of the largest on record, said Sahar Francis of Addameer, a prisoner rights group.

Although it remains unclear how many will continue with the protest, they join 10 other Palestinian prisoners already on hunger strike, including two who have been hospitalized after refusing food for more than 40 days, she said.

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