Palestinians stage rallies to express solidarity with prisoners
Thousands of Palestinians have staged rallies across the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip in a show of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners, who are being held captive in Israeli jails and detention centers.
Activists from nationalistic and human rights organizations in addition to school students converged in the central West Bank city of Bethlehem, located about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) south of Jerusalem al-Quds, on Tuesday, waving Palestinian flags and holding up pictures of long-term serving prisoners.
The demonstrators demanded the immediate release of the inmates.
Elsewhere in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, situated approximately 49 kilometers (30 miles) north of Jerusalem al-Quds, protesters took part in a similar rally.
People also flocked streets in Jenin to commemorate the Prisoners Day, and show their support for Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails.
In the Gaza Strip, resistance movements and prisoners’ institutions called upon people to participate in a sit-in protest in al-Khayyam area, which is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. local time (1530 GMT).
More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.
Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years.
Palestinian inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest at the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions in Israeli jails.
According to reports, at least 13 Palestinian lawmakers are currently imprisoned in Israeli detention facilities. Nine of them are being held without trial under administrative detention.