Middle East

Hundreds of Palestinians held by Israel launch hunger strike

  • FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2012 file photo, jailed Senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti appears in a Jerusalem court. Qadoura Fares, an advocate for prisoners' rights, said Monday, April 17, 2027, that more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have launched an open-ended hunger strike to demand better conditions in Israeli prisons, including more contact with relatives, and an end to Israel's practice of detentions without trial. The protest began Tuesday and was led by Marwan Barghouti, imprisoned since 2002. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2012 file photo, jailed Senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti appears in a Jerusalem court. Qadoura Fares, an advocate for prisoners' rights, said Monday, April 17, 2027, that more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have launched an open-ended hunger strike to demand better conditions in Israeli prisons, including more contact with relatives, and an end to Israel's practice of detentions without trial. The protest began Tuesday and was led by Marwan Barghouti, imprisoned since 2002. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • People hold posters of imprisoned during a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners in the West bank City of Bethlehem, Monday, April 17, 2017. An activist said more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have launched an open-ended hunger strike to demand better conditions in Israeli prisons, including more contact with relatives, and an end to Israel's practice of detentions without trial. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

    People hold posters of imprisoned during a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners in the West bank City of Bethlehem, Monday, April 17, 2017. An activist said more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have launched an open-ended hunger strike to demand better conditions in Israeli prisons, including more contact with relatives, and an end to Israel's practice of detentions without trial. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Palestinians push a container during clashes with Israeli forces following a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners in the West bank City of Bethlehem, Monday, April 17, 2017. An activist said more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have launched an open-ended hunger strike to demand better conditions in Israeli prisons, including more contact with relatives, and an end to Israel's practice of detentions without trial. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

    Palestinians push a container during clashes with Israeli forces following a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners in the West bank City of Bethlehem, Monday, April 17, 2017. An activist said more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have launched an open-ended hunger strike to demand better conditions in Israeli prisons, including more contact with relatives, and an end to Israel's practice of detentions without trial. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

An activist says more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have launched an open-ended hunger strike to demand better conditions in Israeli prisons, including more contact with relatives, and an end to Israel's practice of detentions without trial.

The protest began Tuesday and was led by Marwan Barghouti, a prominent figure in President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement. Opinion polls suggest Barghouti, who is serving multiple life terms for his role in a violent Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, is the top contender to succeed Abbas.

Qadoura Fares, an advocate for prisoners' rights, says 6,500 Palestinians are currently held by Israel. Palestinians marked Tuesday as Prisoners' Day.

Fares says hundreds of prisoners launched a 28-day strike in 2012. In 2014, dozens of detainees held without trial went on hunger strike for two months.