Middle East

Israel scraps prison visit for isolated hunger strike leader

A lawyer says Israel canceled his scheduled prison visit with Palestinian hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti who has been kept in isolation since the protest by hundreds of inmates began 24 days earlier.

Khader Shkirat says the Israel Prison Service initially informed him he could visit the 58-year-old Barghouti on Thursday but abruptly cancelled. He says he worries about his client who has been held in solitary confinement since April 17.

Prison service spokesman Assaf Librati had no immediate explanation for the cancellation.

Barghouti's supporters say Israel is trying to demoralize the strikers by keeping him isolated and by recently releasing a video purportedly showing him eating in his cell. Palestinians have alleged the video is a fabrication.

Librati denied the video was meant to break the strike.