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RAMALLAH, West Bank – Palestinians across the West Bank are observing a general strike in support of hundreds of hunger-striking prisoners held by Israel.
Palestinians say between 1,300 and 1,500 prisoners have been on a hunger strike for 11 days, demanding better conditions and more contact with relatives. Israel puts the number at about 1,100.
The widely observed strike in the West Bank and east Jerusalem reflects the Palestinian consensus on prisoners. In 50 years of Israeli rule, hundreds of thousands have been jailed by Israel at some point, affecting virtually all Palestinian families.
Qadoura Fares, who runs the Prisoners' Club advocacy group, said Thursday's strike "reflects the large public concern" for the prisoners.
In Ramallah, shops closed and public transport stopped running. Protesters blocked roads in the city with rocks and tires.