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Israeli Minister: Palestinian Prisoner Hunger Strike Really About ‘Political Jockeying’

The Times of Israel reports: In an op-ed piece in the New York Times Monday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan wrote that a massive hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners is really an internal political play by the popular Palestinian Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, a convicted murderer.

Erdan’s column rejected charges leveled two weeks ago by Barghouti in the same newspaper, in a piece that condemned “Israel’s illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners.”

“Mr. Barghouti would like his audience to believe that the hunger strike is a reaction to the mistreatment of prisoners like him,” Erdan wrote. “In fact, it has nothing to do with their conditions, which meet international standards. This is reflected in the list of demands presented by Mr. Barghouti to the Israel Prison Service: the option to obtain university degrees, more family visits, access to more television channels, public telephones and private doctors.”

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