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Israeli activists taunt Palestinian hunger strikers by having barbecue outside prison

“The idea was to break them, make them hungry,” said a spokesperson for the group.

Image: Majdi Mohammed AP/Press Association Images

A SMALL GROUP of hardline Israeli activists have been condemned, after they held a barbecue outside a prison where a number of Palestinian inmates are staging a hunger strike.

Around a dozen Israelis grilled chicken and other kinds of meat, with a number of Israeli soldiers joining them to eat.

“At this moment (the hunger strikers) will smell the food’s scent and maybe later in the evening they will see it on television,” event organiser Ofer Sofer told AFP in front of two barbecue pits.

It is a bunch of terrorists that are threatening us with hunger strike. We are happy that they are on strike. Let them have this strike as long as they want.

A number of commentators expressed outrage about the barbecue on social media amid violent clashes between supporters of the hunger strikers and the Israeli police.

On Monday, some 1,500 of the around 6,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails began a hunger strike.

The hunger strike has been led by prominent prisoner and popular Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences over his role in the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

The prisoners have made a range of demands, from better medical care to access to telephones.

There were violent protests in support of the Palestinians on Thursday.

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Security forces fired tear gas, sound grenades and rubber bullets at the crowd of Palestinians who threw stones and protested in support of the detainees outside Israel’s Ofer prison north of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian envoy to the UN on Thursday called for the International Committee of the Red Cross to intervene to help end a crisis over a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Ambassador Riyad Mansour to the UN Security Council said that the ICRC can play a “facilitating role” to avert “the dangerous consequences of a deterioration of this situation.”

With reporting from AFP - © AFP 2017

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Sean Murray

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