contents
Your weekly briefing on the state of 
humanity
SEE ALL ISSUES
EDITOR'S LETTER
A new era
NEWS FEATURE 1
A deadly profession: Being a journalist in Mexico
NEWS FEATURE 2
In Trump, the Koch brothers see both friend and foe
DIGEST AMERICAS
Yet another corruption scandal in Brazil tarnishes Temer’s presidency
DIGEST AMERICAS
Tech giants team up to fight terrorism
DIGEST EUROPE
A ‘unique opportunity’ for peace in Cyprus
DIGEST EUROPE
Is France getting a taste of what centrism really means?
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Twenty years on, ‘One Country, Two Systems’ is caught in an impasse
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Jostling for position on the India-China border
DIGEST AFRICA
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, football is more than just a game
DIGEST AFRICA
Kenya’s government looks to cash in on gambling
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
Al-Qaeda, secret prisons and a military base in Eritrea: The UAE’s Yemen endeavour
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
Residents of Mosul celebrate first Eid without Islamic State in years
THE PICTURE
Left in the dark
GOOD NEWS
Over $350 million raised for South Sudanese refugees
Panama's second-largest city gets continuous access to potable water
THE  INFOGRAPHIC
That's old news
IN SCIENCE
New memory erasure research gives hope to PTSD sufferers
IN MEDICINE
Groundbreaking discovery confirms existence of orbiting supermassive black holes
IN TECHNOLOGY
Chemical warfare: Birds use cigarette butts to fight parasites
www.wired.com
A Rare Journey Into the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, a Super-Bunker That Can Survive Anything
www.theguardian.com
How Alexandria's 'leaning tower' became an emblem of the city's corruption
www.politico.eu
Greece fears revival of far-left violence

Palestinian prisoners go on mass hunger strike

Israel-Palestine conflict
See 1 more
Palestinians rally on Palestinian Prisoners Day in Gaza City on April 17, 2017, holding a poster of Marwan Barghouti, an imprisoned Fatah leader who called for a mass hunger strike.
Momen Faiz/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Palestinians rally on Palestinian Prisoners Day in Gaza City on April 17, 2017, holding a poster of Marwan Barghouti, an imprisoned Fatah leader who called for a mass hunger strike.
I t was a unity rarely seen outside prison walls when Palestinians affiliated with different political factions started an open-ended hunger strike this week to protest against poor conditions and the Israeli policy of detention without trial. Israeli officials meanwhile said the strike was politically motivated.
The call for a mass hunger strike was issued by Marwan Barghouti, a high-ranking member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, who was sentenced to five life sentences on murder charges during the Second Intifada. By Israel labeled a terrorist, many Palestinians regard him as a national hero.
Prisoners’ demands include the abolishment of detention without trial, more family visits, improvement of medical conditions and a pay phone in each prison wing. Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan issued a strong reply, calling the prisoners “terrorists and murderers” and saying on Tuesday “we have no reason to negotiate with them”. Israel denies that Palestinian inmates are mistreated.
An official source in the Israel Prison Service (IPS) told The World Weekly that the IPS had “past experience in dealing with hunger strikes and has the means to contain them. As a rule, IPS does not negotiate with prisoners.”
The strike comes amid a symbolic year, months before the 50th anniversary of the 1967 war, during which Israeli forces seized the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, a move never recognised by the vast majority of the international community.
Some view the hunger strike as a political move by Mr. Barghouti, who is seen as a possible future Palestinian president. “The strike is a political step, carefully planned and organised by Marwan Barghouti,” wrote the Times of Israel’s Middle East analyst Avi Issacharoff.
Almost 6,500 Palestinians are being held in 22 Israeli prisons, according to Qadoura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners' Club.
Beyond the signs of unity behind bars - Hamas and Islamic Jihad members joined the hunger strike - political divisions between Mr. Abbas’ Fatah and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, are deepening.
The strike also throws up difficult questions for Israeli authorities, such as the possible deaths of prisoners or the issue of force-feeding. Minister Erdan ordered the establishment of a field hospital next to the Ketziot Prison, in what has been seen as a move to prevent the transfer of prisoners to civilian hospitals where Israeli doctors have in the past refused to force-feed prisoners.
“It will take a few weeks” until Israeli authorities will start to negotiate with the prisoners, says Omar Shaban, founder of PalThink for Strategic Studies, a Gaza-based think-tank. “The level of success in changing the conditions will depend on how much support the strike will get from the Palestinian community and Palestinian Authority,” he told The World Weekly.
Manuel Langendorf
The World Weekly
20 April 2017 - last edited 20 April 2017

Is Marwan Barghouti the Palestinian Mandela?

16 June 2016