Author: Samuel Osborne
An Israeli youth group held a barbecue near a prison to taunt Palestinian hunger strikers who are demanding better conditions.
On Thursday, members of the right-wing National union Party set up tables and grilled chicken and other meats outside Ofer Prison in the West Bank.
The group said the prisoners would “enjoy breathing in the smoke and suffer from the smell of the meat,” according to The Jerusalem Post.
“The time has come to stop listening to the hunger strikers and show them that we won’t surrender to their whims,” Ofir Sofer, the group’s secretary-general said.
He went on to call on the Israeli government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “worsen the terrorists’ conditions”.
The group’s youth chairman, Avihai Greenwald, said: “We wish these terrorists luck in their hunger strike. They should take it all the way.”
Later in the day, security forces fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets at a crowd of Palestinians who threw stones and protested in support of the hunger strikers.
More than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners went on hunger strike to call an end to the Israeli practice of detention without trial, and for more contact with relatives and better access to medical treatment.
They also said they want access to more television channels and compassionate release for disabled prisoners or those sufferings from chronic illnesses.
The protest was led by Marwan Barghouti, a leader from the Fatah movement of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, who is serving five life terms after being convicted of killing Israelis in the 2000-2005 uprising known as the Second Intifada.
Leaders in the West Bank warned of a “new intifada” if any of the striking inmates die.