[Palestinian Prisoners Society said the prisoners had staged the hunger strike in protest against a decision by Israeli prison authorities to place some prisoners in solitary confinement. (File photo)]
Ramallah: Israeli right-wing activists on Thursday held a barbecue outside an Israeli prison where Palestinian prisoners are waging a hunger strike to protest their conditions, according to Israeli media reports.
Israel’s Channel 7 reported that members of the right-wing National Union Party’s youth held the barbecue at the entrance of the Ofer detention center near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
“The barbecue lasted for 45 minutes before police stopped the event,” Channel 7 reported.
According to the broadcaster, the event was held to break the prisoners’ spirit and “urge Israel’s government not to surrender to blackmail.”
On Monday, more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners -- many of them at the Ofer facility -- began an open-ended hunger strike to protest Israel's detention policies.
Participants in the strike, which was launched to coincide with Palestinian Prisoners Day, demand improved medical care and better treatment for female inmates.
There are approximately 6,500 Palestinians currently languishing in prisons throughout Israel, according to Palestinian figures.
On the same day as the barbecue, hundreds of Palestinian youths were injured in clashes with Israeli forces near the Ofer facility.
Israeli troops used teargas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition to disperse scores of Palestinians who had gathered in the area to show solidarity with the hunger strikers.
According to Palestinian medical sources, 20 Palestinians suffered temporary asphyxiation due to the excessive use of teargas by Israeli troops.