Netanyahu criticizes Barghouti's New York Times op-ed

Palestinians termed the open-ended strike a protest against poor conditions and an Israeli policy of detention without trial that has been applied against thousands since the 1980s.

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan vowed that authorities would not negotiate with the prisoners and said Barghouti had been placed in solitary confinement in another prison.

If sustained, the strike led by Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader jailed during the second Palestinian uprising, would be the largest in recent years.

The Palestinian Committee for Prisoners' Affairs said that hunger-striking prisoners had been forcibly dispersed to different sections of Israeli jails, with clothes and personal property confiscated.

Palestinian officials and activists put the number of hunger strikers at 1,300 and 1,500, respectively, saying it is hard to get updates from inside the prisons.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Michael Oren (Kulanu) compared Barghouti to Dylann Roof, an American mass murderer and white supremacist convicted of killing nine people in the June 2015 Charleston church shooting.

As reported by ABC News, the Israeli government has no current plans to enter talks regarding ending the Palestinians' hunger strike.

Barghouti has remained politically active from behind bars, and is often touted as one of a few likely successors to the 82-year-old Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The New York Times' public editor has rebuked the paper for leaving out the details of Marwan Barghouti's convictions in his op-ed this week.

"It is to be emphasised that the IPS does not negotiate with prisoners".

Aita added that "anyone who treats Barghouti as a Palestinian leader and warrior for the freedom of his homeland - that means he supports the struggle for the national liberation of the Palestinians". "There is no reason to give them additional conditions in addition to what they already receive". "Calling Barghouti a 'political leader" is like calling Assad a 'pediatrician.' They are murderers and terrorists".

Barghouti was convicted in June 2004 of five murders and an attempted murder, including that of a Greek Orthodox priest he mistook for a rabbi.

Many of these people's medical requirements are neglected, and owing to this more than 50 Palestinian prisoners lost their lives since 1967, says the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

"Two days ago, I read an article in the New York Times, which depicts the multi-terrorist Barghouti as a 'parliamentary leader, '" Netanyahu said during Mimouna celebrations in Dimona.

Erdan said Barghouti's transfer to solitary confinement was unrelated to the opinion piece.

  • Leroy Wright