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Why Palestinian hunger strike may be destined to fail

Many Palestinian prisoners in Israel have hesitated to join the hunger strike championed by Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti because they doubt Barghouti is motivated by concern for their welfare.
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After three days of a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails initiated and led by the most senior Fatah inmate, Marwan Barghouti, Israel and Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders are convinced it will all be much ado about nothing. They believe that as the days go by and Barghouti realizes that he does not enjoy sweeping support, the strike will fizzle.

With the March 24 declaration of the planned strike, Israeli authorities feared that all 3,500 prisoners affiliated with Fatah, who constitute more than half the 6,000 Palestinians jailed in Israel for security-related offenses, might heed Barghouti’s call. According to figures compiled by the Israel Prison Service (IPS), 1,187 inmates are refusing food. So it now appears that only some 800 Fatah prisoners have followed Barghouti’s lead, and some 400 prisoners affiliated with Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine have joined them.

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