Fatah calls 'Day of Rage' to support Palestinian hunger-strikers

Fatah calls 'Day of Rage' to support Palestinian hunger-strikers
The Fatah movement calls for Palestinians to "clash with the occupier" in mass West Bank rallies to support over 1,600 prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails.
3 min read
28 April, 2017
The Fatah movement called for Palestinians to "clash" with Israel. [Getty]
A 'Day of Rage' organised by the Fatah movement will take place across the West Bank on Friday in solidarity with over 1,600 prisoners on hunger strike.

Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority, called for Palestinians to "clash with the occupier" at friction points, referring to military checkpoints, roadblocks, and areas adjacent to Israel's separation wall.

"The excessive practices of the Israeli occupation, particularly those of the Israel Prison Service," require that "we clash with the occupier everywhere across our homeland," Fatah said last week, according to Ma’an News Agency.

Friday prayers will take place at unity tents set up across the occupied West Bank, with mass rallies expected to be held afterwards to show solidarity with Palestinian detainees on hunger strike.

Palestinian Authority security forces work closely with their Israeli counterparts to suppress demonstrations and arrest suspects, and it is unclear how they will respond.

President Mahmoud Abbas was reportedly outraged by calls from his movement to clash with Israeli forces, according to Al-Monitor, with fears that it could jeopardise an upcoming meeting with US President Donald Trump.

The calls for a 'Day of Rage' were reportedly made by elements within the Tanzim, a militant faction of Fatah.

Palestinian defence sources said that Israel has signalled that if PA forces refuse to stop protesters that the Day of Rage could turn into "Bloody Friday," Al-Monitor reported.

A day earlier, thousands of Palestinians went on a general strike in support of the mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.

The one-day strike saw schools, universities, shops and all public sector offices, except medical facilities, close for the day as various protests were held in individual towns.

The strike was organised by the National Committee to Support the Hunger Strike, receiving backing from a number of political parties, in support of the Palestinian Prisoners' Club NGO.

"We have not seen such a strike for years," Kadoura Fares, president of the Palestinian Prisoners' Club, told The New Arab.

Marwan Barghouti, popular Fatah leader and the people's choice for future president, is leading the mass hungers strike in protest at conditions for Palestinian prisoners.

The hunger strikers are currently only ingesting water and salt and are protesting for better living conditions, including better medical care and access to telephones.

The protest has led to a new social media campaign, called #saltwaterchallenge or #تحدي_مي_وملح, where supporters drink a glass of saltwater on camera in support of the prisoners' protest.

Some 6,500 Palestinians are currently detained by Israel for a range of offences and alleged crimes. Around 500 are held under administrative detention, which allows imprisonment without charge. 

Palestinian prisoners have mounted repeated hunger strikes, however this protest is reportedly the largest protest in recent times.