May 15 - Family and supporters of 1,600 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails celebrate a deal ending the strike and improving their detention conditions. Lindsey Parietti reports.
An emotional moment for Palestinians as a hunger strike by 1,600 prisoners ends. Gaza City residents celebrate an Egypt-brokered deal to end the prisoner strike against Israeli detention practices including solitary confinement, bans on family visits and jailing without trial. Most of the prisoners began refusing food on April 17, with some who started even earlier fasting for more than two and a half months. Israel agreed to end solitary confinement for 19 prisoners and allow more family visits, as well as freeing detainees when they complete their terms unless they are brought to court. Upon hearing the news, family members at a solidarity protest for the prisoners rejoiced. 2 An Israeli government spokesman said he hoped the decision would advance the rocky Israeli-Palestinian peace process. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER'S SPOKESMAN MARK REGEV SAYING: "In response to a request from Palestinian President Abbas, Israel has negotiated an end to the strike. It is our hope that this measure by Israel will help to build confidence between the parties and to forward peace." The prisoners on strike included militants from Islamist movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which reject peace with Israel. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters