65 Egyptians in Israeli prisons begin hunger strike

Sixty-five Egyptian detainees in Israeli prisons began an open-ended hunger strike on Tuesday to demand their release, UPI news agency reported.

The agency quoted Ibrahim al-Darawy, director of the Cairo-based Center for Palestinian Studies, as saying that prisoners held in Israel’s Negev desert region argue they have been detained for political, rather than criminal, reasons.

Darawy said the Egyptian prisoners told him they were frustrated for not being swapped for Ilan Grapel, a dual Israeli-American national arrested in Cairo in November 2011 on charges of espionage, and later exchanged for 25 Egyptians imprisoned in Israel on criminal charges.

Last week, three Egyptians in Israel’s Nafha desert prison commenced a hunger strike, voicing the same demands.

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