Abbas to stop funding electricity in Hamas-run Gaza

Meanwhile, Barghouti stressed that the hunger strike is a "legitimate and peaceful way in a bid to withstand the Israeli violations of Palestinian prisoners' rights, which are guaranteed by the worldwide law".

The report is to be presented at a May 4 meeting in Brussels of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which coordinates worldwide donor support for the Palestinians.

From the confines of their prison cells, the prisoners embody the voice of Palestinian unity and struggle, along with the millions of exiled refugees who struggle daily for their right to return.

"Easing of Israeli restrictions on external trade and opening up access to Gaza is essential to expand private sector growth and employment", the report said. Under Israeli military law, all protest by Palestinians is illegal in the West Bank.

A Palestinian argues with Israeli soldier during clashes after a protest, in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in the West Bank city of Hebron, Thursday, April 27, 2017.

Israeli leaders have refused to negotiate, with war minister Avigdor Lieberman writing, "When it comes to the hunger strike ..."

On Monday, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners" Affairs said that the health of Barghouti was "dangerously deteriorating'.

In its statement, HRW said it has had regular access to Israel and the occupied West Bank for almost three decades, with staff and offices in Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Gaza for much of this period. It imports diesel for the generators through Abbas's Palestinian Authority [PA], but the rivals are in constant dispute over payment, leading to constant shortages.

Warning that the Palestinian hospitals in Gaza are to stop offering healthcare services, he said: "Hospitals are to stop serving children, women and men, due to the lack of electricity".

The Israeli analyst says he spoke to several senior figures in Abbas's Fatah party, who said the President was "serious this time" and would not allow Hamas to "play games".

The statement said that Israel would be held responsible for the lives of all Palestinian prisoners and for "any unrest in the region that may emerge as a result of Israel's stubbornness and indifference toward these prisoners' demands", Maan reported.

The Palestinian hunger strike, which began with 1,500 prisoners refusing to accept any food since April 17, has escalated, with more members joining the strikers.

Mr Abbas meets US President Donald Trump next week and is likely to be asked if he speaks for all Palestinians.

The announcement, informing Israel about the cut in funding, is part of the serious internal confrontation between the Authority and Hamas over controlling the Gaza Strip.

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