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Palestinians end hunger strike protest

SCORES of Palestinians on hunger strike have ended a protest against detention without trial after winning limited concessions from Israel but no major change of policy.

About 120 Palestinians on so-called "administrative detention" began fasting on April 24 and were joined over the past two months by 180 others. About 75 needed hospitalisation, fuelling debate in Israel over a proposed force-feeding law.

Previous hunger strikes had stirred international sympathy for the Palestinians and ended with some inmates being released.

But this protest was largely eclipsed by diplomatic crises over the collapse of US-sponsored peace talks after rival Palestinian factions signed a unity deal and by the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank.

Qadoura Fares, a Palestinian official acting as an advocate for the prisoners, said the hunger strike had been suspended with Israel agreeing to remove punishments imposed on the inmates and to other measures affecting them in prison.

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