Prisoners in Ofer jail (archive)
Prisoners in Ofer jail (archive)Israel news photo: Flash 90

A leader with the Islamic Jihad terror group warned on Sunday that the death of any hunger-striking prisoner in Israel will start the third intifada.

The official, Mohammad Al-Hindi, was quoted by the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency as having said that the “battle of the empty stomachs”, in which more than 2,000 jailed Palestinian Authority Arab terrorist prisoners are refusing food, had overcome factional divisions.

“This battle will be the gateway for Palestinian unity,” Al-Hindi told supporters of the hunger-strikers at a solidarity tent in central Gaza City. He urged cross-factional demonstrations to support the prisoners even if they lead to clashes with Israeli forces.

He also called on the Arab League to shut Israeli embassies and expel envoys in response to the popular protest rocking Israel's jails, Ma’an reported.

The mass hunger strike by the prisoners began on April 17. In a tactic for United Nations sympathy, the PA has said that the prisoners' hunger strike is a humanitarian disaster.

On Friday, Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya warned Israel there would be consequences if any of the prisoners on hunger strike dies in jail.

On Saturday, Arab MK Jamal Zahalka said that the ongoing hunger strike could spark a third round of “intifada” violence against Israel.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the Arab League held an urgent meeting in Cairo to discuss the situation, Ma’an reported. During the meeting, the Kuwaiti chair of the summit posed a resolution at the UN General Assembly to support the prisoners.