Hamas terrorist in Gaza
Hamas terrorist in GazaEmad Nassar/Flash 90

Salah Bardawil, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, on Tuesday called on the international community and the Arab and Islamic world to support the hunger strike of terrorists imprisoned in Israel and their right to "freedom and dignity."

"Hamas prisoners in the prisons of the occupation are taking a strong part in the hunger strike and this is an integral part of our struggle against the occupation in all areas," Bardawil said.

He stressed that the issue of releasing terrorist prisoners is one of the goals that Hamas aspires to achieve, and claimed that in the Gilad Shalit deal in 2011, Hamas succeeded in "subduing" Israel and forced it to release 1,050 prisoners in exchange for the abducted soldier.

Hundreds of terrorists in Israeli jails began a hunger strike on April 17 in an attempt to pressure Israel to improve the conditions of their imprisonment.

The hunger strike is being led by Marwan Barghouti, a leader of Fatah which is a rival faction to Hamas. On Sunday, Israeli authorities distributed video footage proving that Barghouti secretly ate in his cell despite being on hunger strike.

Bardawil’s comments follow ones by new Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who on Monday pledged support for the hunger-striking terrorists.

"Your freedom is a national duty and your dignity is our dignity," he said at a rally in Gaza.