Ahead of Nakba Day, Palestinians Show Solidarity With Prisoners on Hunger Strike

Palestinian groom Ali Ghait and his bride Raneen drink water with salt as they arrive at a sit-in tent to show solidarity with Palestinian Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in the West Bank city of Hebron May 12, 2017.

Palestinians across the world are posting videos of themselves on social media drinking salt water, as part of a new online challenge in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prison.

The Salt Water Challenge, as it’s called, asks supporters of the hunger strike to express their solidarity in a video before mixing salt in a glass of water and drinking it.
More than 1,500 Palestinians in eight Israeli prisons launched a “Hunger Strike for Freedom and Dignity” on April 17 to demand better living conditions and medical treatment, led by Marwan Barghouti, a high-profile prisoner who enjoys broad support among Palestinians.
The challenge involves saltwater because that’s what the hunger strikers are drinking to stabilize their health while abstaining from food.
It appears to have been initiated by Aarab Marwan Barghouti, the son of imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti who is currently serving five life sentences over his role in the second Intifada against the Israeli occupation.

Aarab Barghouti posted a video of himself on social media drinking salt water, stating: “My father, along with 1,700 other political prisoners started the Hunger Strike for Freedom and Dignity in demand for human rights and humane living conditions in the prisons.”

In similar fashion to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral in 2014, participants of Salt Water Challenge nominate others to do the same.

Barghouti nominated “Arab Idol” winner Mohammed Assaf and others to take part in the challenge. Assaf helped the campaign go viral which has now seen thousands of people take part in the challenge, including the 2017 winner of Arab Idol, Yacoub Shaheen.

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