Feb. 18- Palestinians clashed with Israel's military over the treatment of prisoners in Israeli jails as the EU calls for humane treatment for four jailed men on hunger strike. Jessica Gray reports.
Palestinians in the West Bank clash with Israeli forces on Monday during protests against the treatment of prisoners. Hundreds of others gathered in force across the region, blocking roads and calling for freedom. There are nearly 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Most were convicted of attacking Israel's military, but there are dozens being detained without charge. On Monday, European Union leaders voiced concern over four Palestinians staging a hunger strike while in jail. According to reports, their health is deteriorating fast, prompting the EU representative in Jerusalem to call for better treatment of prisoners. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOHN GATT RUTTER, EU REPRESENTATIVE IN JERUSALEM, SAYING: "We have called for the restoration of full family visiting rights in line with international human rights obligations, which should be extended to all Palestinian prisoners and detainees. As we have said before, we are concerned about the extensive use of administrative detention by the Israelis." Activists say the men have been refusing food for months. In response, Israeli authorities released a statement saying the four are in good condition and have received necessary medical attention. Palestinian officials said the protests in West Bank and the Gaza Strip will continue all week in solidarity.