A group of Palestinian youth who began a sit-in and hunger strike in Ramallah 17 days ago say they will continue the strike until the Palestinian Authority releases political prisoners, as promised by the Palestinian President eight days ago.One of the hunger strikers, Ma’ath Musleh, who has remained without food for 17 straight days, has grown so weak that he is barely able to speak.

The protest began with marches held on the same day in Ramallah, in the West Bank, and Gaza City, calling for national unity and an end to the internal divisions in Palestine.

An earlier hunger strike was called off when support dwindled, but a group calling itself the ‘March 15th movement’ rekindled support for the idea of a hunger strike, and some of the original group and new recruits began a new hunger strike on March 26th.

One of the organizers of the March 15th movement, Fadi el-Salameen, told Time magazine, “I met some of the leaders of the Tahrir Square movement at a conference in Doha. They don’t fit the usual profile of a ‘youth leader.’ They are low-key, well educated but not wealthy. They are figuring it out as they go along, trying to figure out what works.”

The Palestinian youth protesting at al-Manara Square in Ramallah are also demanding that the two major Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, stop using the media for incitement against each other.

Both Fatah and Hamas blamed one another for the youth protests that have taken place in Palestine, and for the ongoing sit-in at al-Manar Square.