Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday called on Palestinians to continue what he termed the "prisoners' intifada" in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

The Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency quoted Haniyeh as saying, "We will fight in all arenas, take responsibility and pay the toll for the sake of their freedom."

Protests and riots, marked by rock-throwing at Israeli security forces, have erupted in the West Bank in the past several weeks in support of four hunger-striking Palestinians in Israeli prisons. The upheaval intensified last week when Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat died in Megiddo Prison. The Palestinian Authority has contended that he died as a result of torture, a claim Israel has denied.

Haniyeh said at a Gaza event in support of prisoners on Sunday that the hunger strikers and protests in solidarity with them " tell the story of a people and a cause. They tell a story of imprisonment and a blessed march of Jihad on the land of Palestine, namely in prisons."

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