Arab MK launches hunger protest
Azmi Bishara protest is
An Israeli-Arab politician has gone on hunger strike to protest at the suffering caused to Palestinians by Israel's West Bank barrier.
Azmi Bishara, a member of the Israeli Knesset and founder of the Balad party, began the strike on Sunday.
Protesters and Palestinian politicians have joined Mr Bishara in a tent near the construction of the barrier in east Jerusalem.
Israel says the barrier is necessary to stop suicide bombings.
Palestinians argue it is an attempt to annex land in advance of negotiations on a future Palestinian state.
"I am doing this to tell the world about the serious damage and dreadful suffering the wall is causing for hundreds and thousands of people," Mr Bishara said.
He accused Israel of attempting to deflect world criticism of the barrier by focusing on the planned withdrawal from Gaza.
"The problem is that while they are talking about redeployment in Gaza, they are imposing borders unilaterally in the West Bank," he said.
Mr Bishara has promised to continue the strike for "for as long as I physically can."
Israel has suspended work on the barrier in some areas following High Court rulings last week.
The court also ordered the route of a 30km (19-mile) section of the barrier to the north and west of Jerusalem be changed.
The decisions came after Palestinians affected by the barrier launched legal challenges to its construction.
One ruling described the barrier as "violating the human rights of Palestinians."
Government officials say they fear the legal objections could lead to lengthy delays in the barrier's construction.
The International Court of Justice, which was asked to examine the issue last December amid mounting international concern, has said it will release its findings on 9 July.