Talks ongoing to end Palestinian hunger strike

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- Officials say Israelis and Palestinians are negotiating to end a mass hunger strike of Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

It is the first time that substantive talks have been reported to be under way to defuse the hunger strike carried out by some 1,600 prisoners to demand better conditions and an end to detention without trial. Most have refused food for a month and a smaller core have gone without it for longer, including two for over 70 days.

Palestinian officials say Egyptian officials are trying to mediate between the strikers and Israel. An Israeli official confirmed talks were taking place but would not offer more detail.

All requested anonymity, because of the matter's sensitivity. Egyptian officials weren't immediately available for comment.