GAZA, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Palestinians on Tuesday marked the Prisoners Day along the Gaza-Israel borders as part of the mass protest known as the "Great March of Return."
During the rally, which was organized by Palestinian national and Islamic factions, participants held pictures of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and chanted for their release.
The six-week "Great March of Return" broke out on March 30 in five major spots along Gaza's eastern border with Israel.
The Palestinian mass march is expected to peak on May 15, the day after the 70th anniversary of Israel's declaration of independence but marked by the Palestinians as the Nakba Day, or "Day of the Catastrophe."
Family members of the prisoners called for international intervention, especially the UN, to improve the conditions in Israeli prisons and achieve their freedom.
"The dawn of freedom will inevitably come to all prisoners no matter how long it may take," Diaa al-Agha, mother of a Palestinian captive who was sentenced to life imprisonment and has been in jail for 26 years, told Xinhua.
Also in the day, a youth group flew 70 kites with the pictures of prisoners in a tent city east of the city of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.
Iyad Abu Fonoun, an Islamic Hamas Movement official, said the issue of the prisoners has united all the Palestinians to work for their release.
Talal Abu Zarifa, an official in the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told Xinhua that the marking of the Prisoners Day highlights the issue of the prisoners as a cornerstone of the Palestinian struggle.
Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, called the issue of prisoners "a national priority central to the Palestinian leadership."
He urged the international community and rights groups to protect the rights of Palestinian prisoners and force Israel to release them immediately.
According to a report by Palestinian Prisoner's Club Association, about 1 million cases of Palestinian arrests have been documented since 1967, with 1,928 Palestinians arrested in 2018.
A total of 48 Palestinians have been jailed for more than 20 years, and 12 for over 30 years, the report said.
In addition, around 700 prisoners are suffering from chronic diseases and need consistent medical attention, including 26 suffering from cancer.
Palestinians have been marking the Prisoners Day each year since April 17, 1974, the day when more than 6,000 Palestinian prisoners rallied in Israeli prisons and detention camps.