870 Palestinians remain on hunger strike, Israeli officials say

A masked Palestinian walks during clashes with Israeli forces following a support rally for prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in the West Bank village of Beita, southeast of Nablus city, Friday, April 28, 2017.

Majdi Mohammed / AP

RAMALLAH, West Bank -- An Israel official says that on the 15th day of a hunger strike, the number of Palestinian prisoners participating in the protest has dropped to 870, from 1,300 last week.

The strike is among the largest such protests in years. The strikers demand better conditions in Israeli prisons.

Support for the strike has gained momentum with West Bank marches and a social media campaign showing celebrities in the Arab world drinking salty water in solidarity.

The strike catapulted imprisoned organizer Marwan Barghouti back into the spotlight and boosted his national leadership credentials.

Israel Prison Service spokesman Assaf Librati did not elaborate Monday on why over 400 prisoners quit the strike. He says the strikers are held in separate wings, monitored by medical staff. He says several are held in isolation.