Hunger Strikers for Freedom, for Justice, for Dignity, for PalestineJoining the on-going struggle against the inhumane conditions inside Israeli dungeons and against the policies of administrative detention, medical negligence and isolation, it was reported today that 47 year old administrative detainee Ahmad Nabhan Saqer has started an open-ended hunger strike in protest of administrative detention. Saqer is the longest serving administrative detainee, and has been locked up behind Zionist bars without charge or trial since 28.11.2008. Only some days ago, 75 year old Ahmad Haj Ali, the eldest administrative detainee, had also joined the struggle against administrative detention and is today on his 5th day of hunger strike. Al-Haj Ali, who is an MP, has been in a renewed administrative detention in Majido dungeon since 9 months and suffers from diabetes and heart problems. There are currently around 310 administrative detainees held captive in Israeli dungeons. The illegal policy of administrative detention allows the Israeli military to hold Palestinian prisoners indefinitely without charge or trial. Israeli prison authority uses administrative detention as prolonged detention, and in some cases Palestinian detainees are held captive without charge or trial for 5 or even 10 years. Currently, there are over 20 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike protesting administrative detention, the inhumane treatment inside Israeli jails, medical negligence and isolation.
Hana’ Ash-Shalabi, 29 years old, is today on her 32nd day of open-ended hunger strike against administrative detention.
Hana’ was kidnapped from her home in Burqin, Jenin on 16.02.2012 and has been ordered in administrative detention for 6 months. This is not the first time for Hana’: she had been in administrative detention for 6 executive times since 14.03.2009, and was released in October 2011 in the latest prisoner exchange deal after spending 2 and a half years in Israeli detention without charge or trial. Through her hunger-strike, Hana’ is protesting against her illegal detention and to demand an end to the policy of administrative detention. Hana’s health is deteriorating and in a recent letter she said that despite the suffering and pain, she will continue the struggle. Her health is rapidly deteriorating and she is in critical condition: Her blood pressure is very low, salt concentration in her blood is very high which affects her kidneys and causes her extreme pain at night. Her heart beats are weak and irregular, she suffers from a sharp pain in the chest, severe dehydration and dizziness, and cannot stand up. In the letter she confirmed her strict refusal to deportation. The Israeli prison authority has punished Hana’ for refusing to break her hunger strike by denying her family visits for a month.
Kifah Hattab, 51 years old, is today on his 22nd day of open-ended hunger strike against the inhumane treatment in Israeli dungeons
Hattab has been held captive in Israeli dungeons since 04.06.2003. He refuses to acknowledge Israeli military prison orders and on 26.02.2012 started a second open-ended hunger strike to protest the inhumane treatment at the hands of Israeli jailors and to demand Israeli prison authority respect humanitarian and international law and treat him as “Prisoners of War”. He is fined 250 shekels/day for refusing to attend the daily prisoner count. This is not the first time Hattab has been on hunger-strike: on 17.04.2011 he started a hunger strike that lasted 20 days, during which he was punished with isolation.
Bilal Thiab, 26 years old, and Tha’ir Halahleh, 25 years old, are today on their 18th day of open-ended hunger strike against administrative detention
On 01.03.2012, administrative detainees Bilal Thiab from Jenin and Tha’ir Halahleh from Hebron, held captive in An-Naqab prison, started an open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with Hana’ Ash-Shalabi and against their administrative detention. Bilal was detained several times, spending a total of 7 years in Israeli jails, and one year in administrative detention, which has been recently renewed. Tha’ir was detained several times, spending a total of 9 years in Israeli dungeons, 4 of them in administrative detention.
Murad Malayshah and Islam Al-Shu’aybe are today on their 15th day of open-ended hunger strike against administrative detention
On 03.03.2012, Murad Malayshah from Jenin and Islam Shu’aybe from Salfit, both held captive in Shatta jail, started a hunger strike in solidarity with Hana’ Ash-Shalabi and against administrative detention. Both were detained several times by Israeli occupation forces. On 15.03.2012, Malayshah’s administrative detention was renewed for another 7 months.
Hasan Safadi, 34 years old, Mohammad Abu ‘Arab and Omar Shalal are today on their 13th day of open-ended hunger strike against administrative detention
On 05.03.2012, administrative detainees Hasan Safadi from Nablus, Mohammad Abu ‘Arab from Balata refugee camp and Omar Shalal from Nablus started an open-ended hunger strike Both Hasan Safadi and Mohammad Abu ‘Arab have been held in renewed administrative detention. Abu ‘Arab was detained in August 2010 for one year, and hours before his release he was placed under administrative detention. Since then, his detention has been renewed for the 3rd consecutive time without trial or charge.
At least 10 detainees are today on their 12th day of open-ended hunger strike
On 06.03.2012, 10 Palestinian detainees held captive in Majiddo prison started an open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with Hana’ Ash-Shalabi and to protest administrative detention: Ayman Tbeishah from Dura, Salih A. Kmeil from Qabatia, Salih S. Kmeil from Qabatia, Bilal Kmeil from Qabatia, Murad Fashafshah from Jaba’, Adib Al-Qut from Jenin, Mohammad ‘Abushi from Jenin, Fayez Ash-Shayeb from Jenin, ‘Asif Abu Al-Rub from Jenin and Samir Abu Khaznah from Tulkarim.
Some reports mention another 9 prisoners on hunger strike in Majiddo: Tariq Qa’dan, Ayman Batsh, Nathmi Saba’nah, Tha’ir Daraghmah, Rami Foudah, Mohammad ’Ineitri, Hamzah Qa’aur, Adham Al-Jamal, Nidal Abu Shadoof.
Other reports add that another 6 prisoners held captive in An-Naqab and Al-Jalameh are on open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with Hana’ and against administrative detention: Mu’tasim Jaradat, Husni Jaradat, Muhannad Jaradat, Riyad Abu ‘Ahur, Mohammad Al-Batmah, Mohammad Karajah, Tariq Qa’dan and Tha’ir Daraghmah.
In addition, the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons continues against the policies of medical negligence and isolation. According to several Palestinian prisoner organizations there are over 1500 Palestinian prisoners with medical problems, 550 of them are in need of surgery. Many prisoners suffer from cancer, heart diseases, high blood pressure, respiratory and kidney diseases, diabetes, severe inflammation, bone and skin diseases, paralysis, vision loss, dental problems and other malignant or chronic diseases. Some suffer from past injuries inflicted upon them by the IOF during their arrest, or by the Israeli prison authority and the Israeli intelligence (Shabak) during interrogation and after it. In addition to physical suffering, more than 40 Palestinian prisoners suffer from mental and psychological ailments due to the interrogation methods used by the Israeli Shabak and the Israeli prison authorities, which include torture. Many of these patients await an inevitable death because of medical negligence, lack of appropriate medical treatment, medications and specialists to treat their cases. Palestinian patients are treated either in the so-called prison clinics or are sent to the Ramleh prison “hospital”. Both the “hospital” and the clinics lack basic medical equipment and supplies and are run by military personnel with little to no medical training. Palestinian prisoners who need urgent treatment get interrogated in the so-called prison clinics and are blackmailed into giving information. All ailment and diseases, no matter how malignant, are “treated” with pain killers, expired or useless medicines and those who do get operated end up in a worse situation than before the operation. Since 1967, at least 50 Palestinian prisoners died while in captivity as a result of medical negligence. Many others were left for years without medical treatment, and were only released to die after their health condition became hopeless.
In a letter signed by 30 Palestinian patients held captive in Israeli dungeons, the prisoners threatened to start an open-ended hunger strike to protest the policy of medical negligence. In their letter, the prisoners say: “…we are only given painkillers, we are never taken to proper hospitals, and the (Ramleh) prison hospital is nothing but isolation cells, we are humiliated and insulted… “ They demand the UN send an international commission to investigate their situation and the abuses they are subjected to, and to investigate the extent of Israel’s commitment to international standards and human rights laws in dealing with political prisoners, especially the patients. They also stressed that the WHO implement its resolution of May 2010 about sending a joint fact-finding commission together with the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Israeli prisons and investigate the state of Palestinian prisons and medical negligence in Israeli jails. Among the patients are heart, kidney and cancer patients and those with disabilities and paralysis, and their health condition is deteriorating with every passing day. The prisoners complained in their letter of the wide-spread medical negligence and that while patients are dying a slow and painful death, they are being ignored by human rights organization. The letter names a number of critical cases: Mu’tasim Radad, Ra’fat Turkman and Fawwaz Ba’arah (cancer patients), Riyad Yaghmour, Mohammad Ridwan and ‘Ala’ Iddin Hassouneh (heart diseases), Ashraf Abu Threi’, Khalid Ash-Shaweesh, Mansour Moqada, Nahid Al-Aqra’, Abdallah Masalmah and Mohammad Abu Libdah (disabilities), Zuheir Lubbadah (cirrhosis)
Among the 4600 Palestinians held captive in Israeli dungeons, over 20 Palestinians are locked up in isolation cells. Isolation is one form used by Israeli prison authority to punish Palestinian political prisoners, and usually isolation orders are extended without reason and prisoners who are placed in isolation remain so for many years and have no access to other prisoners, no contact with the outside world. Isolation cells have an area of only 1.8m x 2.7m, including the WC. These cells are damp, badly ventilated. They have an iron door that is fitted with an opening for passing food to the prisoner and one small window close to the ceiling causing high humidity. Neither fresh air nor natural light enter the isolation cells. Prisoners are expected to live, cook, sleep, shower and excrete in these cells. There is almost no room for movement and little space for personal items. In their continuous struggle for freedom and for their rights, Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli dungeons started a new protest action entitled “Revolution of the Prisoners of Freedom” which is a comprehensive struggle action to protest the policy of isolation. The protest is to start gradually, and grow in intensity and rate of protests with every new struggle phase and finally lead to civil disobedience and an open-ended hunger strike in all Israeli jails until the demands of Palestinian political prisoners are met. (read more)
More on Palestinian political prisoners:
A Nation Behind Bars: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israeli Detention
Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike: Defeating Oppression, Liberating Palestine
Palestinian Prisoners: A Symbol of Resistance, Steadfastness and Pride
Graves for the Living: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Solitary Confinement
On International Women’s Day, Palestinian Political Prisoners Remain the Spearhead of Resistance
Palestinian Political Prisoners; the Struggle for a Free Palestine Continues
Hana‘ Ash-Shalabi; A Struggle Against Administrative Detention