[Debate] Now Over 2, 000 Palestinian Hunger Strikers in Israeli Prisons
Riaz K Tayob
riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Fri Apr 27 07:20:52 BST 2012
Published on Thursday, April 26, 2012 by Common Dreams
Now Over 2,000 Palestinian Hunger Strikers in Israeli Prisons
Protesters against indefinite detention without charge, movement grows
- Common Dreams staff
The Number of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prisons
has grown to over 2,000 this week as prisoners protest against the use
of indefinite detention without charge, known as 'administrative
detention', and ill-treatment. More than 300 Palestinians are being held
without charge or trial.
An estimated 2,000 Palestinian political prisoners are currently on
open-ended hunger strike. (Mahfouz Abu Turk / APA images) Israeli
authorities have been punishing those on strike though solitary
confinement, the confiscation of personal belongings, transfers and
denial of family visits. Now, seven prisoners have been transferred to a
prison medical center due to health conditions caused by the strike.
According to rights groups in the West Bank, more prisoners are
preparing to join the protest next week.
* * *
*The Guardian/UK*: More Palestinian prisoners join hunger strike
Seven prisoners have been transferred to a prison medical centre,
including Tha'er Halahleh, 34, and Bilal Diab, 27, who by Thursday
had been on hunger strike for 58 days. Their appeals against
imprisonment without charge -- known as administrative detention --
were dismissed by a military court earlier this week.
The men's condition is rapidly deteriorating, according to Addameer,
a prisoners' rights group. It expressed "grave concern that these
hunger strikers are not receiving adequate healthcare ... and that
independent doctors are still being denied visits to them".
Administrative detention is one of the main issues behind the
protest. More than 300 Palestinians -- a 50% increase since last
year -- are being held without charge, trial or even being informed
of accusations or evidence against them. Their term of imprisonment
is determined by an Israeli military judge. Halahleh has been held
for 22 months; Diab since last August. [...]
Meanwhile, the leader of a West Bank village protest movement was
released on bail this week after more than a year in prison before
the verdict in his military trial on 13 May. Bassem Tamimi, who has
been recognised by the European Union as a "human rights defender",
is accused of incitement and organising illegal demonstrations. He
has previously spent around three years in administrative detention.
Palestinians had a duty to resist the Israeli occupation through
popular peaceful protest, he told the Guardian after his release.
"They have military superiority, but we have moral superiority," he
* * *
*The Electronic Intifada*: Mass hunger strike grows despite Israel's
best efforts to repress it
The Palestinian human rights and prisoner advocacy group Addameer
announced today that the mass, open-ended hunger strike in Israeli
prisons which began on 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners' Day, has now
grown to an estimated 2,000 participants. Addameer renews its calls
for action in support of the hunger striking prisoners.
Palestinian prisoners are protesting Israel's practice of
administrative detention --- imprisonment without charge or trial
--- as well as solitary confinement, the denial of family visits and
access to education, and other punitive measures of Israel's system
of arrest and detention which is designed to break the Palestinian
struggle for freedom and liberation. [...]
The growth of the open-ended hunger strike is despite the Israeli
authorities' punishment of hunger strikers. According to Addameer,
"Methods of punishment currently being employed against hunger
striking prisoners include attacks on prisoners' sections;
confiscation of personal belongings; transfers from one prison to
another; placement in solitary confinement; fines; and denial of
family and lawyer visits." The Israeli authorities are also reported
to be confiscating salts for hunger strikers' water --- the only
nourishment they are consuming.
Addameer reports today that hunger strikers include the 19 prisoners
who have already been held in solitary confinement, including PFLP
leader Ahmad Saadat, who has been held under lockdown for more than
three years. According to Addameer, Saadat has already lost 6kg, or
approximately 13 pounds.
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