Four Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike in Israeli prison. Salah al-Khawaja, 50, of the village of Nil’in, launched a hunger strike on Monday, 13 November after his administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, was renewed only one day before he was scheduled for release.
Administrative detention orders, which last for one to six months at a time, are indefinitely renewable, and Palestinians routinely spend years at a time jailed under administrative detention.
Khawaja is also suffering a delicate health condition. Within days after he was detained, he was taken for a heart catheterization procedure at the Shaare Tzedek hospital, where he was told that an open heart surgery was necessary. The Israel Prison Service refused to authorize the operation and his imprisonment without charge or trial, while needing serious health treatment, continues.
He joins three more Palestinian prisoners on open hunger strike – Hassan Shokeh, 29, on strike for 34 days against his imprisonment without charge or trial, and Hamza Marwan Bouzia, 27, on strike for 23 days against administrative detention. Bajis Nakhleh has been on hunger strike for seven days, a strike he launched immediately upon his arrest by Israeli occupation forces on 8 November, only 2 months after his release on 1 September.
In particular, Bouzia and Shokeh have been on hunger strike for an extended period of time, in which they not only are suffering from extensive weight loss, fatigue and pain but also cognitive difficulties. Prior to and after the third week of hunger strike is one of the most dangerous times for a person on strike. The commitment of the hunger strikers to achieve their freedom is so great – and the ability to challenge administrative detention so limited by the occupation – that their bodies and lives are on the line in their bid for freedom.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges support and action to free these four Palestinians whose lives and bodies are on the line for freedom and against injustice. By taking action, you can show the Israeli occupation and international governments that these Palestinians are not alone and have worldwide support and solidarity with their urgent demands.
1) Organize or join an event in support of the hunger strikers. Protest outside your local Israeli embassy, consulate or mission, or at a public square or government building. You can drop a banner or put up a table to support the prisoners and their strike. You can also bring signs and flyers about the hunger strikers to local events about Palestine and social justice. Send your events and actions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.
2) Call your government officials and urge action. Call your foreign affairs officials – and members of parliament – and urge action for the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike.
Call your country’s officials urgently:
- Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop: + 61 2 6277 7500
- Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland: +1-613-992-5234
- European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
- New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully: +64 4 439 8000
- United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: +44 20 7008 1500
- United States President Donald Trump: 1-202-456-1111
Tell your government: Three Palestinian prisoners are on hunger strike for their basic human rights – for freedom from imprisonment without charge or trial. Governments must pressure Israel to end administrative detention now!
3) Build the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign! Join the BDS Movement to highlight the complicity of corporations like Hewlett-Packard and the continuing involvement of G4S in Israeli policing and prisons. Build a campaign to boycott Israeli goods, impose a military embargo on Israel, or organize around the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.
Download the flyers and posters for distribution: