Ghassan Zawahreh

Palestinian activist Ghassan Zawahreh, former long-term hunger striker and organizer from Dheisheh refugee camp, was ordered to a 7-month prison sentence in Israeli occupation prisons and a fine of NIS 1,000 (USD $300) by the Ofer military court on Sunday, 22 April. Zawahreh, 36, had been held in administrative detention without charge or trial since 19 July 2016; his detention was renewed repeatedly until his case was suddenly transferred to the military courts.

He is the brother of Moataz Zawahreh, who was killed by occupation forces in 2015 as he protested in Bethlehem as part of the Jerusalem uprising of that time. When his brother was killed, he was imprisoned; Moataz had returned to Palestine from studying abroad in France in order to support Ghassan and his comrades in a hunger strike that took place in the summer of 2015 against administrative detention. He won his release in December 2015, only to be seized again by occupation forces seven months later.

Over previous arrests, he has spent nearly 12 years in Israeli occupation prisons, mostly in administrative detention without charge or trial. He has been a leader in the prisoners’ movement, participating in collective and small group hunger strikes against administrative detention, including the 2015 strike, the strike in solidarity with Bilal Kayed and the 2017 Freedom and Dignity strike.

The transfer of Zawahreh to the military courts comes in tandem with several cases in which Palestinian prisoners were transferred to administrative detention after completing their sentences. Addameer reported that two Palestinians, Tariq Jamal, 26, from al-Arroub camp in al-Khali, and Mohammed Namrouti, 26, from Balata camp in Nablus, were ordered to six months in administrative detention on 3 April.  Jamal had completed his seven month sentence for posting on Facebook and Namrouti had completed his two month sentence for student political activity when they were both ordered imprisoned without charge or trial.