Protests in Belfast demand release of Hana Shalabi

Gaza TV News published the following report from Belfast on March 16, 2012: For the second time this week, hundreds of Irish people turned out in Belfast to show support and solidarity for Hana Shalabi, the Palestinian woman who has now entered her 30th day on Hunger Strike in protest at her incarceration under “Administrative Detention” in an Israeli prison.

Hana had previously been held in administrative detention at the HaSharon prison in Israel for a 30 month period between 2009 and 2011. Hana was released in the prisoner exchange four months ago that freed 1027 Palestinians, and the lone Israeli soldier captive, Gilad Shalit.

Since her release she had been trying to recover from the deep sense of estrangement she experienced in prison, and rarely left her home or the company of her family. As she was returning to normalcy, she was re-arrested in an abusive manner, which allegedly included a strip-search by a male soldier and sexual abuse.

On February 16, 2012, the day of the renewal of her administrative detention, Hana indicated her resolve to start a hunger strike to protest her own treatment, and to demand an end of administrative detention now relied upon by Israel to hold at least 309 Palestinian in prison.

Her parents have been denied visitation rights, and  Hana  has been placed in solitary confinement. Her health has deteriorated to the point of concern for her life. Impressively, her parents have committed themselves to a hunger strike for as long as their daughter remains under administrative detention.

Just like in the case of Khader Adnan, the Irish people have stood tall, and recalling the experiences of the infamous 1981 hunger strikes where 10 men died, they have gathered together to show solidarity and support for Hana in her hour of need. When it comes to Palestinian solidarity, the Irish have not been silent.