Students fast in support of Hana Shalabi

“Students fast in support of Palestinian prisoner”

by Haley Goldberg, Daily News Editor
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus
March 30, 2012
“As the clock struck 11 p.m. last night, plates of hummus, chicken, fattoush, pizza and cookies were placed atop the desks in room 2436 of Mason Hall, as 14 members of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality hungrily dug into the spread after spending the last 23 hours participating in a hunger strike in honor of Hana Shalabi.
“In response to an international call for a day of hunger by one student at every American and European college, about 25 University student members of SAFE began a hunger strike at 12:01 a.m. yesterday to raise awareness for Shalabi, a Palestinian woman who was arrested and detained last month by Israeli forces without charge for allegedly supporting the Islamic Jihad militant group. In protest of the arrest, Shalabi began a hunger strike that lasted for 43 days, spurring movements for solidarity around the world.

“LSA senior Abbas Alawieh, education chair for SAFE, said the organization decided to participate in the hunger strike at its meeting on Wednesday night. While only one student was asked to participate, Alawieh said about 25 members agreed to strike.
“Members wore orange ribbons around their arms in solidarity of the international hunger strike, and Alawieh said the strike raised awareness for the more than 300 Palestinian prisoners being held without charge in Israeli prisons….

“Four NU students fast in support of Palestinian prisoner”
By Paulina Firozi
Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois)
Friday, March 30, 2012
Four Northwestern students, along with students from other universities across the country, chose Thursday to go on a 24-hour hunger strike in support of Hana Shalabi, a Palestinian prisoner who had been on a hunger strike for 42 days.
Since her arrest by Israeli Occupying Forces at her home in Burquin, Jenin, Shalabi had been in administrative detention, or detention without a charge or trial, according to a prisoner report by the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.
Plans were made Thursday to release Shalabi, which prompted the end of her hunger strike. Students had already made plans for their strike.
In October, Shalabi was released from two years in prison after being detained because of a prisoner exchange between the Israeli government and Hamas. One thousand and twenty-seven political prisoners from Palestine were later released reportedly in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, according to the prisoner report.
The four students represented NU’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.
Weinberg sophomore Salek Khalid, Weinberg senior Natasha Singh, Weinberg freshman Serene Darwish and Weinberg sophomore Nouha Boundaoui were the four SJP students involved.
“I feel like on college campuses, solidarity is a really important thing,” Darwish said. “That’s how it started with South Africa — apartheid fell and we will get there with Palestine.”
Khalid said the students had heard of about 320 prisoners who are currently under administrative detention and that many of them have also been inspired to begin hunger strikes.
More than 30 universities including Harvard University and Columbia University have students who were involved in the one-day strike.
“When we got the call to action by organizers, we thought it was important for us to respond,” Khalid said. “It’s not just to raise awareness, but it’s an act to be presented to Hana’s family, that we stand with her and they are not alone….”