Palestinian prisoner Eyad Abu Khudair on hunger strike for release home to Gaza

eyad-abukhudeirPalestinian prisoner Eyad Abu Khudair, 38, from Rafah in Gaza, is engaged in an open hunger strike for the past 14 days, demanding his release to Gaza after the completion of his sentence, reported prisoners inside Negev prison, where he is held.

Abu Khudair’s 8-year sentence expired on April 12, 2013; he was arrested on April 12, 2005. He is a Palestinian who carried Jordanian nationality, who came to the Gaza Strip in 1999, where he married and he and his wife had three children. At the time he entered Gaza, he applied for his status to be recognized there – but it was never recognized before his capture in 2005.

However, at the time of his arrest, Jordan stripped Jordanian nationality from him, alleging that he is a member of Islamic Jihad in Palestine, thus rendering him stateless. Jordan refuses to accept Abu Khudair’s return. He is on hunger strike demanding his release to Gaza and his family. The occupation has extended his detention by 30 days several times, saying that the issue of his release is unresolved. Abu Khudair launched his hunger strike in order to force action on the issue.

The Mohja Foundation reported that Abu Khudair has faced harsh retaliation from prison authorities for his hunger strike, saying that he was forced to stay outside in the sun in the heat of the day from 7 am to 1 pm in order to pressure him to stop the strike. He lost consciousness at the time as a result of excessive sun exposure; the prison is located in the desert.

Mohja Foundation appealed to human rights organizations and international bodies to take action to support prisoners on hunger strike to end racist abuses against them and pressure the occupation for their release.