Nidal Abu Aker, Munir Abu Sharar, Badr al-Ruzza, Ghassan Zawahreh, and Shadi Ma’ali are engaged in the “Battle of Breaking the Chains” for the seventeenth day, continuing in their hunger strike to demand the end of administrative detention. All five are imprisoned by the Israeli military without charge or trial on the basis of “secret evidence” and have launched a hunger strike to demand not only their freedom personally, but an end to the policy that has been used against them.
Several more Palestinian prisoners have joined in the hunger strike and its demands: Bilal Daoud Saifi, who like Abu Aker, Zawahreh and Ma’ali is a Palestinian refugee who lives in Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, who started his strike on 30 August; Suleiman Eskafi of Al-Khalil, an administrative detainee on strike since 1 September; and Amir Shammas of Al-Khalil, an administrative detainee who previoulsy engaged in a hunger strike, had been promised that his detention would not be renewed, but since has had his detention renewed. In addition, Noor Shoukri Jaber, a Palestinian prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment, began a hunger strike on 2 September in protest of lack of medical care and his arbitrary transfer.
All of the striking prisoners have been thrown into isolation in an attempt to pressure them to end their strike and to stop other prisoners from joining the strike.
The “Battle of Breaking the Chains” is sparking actions of support in various cities in Palestine. A permanent tent of support has been set up at the main entrance of Dheisheh refugee camp, where four of the strikers – and three of its leaders – live, and demonstrations of support have been organized in Nablus, Al-Khalil, Bethlehem city, and Ramallah, among other cities.
Bethlehem (Sit-in at Red Cross headquarters):
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its strongest solidarity with the striking prisoners, and calls for international actions, mobilizations and events to demand their freedom. We cannot wait until these brave strugglers are facing death to act and demand not only their freedom as individuals, but the abolition of administrative detention – on the road to freeing every Palestinian prisoner held in Israeli occupation jails. It is not the case that Israeli military courts are any more legitimate, fair or acceptable than administrative detention – they are just as arbitrary, racist and illegitimate. But administrative detention is a weapon of mass terror used against the Palestinian people, and it is critical to bring this practice to an end. These Palestinian prisoners have put their bodies on the line in order to end administrative detention – and it is imperative that we act to support them. These prisoners’ struggle is not only about their individual freedom – it is part of their struggle for return and liberation for Palestine.
1. Sign on to this statement in support of the prisoners’ demand to End Administrative Detention. Organizational and individual endorsements are welcome – and organizational endorsements particularly critical – in support of the prisoners’ demands and their actions. Click here to sign or sign below:http://bit.ly/EndAdministrativeDetention
2. Send a solidarity statement. The support of people around the world helps to inform people about the struggle of Palestinian prisoners. It is a morale booster and helps to build political solidarity. Please send your solidarity statements to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be published and sent directly to the prisoners.
3. Hold a solidarity one-day hunger strike in your area. Gather in a tent or central area, bring materials about Palestinian prisoners and hold a one-day solidarity strike to raise awareness and provide support for the struggle of the prisoners and the Palestinian cause. Please email us at email@example.com to inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.
4. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy in your area. Bring posters and flyers about administrative detention and Palestinian hunger strikers and hold a protest, or join a protest with this important information. Hold a community event or discussion, or include this issue in your next event about Palestine and social justice. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.
5. Contact political officials in your country – members of Parliament or Congress, or the Ministry/Department of Foreign Affairs or State – and demand that they cut aid and relations with Israel on the basis of its apartheid practices, its practice of colonialism, and its numerous violations of Palestinian rights including the systematic practice of administrative detention. Demand they pressure Israel to free the hunger strikers and end administrative detention.
6. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. G4S, a global security corporation, is heavily involved in providing services to Israeli prisons that jail Palestinian political prisoners – there is a global call to boycott it. Palestinian political prisoners have issued a specific call urging action on G4S. Learn more about BDS at bdsmovement.net.