UPDATE, 5 September: Kayed Abu Rish has suspended his hunger strike. All of the original five strikers in the “Battle of Breaking the Chains,” (Nidal Abu Aker, Ghassan Zawahreh, Shadi Ma’ali, Badr al-Ruzza, Munir Abu Sharar) as well as several more administrative detainees who have since joined the strike remain on strike and need your support!
Five Palestinian prisoners held in administrative detention without charge or trial in Israeli jails are about to enter their second week on hunger strike, demanding an end to administrative detention. Take Action to support the hunger strikers and call for freedom for administrative detainees!
Nidal Abu Aker, Ghassan Zawahreh, Shadi Ma’ali, Badr al-Ruzza, and Munir Abu Sharar launched their hunger strike on 20 August 2015, protesting their administrative detention without charge or trial. All have had their arbitrary detention orders renewed multiple times. On Monday, 31 August, they were removed from their prison cells and thrown into isolation – Abu Aker in Asqelan, Zawahreh and Ma’ali in Ella prison, and Ruzzah and Abu Sharar in the Naqab prison.
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association reported that the five have consumed only liquids since 20 August and are boycotting the occupation military courts along with 50 other administrative detainees, exposing the sham nature of these hearings relying on secret information that neither Palestinian prisoners or their lawyer can review. “Addameer calls upon solidarity organizations, human rights organizations and individuals all around the world to join the campaign to end administrative detention while emphasizing the necessity of popular support for Palestinian prisoners and detainees,” the organization urged.
In addition, Kayed Fawzi Abu Rish, 42, from Nablus, has been on hunger strike for 26 days. Held in administrative detention since December 2014, the order against him was renewed in June 2015 for an additional six months. He was transferred to hospital yesterday after being held in isolation in Megiddo prison.
There are approximately 480 Palestinians held without charge or trial in administrative detention in Israeli prisons. Israeli military commanders issue orders for up to one to six months of detention, which are indefinitely renewable. Introduced in Palestine by the British colonial authority, administrative detention is used in a routine and frequent manner. According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies, 85% of administrative detention orders are renewed at least once. Israel’s widespread and systematic use of administrative detention violates the Geneva Conventions and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The five detainees have been on hunger strike for thirteen days and are about to enter their third week on strike, while Abu Rish is nearing a month on strike. They are demanding an end to administrative detention in this “Battle of Breaking the Chains.” They are threatened not only by the risks to their health and lives by hunger striking, but also threatened with the new Israeli force-feeding law that legitimizes force-feeding torture against hunger striking prisoners, which led to the death of four Palestinian hunger strikers in the 1970s and 1980s.
Video (Press TV News report):
In Dheisheh refugee camp, the home of three of the strikers, a permanent solidarity tent has been set up. Khader Adnan, former administrative detainee who won his freedom twice through long-term hunger strikes, visited the solidarity tent and met with members of the prisoners’ families; Layla (Um Samer) Issawi also met with the strikers’ families, urging support and solidarity with the strike. She is the mother of Samer, Shireen and Medhat Issawi, all imprisoned in Israeli jails; Samer was previously freed in a long-term hunger strike.
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.