As Palestinian hunger strike grows, Israeli repression escalates

hunger_striking_prisonerThe Israeli prison administration is trying to break the hunger strike of Palestinian prisoner Imad Batran, held under administrative detention without charge or trial, said the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission on Thursday, 31 March.

Batran has been held under administrative detention on multiple occasions; in his last imprisonment without charge or trial, he conducted a 105-day hunger strike for his release. He began his current hunger strike on 25 February.

He has been repeatedly transferred from prison to prison; in the past week he was transferred from Megiddo prison to Asqelan prison and then again today to solitary confinement in Elah prison.

In the case of Sami Janazrah, also held under administrative detention without charge or trial, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society reported that he is now being held in isolation in the Naqab desert prison. Striking since 3 March, he is now suffering pain in the kidneys, chest and teeth. Janazrah reported to his lawyer that Israeli authorities had spoken to him about agreeing to not renew his detention, but that there were no commitments and that his strike is ongoing.

Another Palestinian prisoner has joined the growing hunger strikes – Mohammed Daoud, 34, a Palestinian refugee living in Dheisheh refugee camp, has now been on hunger strike for eight days. Daoud is one of the prisoners released in 2011 in the prisoner exchange with the Palestinian resistance; he was re-imprisoned last November and his former sentence reimposed with no charges against him under vague grounds of “security.” Daoud is now being held in solitary confinement in Ofer prison; he was serving a 10-year sentence, of which he had served five before his release in 2011. The Israeli military has now ordered the reimposition of the remaining five years of his prior sentence. There are dozens of former, re-arrested prisoners facing similar circumstances.