Hunger strikes continue against isolation and administrative detention; 55 prisoners strike for Khawaja


Palestinian prisoner Shukri Khawaja, who has been held in solitary confinement for the past sixteen months, continued his hunger strike against isolation. 55 Palestinian prisoners have also continued hunger strikes in solidarity with Khawaja, demanding an end to long-term solitary confinement, while other prisoners are engaged in open hunger strikes against their imprisonment without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention. These include Sami Janazrah, now on his 44th day of hunger strike.

Despite earlier reports that Khawaja had ended his strike, representatives of Asra Media denied those reports and confirmed that he was continuing his hunger strike. In addition, Asra Media reported that there are now 55 prisoners on solidarity strikes in support of Khawaja, including 20 prisoners from Gilboa and Megiddo who joined the strike on Thursday. 15 of the strikers, in Ofer prison, are Muhammad Nasser, Muhammad Adawin, Muhammad Kifaya, Islam Hamed, Rajab Mteir, Muhammad Mteir, Hamed Abdo, Amjad Abu Alya, Numan Makhtub, Sharhabil Atta, Hasan Hamdan, Amir Saad, Ali Yaqoub, Jad Yaqoub, and Mreiteh Shreiteh.

Janazrah, now on his 44th day of hunger strike, remains held in solitary confinement in the Naqab desert prison; he has difficulty walking and serious weight loss, yet he remains held in the regular prison area and not hospitalized. He is held under administrative detention without charge or trial following his arrest by Israeli occupation forces on 15 November 2015; all of his appeals against his arbitrary detention have been rejected. He is scheduled to have a hearing before the Israeli high court on 16 May.

Eyad Fawaghra is continuing his hunger strike for the 32nd day against the denial of family visits. Adib Mafarjah and Fouad Assi, also held under administrative detention without charge or trial, are on their 13th day of hunger strike. Mafarjah was moved to solitary confinement in Ela prison in Beersheva under very harsh conditions. His wife told the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies that Mafarjah is denied pillows and has insufficient protection from cold, but that he is determined to continue his strike because “food is not more precious than freedom.” Meanwhile, Assi’s wife said that she has been denied any kind of contact or information about the situation of her husband, reaffirming that “freedom is his only demand.”

Two more Palestinian prisoners, Abdel-Rahim Sawayfeh and Mohammed Daoud, ended their hunger strikes on Thursday, 14 April, following agreements in their cases; Sawayfeh was striking against administrative detention without charge or trial, while Daoud protested the reimposition of his earlier sentence after an arbitrary re-arrest.