shukrikhawaja

Palestinian prisoner Shukri al-Khawaja, held in solitary confinement for 16 months in Ramon prison, launched a hunger strike on Sunday, 10 April, demanding his return to general population.

Al-Khawaja’s isolation was extended on Thursday by an Israeli military court in Eshel prison for an additional three months, prompting his hunger strike. He has been held in solitary confinement sine 17 December 2014, and has received only one family visit since that time.

He joins fellow Palestinian prisoners striking against isolation and administrative detention. Sami Janazrah, 43, a Palestinian refugee from al-Fuwwar camp near al-Khalil, has been on hunger strike since 3 March. His brother, Mahmoud, said that his health is deteriorating significantly; his appeal of his administrative detention was rejected on Thursday. Mahmoud Janazrah told Prisoners Voice Radio that his brother is suffering from kidney and tooth pain and shortness of breath, and had been transferred to Ofer prison. Janazrah has been imprisoned without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention since 15 November 2015.

Janazrah and Khawaja are two of seven Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike against administrative detention and the use of solitary confinement. Their fellow strikers include Abdel-Rahim Sawayfeh, Abdul-Ghani Safadi, Fouad Assi, Adib Mafarjeh, and Mohammed Daoud. Like Janazrah, Sawayfeh, Safadi, Assi, and Mafarjeh are all imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention. Daoud is a re-arrested former prisoner, released in 2011 in the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange with the Palestinian resistance, whose remaining five-year term was arbitrarily reimposed without charge or trial by the Israeli military in late 2015.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges people of conscience around the world, Palestine solidarity organizations and supporters of justice to take action in support of these Palestinian prisoners on the front lines in the struggle against occupation and apartheid. It must not take two and three months of starvation for the calls of Palestinian prisoners for freedom to be heard and heeded; it is necessary to mobilize now and build support for not only the hunger strikers, but for all over 7,000 Palestinian prisoners, imprisoned in Israeli jails for seeking the freedom of their people.

Take Action

1. 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 samidoun@samidoun.net to inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.

2. 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.

3. 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 itPalestinian political prisoners have issued a specific call urging action on G4S. Learn more about BDS at bdsmovement.net.