Adib Mafarjah and Fouad Assi have now been on hunger strike for 44 days against their imprisonment without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention. Both are held in isolation in very difficult conditions, demanding their release from detention; their strikes began on 3 April 2016. Mafarjah was moved today from isolation in Eshel prison to Soroka hospital after a deterioration in his health. He has lost 30 kilograms (over 60 pounds) since he began his strike.
Mafarjah and Assi are joined by Mansour Moqtada, seriously injured and permanently held in the Ramle prison clinic, has been on a partial (liquids only) hunger strike for 36 days in protest of medical neglect, as has Muhannad al-Azzeh, who has undertaken a 26-day hunger strike for medical care. Daoud Habboub has joined Mafarjah and Assi on hunger strike for 11 days in protest of his administrative detention without charge or trial, while Mahmoud Issa and Osama Rojbi are on hunger strike against their solitary confinement.
Former prisoner Muhammad Allan, a Palestinian lawyer whose hunger strike won his release from administrative detention, sent a message to the striking prisoners, saying that they are not alone in their battle and that the Palestinian people are with them and will not remain silent, speaking on Saturday, 14 May at a rally in Ramallah in support of the striking prisoners.
Ayat Mafarjah, Adib’s wife, spoke with Asra Media Center about her husband’s strike, saying that 11 years ago he was a student at Bir Zeit University’s faculty of law, but has been unable to complete his studies due to repeated arrests. He has been imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention since 10 December 2014, his detention repeatedly renewed.
Ayat Mafarjah called for broad support for her husband’s case, calling “on humanity, on every free person who believes in justice, to carry the message of Adib Mafarjah, Fuad Assi and other striing prisoners to international institutions, and pressure the occupation to recognize their minimum rights that have been stolen from them without justification and without charge, through administrative detention, rejected under international law.”
“His health gets worse daily, he vomited blood and could not drink water and his weight has dropped significantly, he always feels sick, and on top of all of that, the occupation imprisons him in a cell full of insects, without bath water, with a foul smell,” she said.
She said that they had organized sit-ins for her husband in front of their home and held seven vigils in Ramallah, but the amount of attention to his case and that of his fellow prisoners does not equal the pain they are currently suffering. “He does not represent himself only, but is demanding the rights of all Palestinians,” Ayat said.
Meanwhile, Sami Janazrah, whose 69-day hunger strike was suspended on 11 May during a new investigation or interrogation following an Israeli Supreme Court hearing, was moved from Soroka hospital to the Negev desert prison. Janazrah continues to consume only liquids and may resume his hunger strike in the coming days if his administrative detention without charge or trial continues.
Conditions at the Negev prison are alarming Palestinian prisoner advocates amid a rising heat wave throughout Palestine. Many Palestinian prisoners are held in tents in the desert prison camp. Riyad al-Ashqar of the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies said he feared prisoners would suffer heat stroke or blackouts due to the high temperature. He also noted the danger of reptiles and scorpions in the tents in the high temperatures.