Hunger striker Bilal Kayed moved to hospital as dozens of Palestinian prisoners launch open hunger strike


Palestinian hunger striking prisoner Bilal Kayed was moved to Barzilai Hospital today, 17 July, on his 33rd day of hunger strike. Kayed, 35, has been on strike since 15 June, demanding freedom from Israeli administrative detention without charge or trial.

Addameer lawyer Farah Bayadsi confirmed that Kayed was transferred to the hospital after further deterioration in his health condition, who is experiencing nausea, inability to walk, dizziness, fatigue and insomnia, while losing a significant amount of weight. She confirmed that Kayed will remain in the hospital for at least one day and that Addameer is working to visit Kayed in the hospital to confirm his medical condition directly. Kayed is consuming only water; he rejects all vitamin or salt supplements and has rejected all medical examinations. He is also refusing to speak to his jailers since his 30th day of hunger strike, Thursday, 14 July.

This comes as at least 37 fellow Palestinian prisoners of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine launched an open hunger strike – 10 in Ofer, 10 in Ramon, 2 in Eshel, and 15 in Megiddo and Gilboa – in solidarity with Kayed and demanding his freedom. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are on limited-term hunger strikes to demand Kayed’s freedom, while prisoners from all factions have affirmed that they will be escalating their ongoing protest actions throughout the week.

This morning, repressive forces of the Israeli prison administration broke into section 5 in Ramon prison, where Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation, Kayed’s party, is held; they also seized Kamil Abu Hanish, one of the leaders of the strike movement demanding Kayed’s freedom, and transferred him from Ramon to Gilboa prison.

Kayed has been on hunger strike since 15 June demanding his freedom from administrative detention. A six-month administrative detention order – for imprisonment without charge or trial – was imposed upon him after 14.5 years of imprisonment, when he was scheduled to be released on 13 July. Protests throughout Palestine and internationally are demanding Kayed’s immediate release. Prisoners view Kayed’s case as a dangerous precedent in which Palestinian prisoners are ordered to indefinite administrative detention following lengthy sentences. He is one of 750 Palestinians held without charge or trial under administrative detention and over 7,000 total Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable.

The names of the striking prisoners who joined the open hunger strike in Ofer, Ramon and Eshel prisons have been released; organizers have announced that the names from Megiddo and Gilboa prison will be announced later. The names are:

Rajeh Ahmad Abu Ajamiyeh – Al-Fuwwar Camp – Ofer
Mohammed Nidal Abu Aker – Dheisheh camp – Ofer
Ahmed Osman Sarraj – Silwad – Ofer
Firas Abdel Jaber Shtayyeh – Kafr Naama – Ofer
Mohammed Daoud Badr – Abu Dis – Ofer
Ahmed Hassan Odeh – Deir Ammar – Ofer
Amer Raafat Salah – Khodr, Bethlehem – Ofer
Alaa Abdel Latif Bani Shams – Beita, Nablus – Ofer
Mounir Othman Zahran – Deir Abu Meshaal – Ofer
Ishaq Yousef Karam – Aida Camp – Ofer
Thaer Hanani – Nablus – Ramon
Bashar Al-Obeidi – Al-Quds – Ramon
Rami Halabi – Ramallah – Ramon
Awwad Sultan – Gaza – Ramon
Jamil Yousef – Ramallah – Ramon
Tayseer Al-Omari – Nablus – Ramon
Nidal Daghlas – Nablus – Ramon
Bassam Kandakja – Nablus – Ramon
Mohammed Ramadan – Ramallah – Ramon
Abdallah Al-Abbasi – Al-Quds – Ramon
Yasser Sabatin – Bethlehem – Eshel
Nader Abu Akel – Ramallah – Eshel