Mohammed al-Balboul loses eyesight, Mahmoud al-Balboul moved to intensive care as three strikers continue battle for freedom

balboulsqadiPalestinian hunger strikers Mahmoud al-Balboul, Mohammed al-Balboul and Malik al-Qadi are continuing their open hunger strike as the Balboul brothers enter their third month without food. Mahmoud Balboul, 21, a student who works with the Palestinian police, was moved to intensive care in Assaf Harofeh hospital last night;  his brother Mohammed, 26, and Malik al-Qadi, 20, are held in Wolfson hospital. Mohammed Balboul, 26, a dentist who recently opened an office in Jenin after completing his studies in Egypt, temporarily lost his sight yesterday.

The Balboul brothers and Al-Qadi are held without charge or trial under administrative detention. They are under severe threat of forced treatment and Wolfson’s “Ethics Committee” has reportedly convened regarding Mohammed’s case following his loss of vision. An appeal is being presented tomorrow in the Balboul brothers’ case at the Israeli Supreme Court.

Mahmoud has been on hunger strike since 4 July, and Mahmoud has been striking since 7 July. Both are held under administrative detention since their arrest by Israeli occupation forces on 9 June in a pre-dawn violent invasion of their family home. The brothers have lost over 20 kilograms of weight each and have pain throughout their bodies, difficulty breathing, and inability to move.

The brothers’ father, Ahmed Al-Balboul, was assassinated by occupation forces in 2008; their 15-year-old sister Nuran was also imprisoned for three months earlier in the year.

The families of Malik al-Qadi and the brothers held a press conference on Sunday, 4 September in Ramallah. Al-Qadi’s mother noted that Malik has been on strike for 51 days against his detention order; he was rearrested only weeks after his release from a prior four months imprisoned without charge or trial. He rejected offers to end his strike with a release date in four months, noting that the offer was not committed to writing. Al-Qadi is a journalism student at Al-Quds University and one of 27 Palestinian journalists imprisoned in Israeli jails.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges supporters of justice and liberation for Palestinian prisoners and for Palestine to build on their excellent work to support Bilal Kayed and his fellow hunger strikers to continue efforts to free these three Palestinian prisoners and take action between 3-10 September 2016. Their bodies are on the line in the struggle to secure their freedom and end administrative detention – and the struggle for the liberation of all Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian people. 

Now is the time for urgent action to support Mahmoud al-Balboul, Mohammed al-Balboul and Malik al-Qadi in their struggle for freedom.

A flyer for download is now available for actions and events in your city!

1Hold a direct action, protest, picket or demonstration, including building the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to internationally isolate Israel, its institutions, and the corporations – like G4S -that profit from imprisonment, occupation, racism, colonialism and injustice. Demand freedom for the Balboul brothers,  al-Qadi and all Palestinian prisoners.  Please email or post to Samidoun on Facebook about your events and actions.

2. Call political figures to demand action for the four hunger strikers. Call your government officials to pressure them to end the silence and complicity with the Israeli regime of political imprisonment and administrative detention.

Call during your country’s regular office hours:

  • Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop: + 61 2 6277 7500
  • Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion: +1-613-996-5789
  • European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
  • New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully: +64 4 439 8000
  • United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: +44 20 7008 1500
  • United States President Barack Obama: 1-202-456-1111

Tell your government:

  1. Three Palestinian prisoners, Mahmoud al-Balboul, Mohammed al-Balboul and Malik al-Qadi, have been on hunger strike since July against administrative detention, Israeli imprisonment without charge or trial.
  2. Your government must demand the strikers’ immediate release and end all support for Israel’s political imprisonment and other crimes against Palestinians.
  3. Israel’s use of administrative detention is a universally-recognized violation of human rights and international law.
  4. The government must do more than criticize administrative detention or express concern, but should also take serious measures to end these violations.