Two hunger strikers end strike in agreement; four continue refusing food for freedom

hunger-strike-solidarityTwo Palestinian administrative detainees, Majdi Oweidat and Mohammed Khattab ended their hunger strike after 12 days on 19 October, with an agreement that will reportedly reduce their time in administrative detention. Oweidat and Khattab are imprisoned with nearly 750 fellow Palestinians without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence under administrative detention.

Four more Palestinian administrative detainees are continuing their hunger strikes. Anas Shadid and Ahmad Abu Fara are now on their 26th day of hunger strike, which they began on 25 September, while Majd Abu Shamla and Hasan Rubayah are on their 15th day of hunger strike.

Abu Fara’s family said that their son has been placed in a solitary cell near the prison kitchen and that guards frequently eat and drink in front of him in order to coerce him into ending his strike. He is suffering from dizziness, headache and pain throughout his body, as well as severe weight loss, and must use a wheelchair to move. His lawyer said that his spirits remain high and he continues to refuse to eat.

Abu Shamla’s family noted that Majd and Rubayah are held in solitary confinement in the Negev desert prison in extremely difficult conditions.

The four strikers are the latest of many Palestinians who have undertaken collective and individual protests, including hunger strikes, against the systematic use of administrative detention by the Israeli occupation. Palestinians can be detained under military orders of one to six months on the basis of secret evidence, which are indefinitely renewable. Many Palestinians spend years at a time under administrative detention orders, repeatedly renewed. Journalists, activists, academics and prominent community leaders are particularly targeted for administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges international support and solidarity with the hunger strikers and all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails struggling to gain their freedom and the freedom of their land and people.