Palestinian prisoners launch collective protests in support of Shadid and Abu Fara on 60th day of hunger strike

abufara-shadid-hospitalA group of Palestinian political prisoners in the Ofer prison have launched collective actions in solidarity with Ahmad Abu Fara and Anas Shadid, on hunger strike for 60 days, demanding their freedom from administrative detention, Israeli imprisonment without charge or trial. Palestinian lawyer Ahlam Haddad, representing Shadid and Abu Fara, said that prisoners in Ofer sections 11, 15 and 18 were returning meals on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, with a plan to move toward a collective strike on Sunday, 27 November.

Shadid and Abu Fara are facing severe health conditions in Assaf Harofe hospital. Both men’s administrative detention was “suspended” by the Israeli Supreme Court given their severe health situation; however, they refused to end their hunger strikes without the cancellation of their detention orders. Shadid, 19, and Abu Fara, 29, launched their strikes on 25 September; both have been imprisoned without charge or trial since early August.

The two are currently held together in one room; they have experienced severe weight loss, headaches, difficulty seeing and breathing, and body pains. They have also not showered for 20 days due to their inability to stand. Palestinian lawyer Moataz Shqairat said that they both are barely able to speak or move, urging immediate action to save them from death.

Shadid’s brother, Abdul-Majid, told Asra Voice that the health of his brother had deteriorated severely, and that he was showing signs of liver disease. He noted that doctors at Assaf Harofeh warned that both Shadid and Abu Fara would be at severe risk of their lives if they enter a coma. Abdul-Majid Shadid said that the “freeze” of their administrative detention is a dangerous situation for the strikers, as it acts to divert public attention from the strikers and allows them to be subject to pressure to end the strike, while they continue to face the danger of a renewal of their administrative detention orders. He also said that he had received a phone call from Israeli intelligence, threatening him with arrest if he continues to organize public events in support of his brother and Abu Fara.

Meanwhile, Ammar al-Hmour, of Jenin, launched his own hunger strike on Tuesday, 22 November, against his administrative detention without charge or trial. He has been imprisoned since 16 February 2016 and is in his second six-month administrative detention period. Nour el-Din Omar is continuing his hunger strike for 20 days against his solitary confinement; he has been isolated for years.

They are among over 700 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial, out of 7,000 total Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons. Administrative detainees have engaged in a series of individual and collective hunger strikes to demand their freedom.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges the escalation of international actions to demand the freedom of Shadid, Abu Fara, their fellow strikers, and all Palestinian political prisoners.