86 Days of Hunger Strike: Supreme Court suggests force-feeding for Shadid and Abu Fara

Ahmad Abu Fara and Anas Shadid are at dire risk to their lives and threatened with force-feeding following a hearing at the Israeli Supreme Court on Sunday morning, 18 December. After 86 days of hunger strike, Abu Fara, 29, and Shadid, 19, are held at the Assaf Harofeh hospital. They have also not voluntarily consumed water for the past 5 days following a rejection of their last appeal to the high court.

Both are held in “suspended” administrative detention, scheduled to be re-imposed should they end their strike and their health improve. Their hunger strikes have persisted since 25 September, when they began refusing food in protest of their imprisonment without charge or trial. Abu Fara and Shadid are among over 700 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial by the Israeli occupation under administrative detention orders, which are indefinitely renewable.

Palestinian doctor Mohammed Jadallah visited the two in Assaf Harofeh hospital and issued a report on Saturday evening, 17 December, that the coming hours were critical for the lives of the two hunger-striking young men. He said that they may have permanent kidney disorders and that their legs are atrophying. They also have damage to their hearts, vision, mouth, and pharynx. They suffer from severe pain throughout their bodies.

The Court announced that it would issue a decision on Tuesday morning after the appeal of their lawyer, Ahlam Haddad. It also ordered another medical report on the health status of Abu Fara and Shadid by a doctor from Wolfson hospital.  However, Issa Qaraqe of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Commission reported that the court also suggested to the military prosecution that Shadid and Abu Fara be force-fed.  The “Law for the Prevention of Harm Caused by Hunger Strikers” was upheld by the Israeli Supreme Court in September, which permits the forced-feeding of hunger strikers, in violation of international codes of medical ethics and human rights. So far, doctors have refused to force feed striking Palestinian prisoners via nasogastric tubes; however, they have been subject to forced nutrition and treatment via IV tubes.

Also on hunger strike are Ammar Hmour, protesting his own administrative detention for 29 days by refusing food, and Kifah Hattab, on strike for 25 days to demand recognition as a prisoner of war.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges active international solidarity with Anas Shadid and Ahmad Abu Fara and their fellow Palestinian prisoners at this critical time. The Israeli occupation bears the full responsibility for their lives and health at this critical moment. Their bodies are on the front lines of the struggle against administrative detention and for the freedom of imprisoned Palestinians. Protests, phone calls and actions are necessary to support their struggle as their lives are at risk for seeking freedom. 

Take action!

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 HP-that profit from imprisonment, occupation, racism, colonialism and injustice. Demand freedom for Ahmad Abu Fara, Anas Shadid and all Palestinian prisoners.  A flyer is provided below for distribution at your events and other actions. Please email samidoun@samidoun.net or post to Samidoun on Facebook about your events and actions.

2. Call political figures to demand action for the 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. Two Palestinian prisoners, Anas Shadid and Ahmad Abu Fara, have been on hunger strike since 25 September – for over 86 days – 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.

Download the leaflet:  Click here to download PDF