Shadid, Abu Fara announce court boycott, escalation after Israeli Supreme Court rejects appeal on 80th day of hunger strike

The Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition filed by Palestinian lawyers on behalf of administrative detainees Anas Shadid and Ahmad Abu Fara, now on their 80th day of hunger strike. In response, they announced that they would boycott all of the courts of the occupation and declared that they would stop drinking water on Monday evening. The petition, filed by lawyer Ahlam Haddad, called for their immediate release considering their desperate health condition.

The two strikers are held in Assaf Harofeh hospital where they are in danger of permanent brain or organ damage; both of their administrative detention is “suspended,” yet they are forbidden from being transferred to a Palestinian hospital and if their health improves, their detention will be reimposed.

Both have been on hunger strike since 25 September to demand their release from administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. Their health situation is currently desperate and both are at risk of forced treatment, forced feeding, or sudden death. Anas Shadid, 19, has suffered almost complete loss of his vision and inability to speak, while Abu Fara, 29, cannot see in his right eye and experiences severe chest and head pain. Both are threatened with serious damage to their livers and kidneys. Abu Fara’s muscles are atrophied as well.

They have been imprisoned without charge or trial since 1 and 2 August and are among over 700 Palestinians imprisoned under administrative detention orders, which are indefinitely renewable and issued on the basis of so-called “secret evidence” without charge or trial.

Also on hunger strike are Ammar Hmour, on strike against his own administrative detention for 20 days, and Kifah Hattab, striking to be recognized as a prisoner of war for 17 days. A rally was held today in Jenin, Hmour’s home city, urging his immediate release.

Former hunger striker Bilal Kayed was released on Monday, 12 December; his 71-day hunger strike secured his release after he was ordered to administrative detention just as he was scheduled to be released after 14.5 years in Israeli prison. Thousands of supporters greeted him in his hometown of Asira al-Shamaliyah.