Randa Shahatit on open hunger strike; ordered to 12 more days of detention

Palestinian re-arrested prisoner Randa Shahatit was ordered detained for 12 more days, until 6 February, by the Ofer military court in a hearing on 26 January. Shahatit, 30, confirmed that she is continuing on open hunger strike; she is currently being held in isolation in HaSharon prison and is demanding her release and an end to solitary confinement.

She was seized on 20 January at a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Fuwwar refugee camp in al-Khalil, only two weeks after the end of a six-month period of house arrest. Shahatit has been arrested four times, and was serving a 50-month sentence in 2011 when she was released as part of the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange. Since her release, Shahatit married and had three children, aged three, two and nine months.

In August 2016, Shahatit was seized by occupation forces and military prosecutors sought to re-impose her earlier sentence on the basis of secret evidence before a closed military committee. After nearly two weeks of detention and being kept from her three-month-old baby, Shahatit was released on bail conditions, including restriction to her home village of Dura. On 3 January 2017, it was announced that her sentence would not be reimposed and her bail conditions were lifted. Now, she is being accused of violating her bail conditions during that earlier period.

Dozens of Palestinian former prisoners released in the exchange have had their former sentences imposed by this secret Israeli military committee under Israeli Military Order 1651, violating the release agreement itself.

Palestinian lawyer Abdel-Nasser Noubani emphasized that Shahatit is now on an open hunger strike against her arrest and isolation, calling for her immediate release.