Two Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike to demand their release from indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial under administrative detention. Mohammed Alaqimah of Jenin has been on hunger strike for 24 days, even after his health has deteriorated. He was joined by Raafat Shalash, 34, of al-Khalil, currently on his fifth day of hunger strike against administrative detention without charge or trial.
Alaqimah, 27, from the vilage of Barta’a, has been imprisoned without charge or trial since 16 August 2016. He launched a hunger strike for eight days in late December after his four-month administrative detention order was renewed. He launched his current hunger strike against the renewal once again of his imprisonment without charge or trial. Alaqimah is married and a father of two.
Shalash, from Beit Awwa village, held in the Negev desert prison, announced that he launched his hunger strike against the renewal of his administrative detention. He was seized by occupation forces on 17 January 2016 and has been subject to three consecutive administrative detention orders; his current order expires on 14 April 2017 and he is demanding that it not be renewed. He is married with three children and has spent seven years in Israeli prisons.
Alaqimah and Shalash are among over 530 Palestinians held without charge or trial under Israeli “administrative detention.” Administrative detention orders are issued for one to six months at a time and are indefinitely renewable; some Palestinians have spent years in prison under administrative detention. Numerous prisoners have engaged in hunger strikes in order to win their freedom, including Bilal Kayed, Khader Adnan and most recently Mohammed al-Qeeq. Fellow former hunger striker – now re-arrested – Akram al-Fassisi had his administrative detention reimposed for an additional six months for the second time on Saturday, 18 March. Al-Fassisi, 34, was seized by occupation forces on 19 September 2016. The father of four was free for only two months after nearly two years of administrative detention; he had been released on 20 July 2016.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in New York City will be protesting on Friday, 24 March in solidarity with Alaqimah, Shalash and all Palestinian prisoners at 5:30 pm outside the Best Buy in Union Square, at 52 E. 14th Street. The protest will also urge Hewlett-Packard corporations to get out of the business of profiteering from Israeli apartheid and colonization and support the growing international boycott of HP.