Sixth day of hunger strike: Prisoners’ will remains strong despite isolation and repression

Photo: Handala Center for Prisoners and Former Prisoners

As over 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners enter their sixth day of hunger strike, Israeli occupation prison administration continued its repressive policies and targeting of strike leadership.

In addition to the isolation of Kamil Abu Hanish and Nader Sadaqa, fellow strike leader from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Monzer Mifleh, was thrown into isolation in Ramle prison after being moved from Hadarim prison. Wajdi Jawdat, a strike leader from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine was also transferred from Hadarim to isolation in Jalameh, joining Abu Hanish, Marwan Barghouthi, Karim Younis and several other strike leaders in solitary confinement.  Adnan Sari Mohammed Hussein, from Tulkarem, and Tareq Ahmad Khalil al-Mudallal, from Rafah in Gaza, were both transferred from Nafha to Gilboa prison.

Repressive units stormed the hunger-striking sections in Nitzan prison in Ramle, using sniffer dogs and ransacking prisoners’ belongings. 70 striking prisoners have been transferred to the prison – 40 from Hadarim and 30 from Nafha, Ramon and Ashkelon. The frequent transfers and lengthy, arduous “bosta” transfer project is physically taxing for the striking prisoners, putting their health at risk.  Personal belongings and blankets were confiscated as well as salt and Qur’ans.

Striking prisoners were forbidden from the recreation area and joining collective Friday prayers on 21 April, reported Asra Voice.  Overnight in the Negev desert prison, three prisoners are severely fatigued due to their lengthy transfer from Gilboa prison; the prison administration refused to transfer them for medical examination and prisoners responded by banging on the doors and walls of their sections and room to escalate the protest, following which the three strikers were taken to the clinic for examination, reported the Handala Center for Prisoners and Former Prisoners. The prisoners in the Negev prison then confirmed that all hunger strikers are well and that there is a whole section dedicated to the hunger strikers; 30 more prisoners with high sentences joined the strike from Nafha prison yesterday.

Support events for the striking prisoners continued to grow throughout Palestine, with events, solidarity tents and protests and marches in major cities, refugee camps and villages throughout the West Bank, Gaza and occupied Palestine ’48, where several events saluted the release of longest-held woman prisoner Lena Jarbouni as well as supporting the hunger strikers. International solidarity for the prisoners also continued to grow, with protests on Friday, 21 April in New York City, Clifton, Rome, Athens, Thessaloniki and Derry and with more protests on Saturday in Waterford, Brighton, Copenhagen, Lille, Manchester, Toronto, London, Berlin and Amsterdam.

The collective hunger strike includes approximately 1,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails; it was launched on 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, to achieve a series of demands. These demands include an end to the denial of family visits, lengthening the visit period, proper medical care for Palestinian prisoners, a public pay telephone in each prison wing and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial.

We urge all supporters of Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian people to urgently take action and join in the campaign of solidarity to achieve their demands.

Take action:

1) Organize or join an event in support of the hunger strikers. Protest outside your local Israeli embassy, consulate or mission, or at a public square or government building. You can drop a banner or put up a table to support the prisoners and their strike. See the list of current international events here, and add your own:

2) Write letters and make phone calls to protest the violation of the rights of Palestinian political prisoners and urge your government officials to pressure Israel to accept the demands of the Palestinian political prisoners.

3) Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Join the BDS Movement to highlight the complicity of corporations like Hewlett-Packard and the continuing involvement of G4S in Israeli policing and prisons. Build a campaign to boycott Israeli goods, impose a military embargo on Israel, or organize around the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

Materials to support your events and organizing are available for download here: Please contact or reach out to us on Facebook for questions or to share your actions.