Abdul-Razeq Farraj among 19 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial; Ayoub al-Asa continues hunger strike

Ayoub al-Asa

Palestinian prisoner Ayoub Al-Asa from the village of Obeidiya near Bethlehem is continuing his hunger strike for the eighth consecutive day; he is protesting the extension of his administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. Al-Asa is one of approzimately 500 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial under so-called administrative detention orders, which are indefinitely renewable.  Al-Asa, 33, has been imprisoned since 21 June; he is married with three children and previously spent five years in Israeli jails.

Fellow detainee Rizk Rajoub, 61, suspended his own hunger strike on 15 January in an agreement with the prison administration; he will reportedly be either charged in the military courts or released. Rajoub was earlier offered the “choice” of imprisonment without charge or trial or deportation to Sudan; he has spent over 23 years in Israeli prisons, including 10 years in administrative detention without charge or trial.

Al-Asa’s strike proceeds as Israeli military courts issued 19 more administrative detention orders in the past weeks for periods ranging from three to six months; many are renewal orders against Palestinians who have already been jailed under administrative detention. Palestinians can spend years at a time imprisoned without charge under these orders.

Abdul-Razeq Farraj

Among those ordered imprisoned without charge or trial is Abdul-Razeq Farraj, Palestinian land defender and the administrative and financial director of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), a Palestinian agricultural and land defense organization that won the United Nations’ 2014 Equator Prize for its work on food sustainability. The UAWC has been, for over 28 years, in the forefront of supporting Palestinian agricultural workers and connecting with other land defenders around the world.  He was re-arrested on 21 May 2017; the renewal of his detention for four months marks the third consecutive order against him. He has been jailed six times and spent over 13 years in Israeli prison, including repeated stints in administrative detention.

The 19 Palestinians ordered imprisoned are:

1. Ghaleb Mohammed Hassan Atatra, Jenin, 5 months, extension
2. Obeida Adnan Barghouthi, Ramallah, 3 months, extension
3. Fadi Ahmed Ghanem, Ramallah, 4 months, extension
4. Falah Taher Nada, El-Bireh, 4 months, extension
5. Adham Mohammed Ajlouni, al-Khalil, 4 months, extension
6. Sami Sobhi al-Haj, Ramallah, 6 months, new order
7. Majd Ahmad Amarneh, Jenin, 4 months, new order
8. Musaab Salah Samhan, Ramallah, 4 months, new order
9. Ibrahim Mohammed Faqih, Ramallah, 4 months, extension
10. Sultan Ibrahim Badawi, Ramallah, 4 months, new order
11. Fadi Mohammed Nasrallah, Bethlehem, 6 months, new order
12. Yousef Khalil Tirturi, Nablus, 4 months, extension
13. Mohammed Abdallah Harb, 4 months, extension
14. Nader Khader Obaidallah, Bethlehem, 6 months, extension
15. Jafer Abdallah Arouj, al-Khalil, 4 months, extension
16. Abdel-Razeq Yassin Farraj, Ramallah, 3 months, extension
17. Mohammed Ibrahim Saleh, Ramallah, 4 months, new order
18. Yousef Mohammed Shuaibi, Ramallah, 6 months, new order
19. Rami Ibrahim Hadosh, al-Khalil, 6 months, new order

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies reported that 1086 administrative detention orders were issued by Israeli military courts in 2017.  439 of those were issued as new orders while the remainder were renewal orders against Palestinians already jailed without trial. Seventeen of those orders were issued against children and 3 Palestinian children remain in Israeli prisons under administrative detention (out of a total of 360 Palestinian child prisoners.)