Palestinian women prisoners suspend planned hunger strike; 10 Palestinian men striking against detention

Photo: Protest demands release of Palestinian women prisoners. Via Wattan TV

Palestinian women prisoners announced the suspension of their plans to launch a hunger strike beginning on 1 July. The Prisoners’ Affairs Commission said that, after a series of negotiations with the prison administration and escalating pressure from the Palestinian prisoners as a whole, the Israeli occupation prison administration responded to the women prisoners’ demands. Old equipment in the rooms will be replaced and the books confiscated from the women when they were transferred from HaSharon prison will be returned to them.

In addition, the prisoners expect to see maintenance and improvements of the conditions of living in their section in Damon prison in the coming days. The women prisoners thanked all of the organizations and institutions supporting them as well as all of the prisoners in Israeli jails for joining their efforts to put pressure on the Israeli prison administration.

This report came as the installation of public telephones began in Damon prison; the installation of these telephones was a major demand of the collective hunger strike of April 2019. The phones are being installed in Section 4, with Palestinian women and minor girls. Three phones have been installed and will reportedly be operational within one month. There are currently 40 women prisoners held in this section of Damon, including 35 women and 5 minor girls.

These achievements for the women prisoners come as 10 Palestinian prisoners are on hunger strike in Israeli jails, including jailed leader Jafar Ezzedine and Ihsan Othman. Ezzedine has engaged in several previous long-term hunger strikes against his repeated imprisonment without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention. He launched his most recent hunger strike on 16 June, after his detention was once again extended without charge or trial. Othman launched his hunger strike two days later in rejection of the renewal of his own administrative detention.

Eight more prisoners have joined the strike: Noureddine and Moheyuddin Shahrouri, Mahmoud and Qaid al-Fassous, Ghandafar Musa Abu Atwan, Abdel-Aziz Waleed Sweiti, Qais Khaled al-Nammoura and Wael Ayed Rubaie. The Shahrouri brothers are demanding their liberation from interrogation after their arbitrary arrests; the other six strikers are all protesting their administrative detention without charge or trial.

Administrative detention orders are issued for one to six months at a time but are indefinitely renewable; Palestinians have spent years at a time jailed under repeatedly renewed orders on the basis of “secret evidence.”

Former Palestinian prisoner and long-term hunger striker Khader Adnan urged solidarity with the strikers, noting that Jafar Ezzedine has always engaged in the struggle to support the prisoners, even while he was free. He has joined multiple hunger strikes in order to support fellow prisoners on hunger strike.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the Palestinian women prisoners on their achievement. We emphasize our international support and solidarity for their continuing struggles for justice and liberation. We also urge all supporters of Palestine to support the prisoners currently on hunger strike for an end to administrative detention. Their bodies and lives are on the line for the most basic principles of justice, and the continued crimes against Palestinian prisoners are made possible by the governments and corporations that support the Israeli state militarily, economically and politically. In support of the Palestinian prisoners, it remains important to escalate and intensify our campaigns for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and for justice in Palestine.