On Wednesday evening, 21 August, the Prison Branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced that a number of Palestinian prisoners were launching a solidarity strike with Huzaifa Halabiya and his fellow hunger strikers on Thursday, 22 August. Halabiya, from Abu Dis in Jerusalem, has been on hunger strike for 53 days against his imprisonment without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention. There are eight prisoners currently on hunger strike and almost 50 more have already joined solidarity strikes inside Israeli prisons.
Dozens of prisoners announced that they would join a three-day solidarity strike beginning on Thursday, including the following:
From Ramon prison: Ahmad Karajeh, Ahmad Abu Hassaniya, Ahmad Abu Sheikha, Mahmoud Abu Asba, Ahmad al-Masri, Majdi Qawariq, Siraj al-Khatib, Ashraf al-Sajdi, Khaled Yousef
From Ofer prison: Khaled Taha, Mohammed Safi, Tarek Karajah, Ahmed Kittani, Mohammed Farahin, Bahaa al-Khawaja, Maher al-Amarin, Hafez Omar, Bassem Mizher, Ramez Rayan, Mohammed Khamour, Mohammed Fares, Mohammed Ghatrashi, Yousef al-Zaghari
From Nafha prison: Mohammed Khalaf, Mohammed Saleh, Uday al-Titi, Ahmad al-Khatib, Mohammed Hawarin, Hussein Atta
From the Negev desert prison: Fadi Abu al-Huda, Yousef Yousef, Tariq Mahran, Taleb Abu Khait, Hamdi al-Balawi, Mahmoud al-Haj Mohammed, Ibrahim Salem, Khader Madi, Mohammed Laddawa, Ali Darwish, Haytham Siyaj, Majed Alama, Munther Hajajreh, Mohammed Khatatbeh, Hamza Zawil
A number of the 48 prisoners launching solidarity strikes today have previously participated in solidarity actions during the strike of the administrative detainees. In their statement, they said that “the battle of freedom and will continues until the administrative detainees achieve their liberation and victory over the policy of administrative detention.”
As they launched their strike, protests were planned throughout occupied Palestine, including a protest in Gaza City at the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at 10 am and a protest outside Ofer prison. Participants in the Gaza protest carried signs and banners demanding freedom for all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, while children performed street theater in support of the prisoners.
In Eizariya and Abu Dis in Jerusalem, both towns observed a general commercial strike in support of Halabiya and Ismail Ali, both from Abu Dis. Ali has been on hunger strike for 30 days against administrative detention. National forces and political parties called for a day of anger and demonstrations to confront the occupation. The general strike followed an evening protest on Wednesday, which launched from the sit-in tent in support of the prisoners in Abu Dis to the homes of the martyrs Nasim Abu Roumi and the wounded Mohammed al-Sheikh in Eizariya. Hundreds joined the march to support the prisoners and demand justice for the wounded and the martyrs, while occupation forces fired tear gas, sound grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets toward the youth in the demonstration.
Halabiya is facing a particularly precarious health condition. He is a leukemia survivor who also suffered burns over the majority of his body as a child. He has been jailed without charge or trial since June 2018. When he was seized from his home by Israeli occupation forces, his wife was pregnant; he is now the father of seven-month-old Majdal, who he has been denied the opportunity to even meet.
All eight of the long-term hunger strikers are held without charge or trial under administrative detention, a policy of arbitrary detention introduced to Palestine under the colonial British mandate and adopted by the Zionist regime. Palestinians can be jailed for up to six months at a time under administrative detention orders, which are indefinitely renewable. This means that Palestinians can spend years in administrative detention. The hunger strikers include:
- Huzaifa Halabiya, 54 days
- Ahmad Ghannam, 41 days
- Sultan Khallouf, 37 days
- Ismail Ali, 31 days
- Wajdi al-Awawda, 26 days
- Tareq Qa’adan, 22 days
- Nasser al-Jada, 17 days
- Thaer Hamdan, 12 days
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all supporters and friends of Palestine everywhere around the world to stand with these courageous prisoners who have put their lives on the line to seek freedom and an end to the unjust system of administrative detention. International solidarity can play an important role in supporting their struggle, and Palestinian prisoners are calling for our actions. All of our participation, protests and petitions can play a role in helping them to seize victory for justice and freedom.
1) Organize or join an event or protest for the Palestinian prisoners. You can organize an info table, rally, solidarity hunger strike, protest or action to support the prisoners. If you are already holding an event about Palestine or social justice, include solidarity with the prisoners as part of your action. Send your events and reports to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Write letters and make phone calls to protest the violation of Palestinian prisoners’ rights. Demand your government take action to stop supporting Israeli occupation or to pressure the Israeli state to end the policies of repression of Palestinian political prisoners. In particular, demand that your political officials put pressure on Israel to end the policy of administrative detention, the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial.
Call during your country’s regular office hours:
• Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne: + 61 2 6277 7500
• Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland: +1-613-992-5234
• European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
• New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters: +64 4 439 8000
• United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt: +44 20 7008 1500
• United States President Donald Trump: 1-202-456-1111
3) Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Join the BDS campaign 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. Learn more about the BDS campaign at bdsmovement.net.