Six Palestinian prisoners are continuing their hunger strikes for freedom inside Israeli jails, demanding their liberation from administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. The health conditions of the hunger strikers have become more severe, especially as the longest-term hunger strikers have now gone without nutrition for nearly two months. Miqdad al-Qawasmeh, an imprisoned Palestinian university student who has been on strike for 52 days, was moved to the Kaplan hospital due to the decline in his health. All of the detainees have pledged to continue their strikes until their detention is ended.
The striking detainees are Kayed al-Fasfous (on strike for 59 days), Miqdad Qawasmeh (on strike for 52 days), Alaa al-Araj (on strike for 34 days), Hisham Abu Hawash (on strike for 26 days) Raik Bisharat (on strike for 21 days), and Shadi Abu Aker (on striike for 18 days). While Ahmad Hamamra suspended his hunger strike on Wednesday, 1 September, with an agreement to secure his release on 14 February 2022, Shadi Abu Aker launched a hunger strike 18 days ago for his release from unjust and arbitrary detention.
All of the hunger striking detainees face ongoing repression in an attempt to break their strikes. They are held in solitary confinement or isolation, denied family visits and often denied access to their lawyers.
What Is Administrative Detention?
Administrative detention was first used in Palestine by the British colonial mandate and then adopted by the Zionist regime; it is now used routinely to target Palestinians, especially community leaders, activists, and influential people in their towns, camps and villages.
There are currently approximately 520 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention, out of 4,650 Palestinian political prisoners. These orders are issued by the military and approved by military courts on the basis of “secret evidence”, denied to both Palestinian detainees and their attorneys. Issued for up to six months at a time, they are indefinitely renewable, and Palestinians — including minor children — can spend years jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention.
Who Are the Hunger Strikers?
- Kayed Fasfous: from Dura – Hebron, started the strike 59 days ago. He is 36 years old, detained without charge or trial since October 2020, and held in Ramon prison.
- Miqdad Qawasmeh: from Hebron, started 52 days ago. Miqdad Qawasmeh is a Palestinian university student, 24 years old. He has been jailed without charge or trial since January 2021 and is held in Ofer prison.
- Alaa al-Araj: from Tulkarem, launched his strike 34 days ago. He has been jailed since 30 June without charge or trial under administrative detention and is held in Megiddo prison. He is 34 years old.
- Hisham Ismail Abu Hawash, 39, from Dura, al-Khalil, has been on hunger strike for 26 days. He has been jailed without charge or trial since October 2020 under Israeli administrative detention. Over multiple arrests, he has spent eight years in Israeli prisons. He is married and the father of four children; his youngest child suffers from kidney failure.
- Raik Sadeq Bisharat, 44, from Tubas, on strike for 21 days, has been jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention since July 2021. He is an injured former prisoner and has spent 9 years in Israeli prison. His hand was amputated and his wife was martyred by the Israeli occupation.
- Shadi Abu Aker, 37, from Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, has been on hunger strike for 18 days to reject his administrative detention. He has been jailed without charge or trial since October 2020. Married and the father of two children, he is a former prisoner who spent 10 years in Israeli prison before his release in 2012. He has since been held under administrative detention three times.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all supporters of Palestine to take action to support these Palestinian hunger strikers and all Palestinian prisoners struggling for freedom, for their own lives and for the Palestinian people. They are confronting the system of Israeli oppression on the front lines, with their bodies and their lives, to bring the system of administrative detention to an end. Take these actions below to stand with the hunger strikers and the struggle for liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea!
Download these signs for use in your campaigns:
- Poster/Sign: End Administrative Detention
- Poster/Sign: Free Hunger Strikers and All Prisoners
- Poster/Sign – End Administrative Detention (with Palestinian Flag)
Sign the petition!
Independent grassroots international activists have launched a petition in support of the hunger strikers and to end administrative detention. Show your support by signing on – in addition to taking action in person! Sign here: change.org/
Protest at the Israeli Embassy or Consulate in Your Country!
Join the many protests taking place around the world — confront, isolate and besiege the Israeli embassy or consulate in your city or country of residence. Make it clear that the people are with Palestine! Send us your events at email@example.com.
Take to the streets: Organize a protest in solidarity with Palestine!
Take to the streets and join the actions on our full list of events, which is constantly being updated as new actions are announced! Organize your own if there is none in your area, and send us your events at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The international, Arab and Palestinian campaign to boycott Israel can play an important role at this critical time. Local boycott groups can protest and label Israeli produce and groceries, while many complicit corporations – including HP, G4S, Puma, Teva and others, profit from their role in support Zionist colonialism throughout occupied Palestine. By participating in the boycott of Israel, you can directly help to throw a wrench in the economy of settler colonialism.
Demand Your Government Sanction Israel!
The racist, settler colonial state of Israel and its war crimes against the Palestinian people are enabled and backed extensively by the over $3.8 billion each year given to Israel by the United States — targeted directly to support the Israeli occupation military killing children, women, men and elders throughout occupied Palestine. From Canada to Australia to the European Union, Western governments and imperialist powers provide ongoing diplomatic, political and economic support to Israel as well as selling billions of dollars of weaponry to the settler-colonial state. Meanwhile, they also purchase billions of dollars in weaponry from the Israeli state. Governments in league with imperialist powers, such as in the Philippines, Brazil, India and elsewhere, also buy weapons and “security” services — all “battle-tested” on the Palestinian population. Call your representatives, MPs, political officials and demand your government sanction Israel now, cut off all aid, expel its ambassadors, and stop buying and selling weapons!