Palestinian prisoner Miqdad al-Qawasmeh suspended his hunger strike on Thursday, 11 November 2021 after 113 days, in an agreement that he will be released from Israeli occupation prisons in February 2022. The agreement came following ongoing dialogues inside the prisons with the Zionist prison administration by the leadership of Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails. Qawasmeh, 24 and a university student, is jailed without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the courage, leadership and resistance of Miqdad Qawasmeh and his fellow Palestinian prisoners, and congratulates him on his victory over the jailer. We look forward to his liberation and to the liberation of all Palestinian prisoners in the prisons of the occupation, imperialism and reactionary regimes. At this moment, it remains urgent to act to demand the liberation of Qawasmeh’s five fellow long-term hunger strikers, continuing their struggle for freedom with their bodies and lives on the line.
Kayed Fasfous, 32, from Dura near al-Khalil, married and the father of a daughter, Joanne, has been on hunger strike for 120 days, held in Barzilai hospital. His administrative detention has been “suspended” and reimposed several times. The “suspension” of administrative detention does not affact his freedom; instead, he remains jailed under the watchful eyes of hospital security. While he may receive family visitors, they may not transfer him to obtain treatment from Palestinian doctors. Therefore, he has refused to end his hunger strike despite various attempts to forcibly feed him with intravenous nutrition inside the Israeli hospitals. He is demanding his liberation from detention without charge or trial, under which he has been jailed since July 2020.
Meanwhile, Alaa al-Araj, 34, a civil engineer from Tulkarem, has been on hunger strike for 96 days against his administrative detention. He has been jailed without charge or trial since 30 June 2021 and has been detained by the Israeli occupation on multiple past occasions. His only child was born and his father died while he was imprisoned. He has been jailed since 30 June 2021. Rather than ending his detention and freeing him, the Israeli occupation military is now attempting to convert his imprisonment to the military courts, seeking to file an indictment against him. The Israeli military courts, which convict over 99% of the Palestinians brought before them, are an instrument of colonial repression that criminalize membership in Palestinian political organizations, student movements, and unions, as well as resistance in all forms.
The Salem military court “extended his detention” today, 11 November, in a hearing; he has been repeatedly taken for interrogation despite his severe physical weakness and deterioration in his health. He has been transferred back and forth from the notorious Ramle prison clinic to Israeli civilian hospitals, again imposing greater stress on his body in another attempt to force him to end his hunger strike.
Hisham Abu Hawash, on hunger strike for 86 days, is also held in the Ramle prison clinic. He is 39 and from Dura in al-Khalil, and like al-Araj, he is frequently transferred to and from civilian hospitals, exacerbating his serious health condition after a lengthy hunger strike. He has been jailed without charge or trial since October 2020, and during his strike, a new six-month detention order was issued against him, later reduced to four months yet confirmed that it may be extended further. He is married and the father of five children.
Ayyad Hraimi, 28, has been on hunger strike for 50 days, recently transferred to the Ramle prison clinic from Ofer prison. Jailed without charge or trial since April 2021, he has been repeatedly detained by the Israeli occupation. In 2016, he also engaged in a long-term hunger strike to win his freedom from administrative detention that lasted for 45 days.
Louay al-Ashqar, 45, from Saida near Tulkarem, is held in the Jalameh detention center without charge or trial. He has been on hunger strike for 31 days under very harsh conditions after being detained by the Israeli occupation on 5 October 2021. He has previously been jailed for eight years by the Israeli occupation, between administrative detention orders and sentences. He is paralyzed in his left leg after being tortured and beaten by occupation soldiers in 2005 while under interrogation, and his brother, Mohammed al-Ashqar, was murdered by Israeli occupation forces in 2007 in the Negev desert prison.
Israeli occupation soldiers violently attacked prisoners with as a purported training exercise inside the prison. When prisoners resisted the violent attack upon them, Israeli repressive units shot Mohammed Ashqar in the head. Later, Israeli commanders and soldiers celebrated the murderous attack as an example of “raising morale,” later posing for photos while joking and laughing.
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.
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/
Join the Social Media Campaign!
There is a growing social media campaign to #FreeThemAll. Use these hashtags and the social media action sheet to post on Twitter and Instagram. Post in all languages! Many people have been conducting online hunger strikes in solidarity with the prisoners. Take action and join the social media outrage and break the isolation imposed upon them by the Israeli occupation!
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!