Kayed Fasfous and Ayyad Hraimi suspend hunger strikes; support Palestinian prisoners’ liberation struggle!

On Monday, 22 November, Kayed Fasfous and Ayyad Hraimi, two Palestinian prisoners on long-term hunger strike against their administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial — suspended their strikes with agreements for their freedom. Kayed al-Fasfous, 32, from Dura near al-Khalil, suspended his strike after 131 days, as doctors had warned increasingly urgently about his fragile health. His family has reported that he will be released in 23 days, having defeated the jailers and bringing his detention to an end.

Fasfous, whose brothers Akram, Mahmoud and Hafez are also imprisoned — with Akram and Mahmoud earlier joining the hunger strike and Mahmoud being forced to end his strike due to a severe health crisis — previously launched a 12-day hunger strike in 2019. He has been detained without charge or trial since July 2020. A fitness enthusiast, he is married and the father of a daughter, Joanne. He works for the Dura municipality, and he recently resumed his studies of computer science at Hebron University, which had been interrupted by multiple arrests and periods of detention.

Only hours earlier, Ayyad Hraimi, 28, from Bethlehem, suspended his hunger strike after 60 days, reaching an agreement for his release from detention without charge or trial on 4 March 2022. He had been jailed without charge or trial since April 2021. Over the years, he has been repeatedly detained by the Israeli occupation; in 2016, he also conducted a 45-day hunger strike to win his freedom.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes Kayed Fasfous, Ayyad Hraimi and all of the hunger strikers and Palestinian prisoners, who embody resistance and steadfastness, on the front lines of struggle and confrontation against the colonial jailers. We look forward to their liberation and to celebrating with their friends, family and the entire Palestinian people upon their release. At the same time, it remains urgent to act to demand the liberation of their fellow long-term hunger strikers and all Palestinian prisoners in the jails of the occupation, imperialism and reactionary regimes.

Meanwhile, on 18 November, Alaa al-Araj suspended his hunger strike following the cancellation of his administrative detention without charge or trial, after 103 days without nourishment. However, he is now facing a new injustice at the hands of the Israeli occupation regime; during his hunger strike he was subjected to interrogation and his case moved to the Israeli military courts, where indictments have been filed against him. Israeli military courts are another form of a mockery of justice and a colonial weapon against the Palestinian people; they are a fundamentally illegitimate system that exists solely to enforce an unjust and unlawful occupation.

Two more Palestinian prisoners jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention orders are continuing their hunger strikes for liberation. Hisham Abu Hawash has been on hunger strike for 98 days, while Louay al-Ashqar has been on hunger strike for 43 days. Abu Hawash, 39 and from Dura in al-Khalil, has been 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.

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.

Meanwhile, Palestinian prisoner Rateb Hreibat has also continued a solidarity hunger strike in support of the administrative detainees for 44 days. Fikri Mansour, from the village of Jat in occupied Palestine ’48, has been on hunger strike for 8 days against the repression of the prison authority. He is being held in solitary confinement, denied family visits and access to the “canteen,” or prison store. Jailed since 2005, he is serving a 17-year prison sentence.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network congratulates Kayed al-Fasfous and Ayyad Hraimi on their victories over the jailer. Once again, the steadfast resistance of Palestinian prisoners has broken down the colonial jailers. We urge all supporters of Palestine to take action to support the hunger strikers continuing their strikes 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!