Free Raed Rayan! Administrative detention renewed for imprisoned Palestinian hunger striker

Israeli occupation officials have once again violated an agreement with a Palestinian prisoner, renewing the detention of Raed Rayan for another 6 months without charge or trial. Rayan had concluded a 113-day hunger strike in July 2022 with an agreement for his release on Thursday, 3 November, after the expiration of his administrative detention order. Now, tensions inside the occupation prisons are escalating as Palestinian prisoners are acting to demand Rayan’s immediate release.

Approximately 40 Palestinian prisoners from the Fateh movement, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Ofer prison and the Negev desert prison have announced that they are planning to launch an open hunger strike if Rayan is not released. The extension of Rayan’s detention not only directly violates the agreement that concluded his 113-day hunger strike but also follows the 19-day hunger strike of administrative detainees to put an end to the repeated renewal of detention.

Raed Rayan, 28, from Beit Duqqu northwest of occupied Jerusalem, has been on hunger strike since April 2022, when his administrative detention was last renewed. He has been imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention since 3 November 2021. He had been released from his last period of detention without charge or trial only months before, in April 2021.

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 800 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.

Israeli occupation authorities repeatedly violate the agreements for release obtained by Palestinian prisoners through lengthy hunger strikes. Most recently, Khalil Awawdeh won his release after 182 days of hunger strike; while his administrative detention was not renewed, Zionist forces have now accused him of trying to bring a mobile phone back to the Ramle prison clinic and have detained him for weeks past his scheduled release date.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joins the Palestinian prisoners’ movement in demanding the immediate liberation of Raed Rayan, Khalil Awawdeh and all Palestinian prisoners. All of the governments — such as those of the United States, Canada and European states — that continue to support the Israeli colonization of Palestine are implicated in these ongoing crimes. We urge supporters of Palestine to take action to free Raed, all Palestinian prisoners, and Palestine, from the river to the sea!  

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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.

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