Denied their Eid celebration, three Palestinian administrative detainees on hunger strike for 11th day

Three Palestinian prisoners jailed without charge or trial in Israeli occupation prisons are on hunger strike for the 11th day, demanding their freedom. All three launched their hunger strikes on 18 June; they are held in the Ofer prison and reject their arbitrary administrative detention. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and urges all friends of Palestine around the world to organize actions and demand freedom for the three hunger strikers, for sick prisoner Walid Daqqah struggling for his freedom, and all nearly 5,000 Palestinians locked behind Zionist bars.

The three prisoners: Anas Shadid, Mahmoud Talahmeh, and Abdullah Abido, are all from the Al-Khalil area. They are jailed under administrative detention, an Israeli policy of imprisonment in which Palestinians are jailed without charge or trial under a so-called “secret file” that is denied even to their lawyers. They can be held for up to six months at a time, but administrative detention is indefinitely renewable, and Palestinians routinely spend years in prison under these orders. Administrative detention was first introduced to Palestine by the British colonial mandate and was enthusiastically adopted by the Zionist project. There are currently over 1,000 Palestinians held under administrative detention, a massive upswing in the past year in which the number of administrative detainees has essentially doubled since April 2022.

Palestinian prisoners are engaged in collective struggle to confront the administrative detention policy; a mass hunger strike was postponed after several concessions by the occupation prison administration, but 1 July has been set as a deadline for meaningful action by the Palestinian prisoners’ movement. Currently, Shadid, Talahmeh and Abido have put their bodies, lives and health on the line to confront administrative detention and demand freedom.

Anas Shadid is a former long-term hunger striker; arrested three times previously and serving three years behind Israeli bars, all of his time in prison was as an administrative detainee. In 2016, he went on hunger strike for 90 days and in 2017 for 15 days. He has been detained since 22 March 2023 and ordered to six months under detention, indefinitely renewable; the occupation military court rejected his appeal.

Mahmoud Talahmeh is a lawyer and former prisoner who spent 2.5 years in occupation prisons. Married and the father of two, he has been jailed since 22 March 2023 and ordered to six months behind bars under administrative detention, indefinitely renewable.

Abdullah Abido has spent 5.5 years behind occupation bars, mostly under administrative detention. Married and the father of five, he was seized by occupation forces once again on 11 May 2023 and ordered jailed without charge or trial for four months, indefinitely renewable.

The three detainees sent a letter to Muhjat al-Quds highlighting their demands and conditions.

They confirmed that they are not taking supplements or vitamins and that they are determined to continue their strike. All three are held in isolation cells since they launched their hunger strike. Each of them is in a cell measuring 1.5 x 1.5 meters, with a window of 20×20 cm overlooking the recreation yard. The cells are dirty, with dingy mattress covers, without pillows, and “more like a toilet with a sleeping mattress inside.” They are monitored by cameras 24 hours a day inside the cells and are forced to perform ablutions to pray without access to proper sanitary conditions. These tiny cells are invaded, raided and searched up to four times a day, while the guards cook food outside the cell doors, all as a means of imposing psychological pressure on them to end their strike.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges the immediate release of Anas Shadid, Mahmoud Talahmeh and Abdullah Abido, and all Palestinian prisoners in occupation jails. Administrative detention is a colonial weapon used against the Palestinian resistance, and the prisoners and strugglers continue to lead the struggle and resist from behind bars, using all means available to them.

We urge all to join in taking action to stand up with Anas Shadid, Mahmoud Talameh, Abdullah Abido and all Palestinian prisoners as they rise up and resist for freedom. Despite their physical circumstances, now is the time to show that they are not isolated, and that we stand with these imprisoned strugglers and the fight for freedom for Palestinian prisoners — and for Palestine, from the river to the sea.

1. Mobilize actions, demonstrations, direct actions and creative interventions – Take to the streets to defend the Palestinian people and their resistance. There is a vast depth of support for the Palestinian people everywhere around the world, including inside the imperialist powers. It is our responsibility to act and make it impossible to continue their support for the crimes against the Palestinian people. Direct actions like those taken by Palestine Action have already shut down multiple weapons facilities in Britain owned by Israeli arms companies, and even more action can provide further direct support to the Palestinian people.

2. Take a stand against “twinning” with Israeli occupation cities – Recently, the city of Barcelona took a strong stand against the normalization of occupation after years of campaign work by thousands of residents of the city, as all collaboration with the Israeli occupation and the “sister city” relationship with Tel Aviv were suspended by the Mayor. A similar victory was recently celebrated in Liege, Belgium. This important victory comes as the Collectif Palestine Vaincra is leading a campaign in Toulouse, France, to bring an end to that city’s “sister city” relationship with the apartheid capital. If your city has a twinning relationship with the occupation, launch your own campaign to bring that arm of complicity to an end!

3. Build the boycott of Israel – This is a critical moment to escalate the campaign to isolate the Israeli regime at all levels, including through boycott campaigns that target the occupation’s economic exploitation of the Palestinian land, people and resources as well as those international corporations, like HP and G4S, that profit from the ongoing colonization of Palestine.