Nine Palestinian prisoners are continuing their hunger strikes against arbitrary imprisonent without charge or trial and ongoing injustices inside the Israeli occupation prisons, after four prisoners suspended their hunger strikes after reaching an agreement to end their administrative detention.
Zuhdi Abido from al-Khalil, Mohammed Zakarneh and Anas Kamil of Qabatiya south of Jenin suspended their strikes on Sunday, 27 August after 18 days, with an agreement to end their administrative detention, as did Saif al-Din Diab al-Amarin from Beit Awwa, after 8 days of hunger strike. Saif al-Din Diab is a student at Palestine Polytechnic University in al-Khalil.
On the other hand, Kayed Fasfous and Sultan Khallouf are continuing their hunger strikes after 26 days, as is Osama Daqrouq, for the 21st day. Abdel-Rahman Baraqa is on hunger strie for the 19th day. All are held under administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. Administrative detention orders are issued for up to six months at a time and are indefinitely renewable; Palestinians are routinely jailed for years at a time under these arbitrary orders. In the past year, the number of administrative detainees has escalated dramatically; there are now approxiately 1,200 administrative detainees out of a total of around 5,100 Palestinian prisoners, the largest number in 20 years.
Both Fasfous and Khallouf have won their freedom from administrative detention in previous long-term hunger strikes of 131 and 67 days, respectively, as has Maher al-Akhras, who is on his sixth day of hunger strike. Seized from his home on 23 August, the prominent Palestinian leader immediately launched his hunger strike. He continued the strike as his detention was extended for seven days for further interrogation. Al-Akhras won his freedom in 2020 in a 103-day hunger strike that drew worldwide attention.
Fellow Palestinian prisoner Hassan Jaradat is also on an open-ended hunger strike for the seventh day after being seized from his home on 22 August in Silat al-Harthiya, west of Jenin. He launched his hunger strike immediately upon his arrest and has continued his strike to demand his freedom.
They are joined on hunger strike by Hatem and Hazem Qawasmeh, brothers in occupation prison who have been imprisoned for over 22 years. Hatem is sentenced to 25 years in occupation prisons and has been detained since 2002, while Hazem i serving a life sentence and has been detained since 2003. The two brothers have been separated for the past three years and are on strike to be reunited inside occupation prisons. Hatem has been on strike for 17 days, while Hazem has now been on strike for three days. Islam Bani Shamsa has been on open hunger strike for 16 days in rejection of his arbitrary transfer, an ongoing policy attacking many Palestinian prisoners.
Their hunger strikes continued as the battle against repression inside the prisons also continued. On Sunday 27 August, repressive units of the occupaiton prison administration stormed section 13 in Nafha prison and begain extensive searches, ransacking the prisoners’ rooms. This section houses prisoners who were recently transferred from Ashkleon prison to Nafha, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, which noted that the prisoners were abused and their belongings vandalized and destroyed.
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 1200 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention, out of nearly 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners, the highest number in 20 years.
Administrative detention 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. Hundreds of Palestinians have gone on hunger strike to win their liberation from this form of arbitrary detention, which is not only illegal under international law but a form of psychological torture and collective punishment targeting Palestinian families and communities, as detainees are unable to predict or plan for their release.
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. These sons of the Palestinian popular masses are confronting the system of Israeli oppression on the front lines behind bars, with their bodies and their lives, to bring the system of administrative detention to an end.
It is particularly important to stand with the strikers and not let their cases be silenced — earlier this year, on 2 May, Sheikh Khader Adnan’s life was taken after 86 days of hunger strike while being actively denied medical care. He had previously won his freedom four times through hunger strikes. These Palestinian prisoners are putting their bodies, health and lives on the line for liberation.
With over 1200 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial — over 20% of all Palestinian prisoners — the struggle to bring down administrative detention is more urgent than ever. 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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take to the streets: Organize a protest in solidarity with Palestine!
Take to the streets and join actions for justice! Organize your own if there is none in your area, and send us your events at email@example.com.
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!