Taghreed al-Akhras, the wife of Maher al-Akhras, Palestinian leader who has been on hunger strike for the past six days after being seized from his home by occupation forces on 23 August, appealed for action and solidarity from people’s movements and the Palestinian people in exile and diaspora to support the prisoners.
In a message to Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Al-Akhras appealed to “the Palestinian people and the free people of the world to defend Palestinian prisoners by standing by the prisoners’ and caring for the prisoners’ cause.” She said that her husband’s hunger strike is “raising the voice of the Palestinian people and exposing the crimes of the invading occupier.”
Recalling the widespread international solidarity and popular Palestinian support for Maher al-Akhras‘ 103-day hunger strike in 2020, which won his liberation, she said: “My husband carried out a previous strike, and there was popular solidarity with him, support from the families of the martyrs and the prisoners, and all of the Palestinian people around the world.”
She said that her husband was visited by a lawyer three days ago in Jalameh detention center, when his detention was extended for an additional seven days for interrogation before he will be brought to the occupation’s Salem military court. She noted that the lawyer reported that Maher al-Akhras was showing signs of fatigue and dizziness, accompanied by neck pain, especially following his recent surgical operation.
Taghreed al-Akhras added, “We as a family direct our appeal to solidarity movements, and we always count on our people and our free people all over the world, and on the families of prisoners and martyrs to stand by our prisoners, because their cause is just, and they refuse to submit to this unjust occupier inside prisons.” She noted that her imprisoned husband always said that “the means of resistance that the prisoners have behind bars is their empty stomachs.”
In Toulouse, France, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra, a member organization of the Samidoun Network, held a Palestine stand on Friday, 25 August, focusing on the case of Maher al-Akhras and his fellow hunger strikers.
A large force of the occupation army, reinforced with weapons and military vehicles, stormed the town of Silat al-Dhahr, south of Jenin, in the pre-dawn hours of 23 August, and surrounded Al-Akhras’ home before seizing him and taking him to the Jalameh interrogation center. He immediately announced his hunger strike from the moment of his arrest.
Maher and Taghreed al-Akhras are the parents of six children. Al-Akhras has consistently spoken out on the cases of his fellow prisoners and the justice of the Palestinian resistance. In particular, he spoke widely about the case of Sheikh Khader Adnan, whose life was taken on 2 May 2023 after deliberately being denied medical treatment by the occupation after 86 days of hunger strike.
Khader Adnan previously won his freedom from administrative detention on four occasions through hunger strikes. His case highlights the urgency and high stakes of the hunger strikers’ resistance behind bars.
Maher al-Akhras is currently among six Palestinians on hunger strike for freedom: Kayed Fasfous (who previously won his freedom in a 131-day strike) and Sultan Khallouf (who won his freedom in a 67-day strike) have been on hunger strike for 26 days; Abdel-Rahman Baraqa for 18 days; Hassan Jaradat for 7 days, all against their arrest and administrative detention, as well as Islam Bani Shamsa, on hunger strike against his sudden transfer inside the prisons. Al-Akhras has been on hunger strike for 6 days.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all supporters of Palestine to take action to support Maher al-Akhras, the 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!