On Tuesday, 30 July, 20 more Palestinian prisoners joined the¬†eight administrative detainees¬†already on hunger strike as Mohammed Abu Aker, Mustafa Hassanat and Huzaifa Halabiya entered their second month without food. The prison branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine¬†announced¬† that 20 prisoners in the Negev desert prison were joining the strike to demand freedom for administrative detainees and an end of imprisonment without charge or trial.
In joining the strike, the prisoners issued a statement that¬†‚Äúthe procrastination and evasion of the prison administration and its failure to implement an agreement for the three sriking prisoners: Huzaifa Halabiya, Mohammed Abu Aker and Mustafa al-Hassanat, will receive further escalation and response.‚ÄĚ They emphasized that the Israeli prison administration holds full responsibility for the lives and health of the strikers as they enter their second month on hunger strike.
In retaliation for the announcement, Israeli repressive units stormed two sections of the prison, specifically those where PFLP prisoners are held. Their rooms in sections 10 and 13 were raided and searched, while many prisoners were transferred from section to section. In particular, prisoners were threatened with transfer to other prisons if they continue their strike.
Abu Aker¬†turned 25 on 30 July¬†as he ended his first month of hunger strike. A student leader and activist in Dheisheh refugee camp, he is the son of fellow former prisoner, journalist and activist¬†Nidal Abu Aker, who spent approximately 14 years in Israeli prison and launched his own hunger strike against administrative detention in 2015. He was previously¬†imprisoned for 27 months¬†and has been jailed without charge or trial since November 2018. His father reported that Abu Aker rejected an Israeli offer to release him four months after the end of his current detention order to end his strike. Abu Aker has lost 20 kilos of weight (approximately 44 pounds) since launching his strike on 1 July.
A student at the University of Bethlehem, his education has¬†been repeatedly interrupted¬†by Israeli arrests and imprisonment, this time without charge or trial. He is known for his speeches and clear leftist politics, representing the Palestinian student movement at events and activities at the university. He is currently held under isolation in the Ramle prison clinic.
He is joined by Huzaifa Halabiya, 28, from Abu Dis, Jerusalem. Halabiya is a leukemia survivor who suffered burns over the majority of his body as a child and requires intensive medical care and treatment. Still, he has launched a hunger strike to demand his freedom after being jailed without charge or trial for over a year, since 10 June 2018. Halabiya is held in isolation at Nitzan Ramle; he¬†has lost 14 kg (approximately 30 pounds)¬†since launching his hunger strike on 1 July. He is boycotting the prison clinic and refusing to receive medication. When he was arrested by Israeli occupation forces, his wife was pregnant; he is now the father of a 6-month-old girl, Majdal, but has been denied the opportunity to even meet his daughter.
Mustafa Hassanat, 21, also from Dheisheh camp, has been on hunger strike with Abu Aker and Halabiya since 1 July. He has been detained since 5 June 2018 and has been issued two additional administrative detention orders sine the first, jailing him without charge or trial for over a year and sparking his strike.
Also on hunger strike are five more Palestinians jailed without charge or trial:
Two more hunger strikers, Musab al-Abed and Hamza Awad, suspended their strikes on 30 July after an agreement to end their administrative detention.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all supporters and friends of Palestine everywhere around the world to stand with these courageous prisoners who have put their lives on the line to seek freedom and an end to the unjust system of administrative detention. International solidarity can help them win their struggles, so all of our participation, protests and petitions can play a role in helping them to seize victory for justice and freedom.
1) Organize or join an event or protest for the Palestinian prisoners.¬†You can organize an info table, rally, solidarity hunger strike, protest or action to support the prisoners. If you are already holding an event about Palestine or social justice, include solidarity with the prisoners as part of your action. Send your events and reports to¬†email@example.com.
2) Write letters and make phone calls to protest the violation of Palestinian prisoners‚Äô rights.¬†Demand your government take action to stop supporting Israeli occupation or to pressure the Israeli state to end the policies of repression of Palestinian political prisoners. In particular, demand that your political officials put pressure on Israel to end the policy of administrative detention, the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial.
Call during your country‚Äôs regular office hours:
‚ÄĘ Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne: + 61 2 6277 7500
‚ÄĘ Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland: +1-613-992-5234
‚ÄĘ European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
‚ÄĘ New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters: +64 4 439 8000
‚ÄĘ United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt: +44 20 7008 1500
‚ÄĘ United States President Donald Trump: 1-202-456-1111
3) Boycott, Divest and Sanction.¬†Join the¬†BDS campaign¬†to highlight the complicity of corporations like¬†Hewlett-Packard¬†and the continuing¬†involvement of G4S¬†in Israeli policing and prisons. Build a campaign to boycott Israeli goods, impose a military embargo on Israel, or organize around the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Learn more about the BDS campaign at¬†bdsmovement.net.