Palestinian political detainee, Bilal Thiab, sent a letter from his hospital bed at the Ramla Israeli Prison hospital that lacks adequate supplies and equipment, stating that he is persistent and determined to continue his hunger-strike until death or until he is released.“I swear to almighty God that I will continue this battle, the battle of dignity, freedom and pride until I break my shackles with will and faith, it is either freedom or martyrdom”, Thiab said, “I am sending you this message from my cell at the prison hospital, while intense pain and weakness invade my body, not from hunger but from the cruelty of my jailor”.
“Despite the tiredness and the pain, I receive my patience and determination from those who stand in solidarity with me, and I am telling you now, the time has come to break this savage occupation”, He added, “Detainees Khader Adnan and Hana’ Ash-Shalabi who won their battle of empty bowels paved the road for me, to walk the path of pride and dignity, and we will all walk this path until victory and freedom”.
On Friday, Thiab entered his sixtieth day of ongoing hunger-strike demanding to be released. Several hunger-striking detainees were moved to hospital but refused to break their strike. Thiab is from Kufr Ra’ey village, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
Also on Friday detainee, Tha’er Halahla, entered his 59th day of hunger-strike at the Ramla Prison Hospital; prison doctors warned Thursday that his body is losing its immune system and his organs might be failing.
There are more than 4,600 Arab political prisoners held by Israel according to latest figures published by the Ad-Dameer Prisoner Support Association on April 17 – Palestinian Prisoners Day.
The vast majority are from the West Bank, while approximately 475 are from the Gaza Strip, and 360 are from occupied East Jerusalem and the 1948 territories.
Israel is still holding captive six women, 183 children, and 27 democratically-elected Palestinian legislators, including Marwan Barghouthi who was sentenced to more than five life-terms, legislator Jamal Terawi, who was sentenced to 30 years, and Ahmad Sa’adat who was sentenced to 30 years.
In addition, 24 legislators are currently being held under Administrative Detention orders without charges.
120 Palestinian detainees have been imprisoned since before the first Oslo peace agreement was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1993; 23 of them have been imprisoned for more than 25 years.