Bilal DiabÂ launched aÂ hunger strikeÂ on Tuesday, 17 October following the denial of his appeal against his administrative detention, Israeli imprisonment without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence. The Ofer military court rejected the appeal, claiming that the secret file shows that he is a â€śdanger to the security of the area.â€ť
Diab, 32, wasÂ seized by occupation forces on 14 July; he was previously held under administrative detention and conducted a 77-day strike with fellow detaineeÂ Thaer HalahlehÂ in 2012 to win his release. He conducted aÂ 20-day hunger strikeÂ when he was seized by occupation forces in July.
He announced his hunger strikeÂ with a statement: â€śMy dignity is more precious than my life. I reject the unjust policy of administrative detention and walk in the footsteps of all those who struggle, all lovers of freedom, all those who crave justice, and all those who dream of a free and just state on the historic land of Palestine with its capital al-Quds,â€ť he said. â€śI declare to our people and its active forces, to the people of our nation and the free people of the world and humanity, that I will fight this battle of will, of the open hunger strike. I hope for your support and solidarity until victory or martyrdom.â€ť
Diab joins fellow prisonerÂ Hassan Shokeh, 29, from Bethlehem, who is on hunger strike for the eighth day against his administrative detention without charge or trial. Released from Israeli occupation prisons on 31 August, he was re-arrested only one month later and ordered to six months in administrative detention by the Ofer military court.
Shokeh and Diab are now being held in isolation in retaliation for their hunger strikes. They are among over 450 Palestinians jailed without trial under administrative detention orders. These orders are issued for one to six months at a time and are indefinitely renewable; many Palestinians have been jailed for years without charge or trial under so-called â€śsecret evidenceâ€ť with Israeli administrative detention orders.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.