Palestinian Hunger Strikers

There are around 4700 Palestinian prisoners in Israel jails. They are there because of their actions in resisting or protesting the Israeli occupation of their land. Of these, more than 300 are in military administrative detention, held indefinitely without charge or trial. Since the occupation began in 1967, around 750,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned, amounting to a quarter of the population of the Palestinian territories. [Information from The National.]

In December 2011, Khader Adnan  was arrested into administrative detention and immediately began a hunger strike. On the 66th day, as the Supreme Court was about to rule on his detention, his lawyers negotiated a deal with the Israel authorities which enabled his release. Another detainee, Hana Shalabi, was released after 44 days.

Other prisoners began to follow their examples, and currently some 1600 are on hunger strike. Some of those who have been refusing food the longest have been placed under medical care.

Recently, the Israel Supreme Court ruled against an appeal by two of these, Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla, to free them from administrative detention. The court issued an opinion stating that administrative detention is a “necessary evil” because Israel is “constantly fighting terror.” Diab and Halahla have been hunger striking for 70 days and are in critical condition. [Information from Project on Middle East Democracy.]

Haaretz is now reporting some improvement in the conditions of some prisoners.

About David Gerald Fincham

Retired academic scientist.
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