1,800 Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israeli
Occupation Government Prisons on Hunger Strike for Freedom and Dignity
By Mahmoud El-Yousseph
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, May
Celtic fans for Palestine, Irish support for the Palestinian
political prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons, May 2017
Nearly 1784 Palestinian prisoners have gone on a hunger strike to
protest their condition in Israeli jails. There are currently
approximately 6,300 Palestinians prisoners in Israel's prisons. Over 320
of them are youth and children. 600 of them are held under
Administrative Detention Act. Which means they are in prison without
charge, trial, or release date.
Among the prisoners, there are
330 of prisoners are from Gaza, 680 from Jerusalem,and the occupied
Palestine since 1948, 6,000 from the occupied West Bank, and 34
prisoners from various Arab countries. In addition, Israel continues to
hold the remains of 261 Palestinians killed in the line of duty and/or
during midnight raids or at checkpoints for no reasons. Thus denying
their families of providing proper burial and paying their respects.
I personally know the pain, the agony and the fear of unknown the
prisoners families and loved ones are going through. In the past Israel
held my father for 18 months in 1948 after he crossed the border from
Lebanon to look after his mother and his older brother. During the 1982
Israeli invasion into Lebanon, Israel did the same thing to my younger
brother who was visiting our mother and our older brother from Germany
with his German wife and their 5 year old daughter. My brother was also
held for 18 months
To highlight the plight of the prisoners ,
On April 17th, Marwan Barghouti, a Political Palestinian leader and one
of the prisoners who have been in prison for 15 years called for the
hunger strike for freedom and dignity after he had an OpEd
piece published in the New York Time the day before. The Israeli
reaction to the strike was to move the prisoner leaders to different
prisons and into solitary confinement. The Israel army and Jewish
settlers held BBQ parties in front of several prisons in retaliation and
Israeli Interior minister said, Israel will not negotiate with the
prisoners even if they all die.
Arab American Institute
president Dr. Jim Zogby wrote an article on April 24 in which he
highlights the Israeli arrogance towards the Palestinian hunger strike
and to Barghouti's OpED in the Times. He stated, " The Israeli
government's response to Barghouti's NY Time's article and to the strike
itself, have been revealingly characteristic of their modus
operandi. Because the Times initially described Barghouti as a Member of
the Palestinian Parliament and a leader, Israel launched a campaign
forcing the editors to change their description to note that Barghouti
had been convicted of murder and membership in a terrorist
Dr.Zogby who was the head of ADC (Arab American
Anti-Dicrimination Committee) in the 1980s have helped in lobbying for
the release of 7000 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners, among them
my younger brother, Samih who were held by Israel at Ansar prison during
the 1982 Israeli invasion into Lebanon.
Dr. Zoby added, the current
Israeli reaction to the Times article, " What Israel did not mention was
the fact that Barghouti's arrest, trial, and conviction were denounced
by the Swiss-based Inter-Parliamentary Union as being "a violation of
international law" and having "failed to meet fair-trial standards". The
IPU concluded that "Barghouti's guilt has not been established".
Israel who was the first nation to introduce
terrorism into the Middle East had the audacity to call the op-ed
"journalist terrorism"; accused the Times of "media terrorism"; called
Barghouti's piece "fake news" that was "full of lies". Former Israeli
Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, called for an investigation to see
who at the Times was responsible for getting and publishing the article.
One Knesset Member went so far as to suggest that Israel might close the
Times' Israel bureau. Obviously, whenever ISISrael does not get its way,
it resorts to threat and black mail. Someone at the Times should have
told the Israelis officials to catch a hike.
Solidarity Netwark, Samidioun is taking the leading edge on the issue of
Palestinian prisoners on their hunger strike inisde Israeli jails.
According to Samidoutn, the total number of prisoners who are on hunger
strike is 1784 which include women too. They come are from all
What are the hunger strikers demand? The
prisoners are demanding basic human rights, including an end to the
denial of family visits, the right to access higher education,
appropriate medical care and treatment and an end to solitary
confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or
trial. They have faced harsh repression, including solitary confinement,
denial of legal and family visits and confiscation of personal
belongings, including the salt that the strikers use to sustain
themselves along with water. I should not here that according to
Samidoun, there are 1000 Palestinian prisoners who are not allowed to
receive family visits for security reason.
Here are more general
information about the prisoners. There are 58 female prisoners (15 of
them under age, 2 under held under ADA, 13 injured, and only 30 of them
There are 320 children prisoners (3 are held
under ADA, 270 are sentenced and 47 are held without charges or trial
1200 prisoners were intentionally killed in prison since 1967,
72 prisoners died as a result of torture, 57 died due to medical
negligent, 74 were murdered right after their arrest, 7 were injured by
fire arms inside prison.
What about the prisoners' health
There are 1200 sick prisoners 34 among them are
handicapped, 21 diagnosed with cancer, 2 suffering from kidney problems,
17 suffering from heart problem, 19 prisoners are preeminently staying
at Ramla hospital.
Prisoner leaders are those who have served
more than 20 in the occupation prisons. 21 of the prisoners have already
served over 25 years. 9 prisoners have served over 25 years with the
longest serving prisoner Kareem Younis.
As always, Israel never
honor its agreements or keep its word. 29 old prisoner prior to signing
Oslo agreement in 1993 were never released as agreed upon by Israel.
Israel is also holding 13 Palestinian lawmakers ( 4 of them are held
under ADA, 2 received high sentence and 6 are detained without charges.)
A good friend of mine from the Jewish Voice for Peace organization
sent me this letter of support for the Palestinian prisoners was signed
by several hundred lawyers, legal workers,, law students and legal
organization. the signers also expressed support with Palestinian
lawyers currently boycotting Israeli military courts. The boycott
started on April 18 after Palestinian lawyers were denied legal visit to
Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike.
Letter of Support for Palestinian Hunger Strikers from Lawyers, Legal
Workers, Law Students and Legal Organizations
Letter of Support for Palestinian
Hunger Strikers from Lawyers, Legal Worke...
Over 200 lawyers, law students,
legal workers and legal organizations have come together to sign the
On Saturday, 6 May, Leila Khaled, the
historic Palestinian resistance icon and active present-day political
leader, announced an open-ended hunger strike in support of the striking
prisoners. Gregory III Lahham, the Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All
the East and Alexandria and Jerusalem has launched a hunger strike in
solidarity with Palestinians in Israeli jails. Lahham, 83, also launched
his solidarity strike on Saturday, 6 May. In an interview with Al-Mayadeen
TV, he said “I say to the prisoners, we are with you in your sacrifice
George Abdallah and several Arab detainees went
on a three-day hunger strike with numerous prisoners from Marroco,
Algeria and Tunisia from a French prison in solidarity with Palestinian
prisoners in Israeli prisons. George Abdallah who is a Lebanese
Christian who is serving time in French prison since 1984 have invited
all international freedom-fighter movements to support to the prisoners
who launched a hunger strike under the title of “Freedom and Dignity”.
The Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church Atallah Hanna
announced on Sunday that he will start a hunger strike on Sunday May
7th in solidarity with the striking prisoners.
On the 15th days
of the hunger strike, former PM of Lebanon Saleem Hoss , 88 years also
joined in the hunger to express solidarity with the hunger strikers
cause. Palestinians refugees in Lebanon launched severs hunger strikes
inside tents set up in solidarity and a Catholic Church in the village
of "Maghdooshi" in south Lebanon held a mass and ran the church bells
in solidarity with the Palestinians.
Solidarity strikes are
spreading through Europe, Canada and the US after Manchester and
Edinburgh studnet hunger strikes launched. A hunger strike tents are now
set up by activists in Ireland, Scotland, Italy Spain, Belgium, the US
and Canada. 3 Jordanian preisoners held in ISraeli jails also joined in.
On Sunday May 7, IOF shot and injured 28 Palestinian protesters
near the Palestinain town Nablus and killed in cold blood a 16-year-old
Faitme Hjeiji in the occupied East Jerasulem. She was hit by 20 bullets
and soldiers prevented local residents from aiding her as she laid
montionless. Her mother said she was on her 5th day of hunger strike.
On May 10, there will be a hunger strike camp set up in Karachi,
Pakistan to protest the mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners.
Finally Israel confessed it can not stop the hunger strike after it
failed to have Ahmad Sadaat and Samer Issawi to negotiate on behalf of
the prisoners. Samer Issawi who holds the world record in hunger strike
has refused to talk to Israeli officials and Mr. Sadaat who is the
second most prominent prisoners told his jailers there is only one
spokes person for the prisoners and his name is Marwan Barhoughti!
Desperate to put an end to the strike, Israeli officials tried to drive
a wedge between the prisoners by: it leaked fabricated pictures of
Mr. Barghouti eating cookie inside his jail cell, trying to show the
prisoners' leader as a cheater who should not be trusted. That too
failed as later was discovered that Israel used old pictures..
16 year old girl Amira from the Palestinian town of Toulkarim in the
West Bank had to be rushed to hospital after she went for four days on
All Palestinian prisoners are subjected to
systematic ill-treatment, medical neglect, beatings and torture, in
Israel's prisons. Because of all this a fourth of the prisoners (that's
1784 people) are now on the third week of their hunger strike. Israel's
reaction to the strike is more violence, more torture, more medical
neglect. Don't say you didn't know, do something about it.
detainees are aware of the life-threatening consequences of the hunger
strike, but are determined to continue because they are fighting for
basic, fundamental rights. The International Committee of Red Cross
warned Israel that it is responsible for the lives of the detainees, and
must be held accountable for its ongoing crimes and violations
If the 1800 Palestinian prisoner were to be Jews, You can bet the sky
would fall down over the US and western Europe , this would be a 24/7 in
the lame stream media and all western public officials would be tripping
over each other to the microphone to raise holy hell.
If you are
opposed to the Israeli mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners and
incensed by Israeli total disregard to international laws and human
rights, then you are urged you to contact one or more of the following
numbers/email listed below to support Palestinian hunger strikers.
Call your country’s officials urgently:
Australian Minister of
Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop: + 61 2 6277 7500
Minister Chrystia Freeland: +1-613-992-5234
Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully: +64 4 439 8000
Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: +44 20 7008 1500
States President Donald Trump: 1-202-456-1111
The embassy of Israel
in Washing, D.C. email address: email@example.com
Readers living in different countires, can do the same by calling
their public officials and by looking up the embassy of Israell's
contact information in their repective countries and demand Israel ends
its illegal, unjust and inhumane treatement of Palestinian prisoners
Palestinian free lance
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