30 more Palestinian prisoners join hunger strike

The total number of prisoners on hunger strike against administrative detention by Israel is close to 100

August 15, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
Palestinian hunger strikes
More than 500 Palestinians are under administrative detention in Israeli prisons and detention centers.

30 more Palestinian prisoners from various prisons in Israel joined the ongoing hunger strike on August 12, in solidarity with the six administrative detainees who have been on hunger strike for over a month, against their illegal detention without charge or trial.

These prisoners are in addition to 60 others, who joined the hunger strike in prisons across Israel in the first two weeks of August. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said on Monday, that the group is part of the open-ended hunger strike against administrative detention in the Negev, Ofer, Ramon and Gilboa prisons.

The prisoners are refusing to eat food or drink water unless the Israeli prison authorities agree to the demands of the six administrative detainees, especially Huzaifa Halabiya, whose health condition is extremely precarious and rapidly deteriorating. Halabiya is a leukemia survivor from Abu Dis in Jerusalem, who suffered major burn injuries over his body as a child and requires regular medical treatment. He has been on hunger strike for the last 44 days, since July 1, surviving only on water.

Halabiya was put under administrative detention by Israel without charge or trial on June 10, 2018, leaving his pregnant wife alone at home. She since gave birth and their daughter, Majdal is a six months old and he has not been given the chance to meet her.

The prisoners who joined the hunger strike on Monday issued a statement saying, “As part of our unwavering commitment to support our hunger strikers, a new group of our cadres is joining the open hunger strike to further pressure the prison administration and the Shin Bet to respond to their demands.” They also reiterated that the Israeli occupation is fully and solely responsible for the life and well-being of Huzaifa Halabiya.

A lawyer associated with the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association visited Halabiya on August 12, in isolation inside the Ramle prison clinic. According to the lawyer, Halabiya was in a wheelchair with his hands and feet shackled even in this dire health condition. Halabiya is reportedly suffering from severe pain, nausea, abdomen cramps, and headaches. He is incapable of standing still or walking and can only sleep for three to four hours in a day.

The lawyer also stated that Halabiya was taken to Kaplan hospital while still being shackled. Last week, on August 8, a repressive police unit had also broken into his isolation cell and ransacked it.

Estimates say that there are currently more than 500 Palestinians under administrative detention in Israeli prisons and detention centers. More than 5700 Palestinians are currently imprisoned in Israeli jails.