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Home arrow Blog arrow April / May 2012 arrow May 14, 2012: Palestinian Prisoners Hunger Strike: Global Call and this is NO Game!

May 14, 2012: Palestinian Prisoners Hunger Strike: Global Call and this is NO Game!
May 14, 2012: Palestinian Prisoners Hunger Strike: Global Call and this is NO Game! UPDATED: May 15 LEADS



Palestinian Prisoners End Mass Hunger Strike
by Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

For weeks now, there have been daily rallies in support of the prisoners in Israeli jails who have been refusing food in protest. Most Palestinians have had a family member imprisoned by Israeli authorities at some point, so the mass fast galvanized the Palestinian population in a way few things have recently.

The deal today was brokered by an Egyptian representative and was signed in an Israeli prison. Palestinians in Israeli jails will now have expanded visitation rights from family members and, crucially, from the Gaza Strip. Since 2006, family members there have not been allowed to visit their relatives in West Bank jails, and there will now be an end to the widespread practice of solitary confinement.

One of the main demands was not met. Palestinian prisoners wanted a stop to administrative detention, a practice in which Israel can hold prisoners indefinitely without charge or legal recourse. Administrative detention will continue, but the practice will be reviewed, according to Israeli authorities.

The apparent success of the hunger strike in getting concessions from Israel has renewed the focus on non-violent resistance. Over the past few years, Palestinian activists and officials have encouraged its use against the Israeli occupation, saying it works to pressure the Israeli government.

Still, it's not believed all the prisoners will end their fast. Two of the hunger strikers have not eaten for 78 days. That's eight days longer than IRA prisoner Bobby Sands, when he died on his strike in 1981. Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh have said they will not start eating again until their administrative detentions are lifted. Both men are members of Islamic Jihad, a violent Palestinian militant group that has carried out scores of attacks on Israelis, but because they were never charged with anything, it's not clear why they're still being held or if, with this new deal, they will be released.

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, NPR News.

http://www.npr.org/2012/05/14/152694876/palestinian-prisoners-end-mass-hunger-strike




On January 5, 2006, I traveled to Ramallah to the Headquarters of ADAMEER [Arabic for conscience] and met with spokesmen, Ala Jaradat a slightly built man who delivered a powerful message in a soft spoken voice:


"Since 1967, 650,000 to 700,000 Palestinians have been arrested and detained. That totals 20% of the total population and 80% of all adult Palestinian males have been arrested.


"Most of these arrests occur after midnight when large numbers of IDF storm into neighborhoods or refugee camps, horrifying everyone and arresting anyone 14 years or older. Sometimes they storm into business offices and arrest the breadwinners of the families without any charges.


"These arrests and detentions are based on military orders; we live under a kind of Marshall Law which rules every aspect of Palestinian life: where we live, our license plates that restrict our movement and limited voting rights. Under these military orders the Israeli government is free to hold anyone eight days without accusations or charges. They can hold anyone up to 180 days for interrogation and up to 60 days without benefit of a lawyer.


"The Israeli government never agreed to the Second Geneva Convention, the Knesset never ratified it, and when it comes to the Occupied Territories they totally ignore it. Israel is the only State that approved torture of detainees. I know there are dictators who use torture, but Israel is the only State that supported torture until 1999. That is when International, Israeli and Palestinian pressure groups forced the issue and Barack was confronted about it when he visited the United States.


"The IDF will round up and arrest family members and use threats against their relatives to force confessions. The interrogations lead to Military Trials which is theoretically like court with three Judges presiding but only one is required to have an education and a law degree is not at all necessary. The Military Commander appoints the translators, issues all orders, assigns the judges, and has total control. One appeal is allowed, but if the judges are settlers the Palestinian is in deep shit!


"Administrative Detentions are issued by the Military Commander for a period of six months and the reason is always labeled ‘Security’ and the charges can be renewed indefinitely. One Palestinian spent eight years under Administrative detention and hundreds have endured four or more years. Today fifty are being held for the past four years. They may be released for a day or two and then they are rearrested because they are social or political activists but reasons are not given by the Israeli government.


"At any given moment 10% of those in prison are under Administrative Detention. There are currently 8,000 prisoners and 800 of them are under Administrative Detention. The government does not have to inform anyone about these arrests except the Red Cross and only if they are imprisoned over two weeks, but most arrests go unreported.


"Any Palestinian under the age of 16 is tried as an adult, but for an Israeli Jew it is 18 years of age. Under 12 years old the child can be arrested but not detained. Over 12 they can be arrested, detained, interrogated, prosecuted and sentenced for throwing stones.


"Most of the Israeli Jews that are imprisoned are in for violent crimes against society and they are mixed in with the Palestinian population. The guards encourage them to do what ever they want to do against the Palestinian population. This is an open invitation by the Israeli government to incite violence and terror in the prison system. We have sworn affidavits from Palestinians claiming it was the guards who encouraged the violence inflicted upon them.


"In August 2004 the Palestinians went on a hunger strike to raise awareness of this problem and the Minister of Health who is responsible for them stated publicly: 'Our hospitals are off limits to them They can all starve themselves to death.'


"No human rights organizations are allowed access to the prisoners. Only lawyers and the Red Cross can visit them but have no access to the facilities where they are detained.


"The methods and photos from Abu Grahib and Guantanamo were no shock to any Palestinian who had been in prison between 1967 and the ‘80’s. All the methods used in Abu Grahib were normal procedures against Palestinians. In 1999 Internationals, Palestinians and Israelis for human rights threatened a boycott against Israel and that is what forced the Supreme Court to address the torture issue. They did not ban torture and the General Prosecutor can choose not to prosecute those who still use it."






Palestinian Prisoners Score Heroic Victory
Struggle to End Israel’s Oppression and International Complicity Continues

15 May 2012 -- Nearly a month into the Palestinian prisoners' hunger strike, a historic victory has been achieved, as Israeli authorities were forced to comply with the prisoners’ main demands. Coinciding with the Palestinian commemoration of the 64th anniversary of the Nakba, the systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing that uprooted most Palestinians from their homeland around 1948, the prisoners’ victory has heightened hope about the prospects for Palestinian freedom, justice, self determination and the return of refugees.

This important triumph for the Palestinian popular struggle could not have been reached without the unwavering resolve of the prisoners themselves, grassroots mobilization in their support in Palestine, and the immense wave of effective solidarity and calls for holding Israel accountable that the strike has triggered around the world.

More than a thousand people around the globe have pledged to undertake a 24-hour hunger strike in solidarity with the prisoners, to take place this Thursday. While the solidarity hunger-strike has been called off, due to the prisoners' victory, injustice and illegal repression continue in Israeli prisons.

Emphasizing imprisonment as a critical component of Israel’s system of occupation, colonialism and apartheid practiced against the Palestinian people, Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations have called for intensifying the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to target corporations profiting directly from the Israeli prison system. In particular, we call for action to be taken to hold to account G4S, the world’s largest international security corporation, which helps to maintain and profit from Israel’s prison system, for its complicity with Israeli violations of international law.

Please click
here to demand G4S ends its involvement in the Israeli prison system and its complicity in violations of Palestinian human rights.

Signed:
Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)





This Thursday, May 17th, will mark a month since over 2,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails began a hunger strike because Israel refuses to accept the prisoners' demands for their basic human rights, including humane treatment, so many now face immediate risk of death.



The prisoners have decided to starve to death in their isolation cells, and a global mobilization has begun and this story can be followed best @

https://www.popularstruggle.org/











 

Please sign the petition below and pledge publicly to join the Global 24-hour hunger strike in support of the prisoners and their demands:

https://www.popularstruggle.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=1




   
 
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