Khader Adnan into Freedom

Local Editor

Freed Khader Adnan Greets Hunger Strikers

 “Israeli” authorities released late Tuesday the former hunger-striking administrative detainee Khader Adnan.

According to the news agencies, Adnan arrived at his home in Araba in the northern West Bank to meet his family before returning to a tent reception where he spoke to well-wishers and officials in the village.
Hundreds of Palestinians chanted slogans in solidarity with prisoners as they welcomed the former detainee, whose 66-day hunger strike inspired others to protest administrative detention.

Khader Adnan, a member of Islamic Jihad, stands in a vehicle upon
 his arrival in the West Bank village of Arabe near Jenin after his release
Under the provision, “Israel” can imprison suspects indefinitely, without ever informing them of the charges they face or presenting their lawyers with any evidence. Over 300 Palestinians are held without charge in the Zionist entity.
Inspired by Adnan’s protest, the female former prisoner, Hana Shalabi, refused food for 43 days before the “Israelis” decided to deport her to Gaza, barring her from returning to her native West Bank for at least three years.

On Tuesday, at least 1,200 prisoners in “Israeli” jails launched an open-ended
hunger strike.
The prisoners joined the announced battle of “empty stomachs” on the Palestinian Prisoners Day Tuesday.

In parallel , Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip staged mass rallies in support of some 5000 prisoners held in “Israeli” prisons.

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Palestine’s Prisoners Day: In the Footsteps of Khader Adnan

Palestinian children take part in a rally in front of the Red Cross headquarters in Gaza City marking Palestinian Prisoners Day 17 April 2012. (Photo: REUTERS – Suhaib Salem)
Published Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Khader Adnan was expected to return to his village of Arrabeh today after waging a 67-day hunger strike that led to Israel agreeing to release him on 17 April, by chance coinciding with the annual Palestinian Prisoners Day. However, at the time of publishing, Khader had still not been released and the Israeli Prison Service had not communicated with either his lawyer or family on his status.

When Khader Adnan is finally allowed to return to his home village of Arrabeh, just outside of Jenin, he will return to a resurged prisoners’ movement that he very well may have sparked.

Palestinian prisoners are reinstating their integral role in the national struggle, notably without the help – or interference – of political parties and leaders. Adnan’s solitary bravery and commitment restored a sense of agency and power to prisoners.

Without directives from political organizations, individual prisoners have been steadily enlisting in a battle against the policy of administrative detention by refusing their meals. The final outcome of this movement is still unknown, but its recession does not appear imminent. On the contrary, the prisoners’ movement is gaining momentum as today hundreds more launched an open-ended hunger strike.

Following the precedent of Khader, female prisoner Hana Shalabi began a hunger strike immediately upon her re-arrest on 16 February. She spent 43 days fasting before reaching an agreement with Israel that saw her exiled to Gaza for three years. After her there were more. Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh have fasted for 49 days, Omar abu Shalal for 45 days, and Hassan al-Safadi for 43.

 

In recognition of Khader’s impact on the strength of the prisoners’ movement, the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners Affairs held its annual Prisoners Day commemoration in Arrabeh yesterday evening.
While driving to the ceremony, Abdel Aal, the General Director of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, received a phone call from a prisoner in Ofer jail, Muhammed Dawood Abu Ajaj. Abu Ajaj has been held in administrative detention for the last 20 months and had received notice that his incarceration was extended another four months.

He called Abdel Aal to announce that he too will go on hunger strike.

So, as of yesterday there were at least 11 prisoners fasting in protest of administrative detention, which allows Israel to hold prisoners indefinitely without charge.

In a significant development today, coinciding with Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, over 1,200 prisoners – of the 4,610 currently held – began an open-ended hunger strike, thus broadening the struggle from administrative detention to a more general demand for rights that are denied to Palestinians in Israeli jails.

While the repercussions of Khader’s example are undeniable, some have argued that the seeds of this fertile movement may have been planted before last December’s arrest of Khader.

On 27 September 2011, prisoners affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine began a hunger strike to protest what was called the “Shalit laws.”

“These were not laws, but punitive measures that had been inflicted on Palestinians prisoners in retribution for Hamas holding Gilad Shalit,” a representative from Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner rights group, explains.

Small solidarity tents were quickly erected in West Bank cities. By October 6 Addameer approximated that about 400 prisoners had joined the strike.

But just as the strike was finding its stride, Israel announced the punitive measures would be reversed.
“The prison authorities told the strikers that soon there would be an ‘event’ that would change everything,” said Addameer.

The “event” was the prisoner exchange deal Hamas brokered with Israel wherein 1,027 Palestinians would be released in exchange for Gilad Shalit, the sole Israeli held by Palestinians.
 

Shalit was released, the prisoners ended their hunger strike, but the punitive measures did not end.
“Following the deal, the measures were altered but not reversed,” says Addameer. “The deal significantly overshadowed the hunger strike that was started in September.”

The large-scale strike that was launched today is a continuation of what prisoners began in September. But this time the strike will not be characterized by any one political faction.

In order to emphasize the unified nature of the strike, the prisoners are forming a committee with representatives from Hamas, Fatah, PFLP, and Islamic Jihad.

This committee will be responsible with setting and communicating their demands with the Israeli Prison Service (IPS).

The strike seeks to fully reverse all punitive measures that were taken in connection with Shalit, including arbitrarily denying or humiliating visitors to prisoners and humiliating and abusing prisoners during transfers.

Prisoners are also seeking an end to solitary confinement and the prohibition against residents of the Gaza Strip from visiting family members in prison. There are currently 456 Gazan prisoners who have been denied family visits since 2007.

Outside the prison walls, the national unity that prisoners are fostering is still limited to political rhetoric. With both Fatah and Hamas being accused of trying to manipulate the hunger strike for political gains, this enduring political rivalry threatens fissures within the prisoners’ movement as well. However, prisoners, no matter their party affiliation, are united by a common experience inside Israeli jails that may allow the movement to surmount looming divisions. 

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Palestinian Prisoners into an Open Hunger Strike, ’’Israel’’ Afraid

Local Editor

Under the title, “Loyalty and Pledge”, all Palestinian prisoners, held by the Zionist entity, declared Saturday that they will be starting an open-ended hunger strike on April 17th in protest to their illegal detention, and demanding basic rights.

In response to the prisoners’ move, “Israel” recruited all its efforts to calm down the wrath within the bars.

According to media reports, a committee formed by the so-called “Israeli” Prison Authority, headed by Yitzhak Gabai, visited a number of detention facilities, listened to the demands of the detainees, and promised respond to these demands this coming week.”

Some of the demands presented by the detainees are:
1. Ending Administrative Detention.
2. Ending Solitary Confinement.
3. Reinstating the right to education.
4. Halting all invasions targeting detainees’ rooms and sections.
5. Allowing family visitations, especially to detainees from the Gaza Strip.
6. Improving medical care to ailing detainees.
7. Halting the humiliation, and body-search of the families of the detainees.
8. Allowing the entry of books and newspapers.
9. Halting all sorts of penalties against the detainees.

For his part, Palestinian Minister of Detainees in the West Bank, Issa Qaraqe, stated that the situation of the detainees in “Israeli” prisons is very difficult, and dangerous, especially amidst the ongoing “Israeli” violations and attacks against them.
“The detainees are fighting a battle to defend their dignity and to improve their living conditions,” he added calling for “massive solidarity campaigns with the Palestinian Prisoners.”

He further called “for declaring April 17, the Palestinian Prisoners Day, as a day for solidarity and massive nonviolent protests in all parts of the occupied territories.”
It is worth mentioning that “the Palestinian detainees in “Israeli” prisons are subject to harsh and illegal treatment that violates International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

202 Palestinian prisoners died after being kidnapped by the “Israeli” forces since 1967 while hundreds died after they were released suffering from serious illnesses and medical conditions resulting from extreme torture and abuse in “Israeli” prisons.

In this context, former political prisoner, head of the census department at the Ministry of Detainees, Abdul-Nasser Farawna reported “that 70 detainees died in “Israeli” prison due to extreme torture, 74 were executed by the soldiers after being arrested, 51 died due to the lack of medical treatment, 7 detainees died due to excessive force by the soldiers, and after being shot while in prison.”

Source: News Agencies, Edited by moqawama.org

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Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike: The Struggle for Freedom, for Justice, for Palestine Continues

Freedom © palestineposterproject.org
In messages to the Palestinian people and the free people of the world, Palestinian administrative detainee Ja’far Izz Iddin called for more support and solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners, particularly with administrative detainees, until they are all free.
Determined to continue his open-ended hunger strike, Izz Iddin said that he will not be broken or defeated and that it is either victory and freedom or martyrdom: “Our detention is unjust and illegal just like the occupation is illegal, thus I will not retract from the battle for freedom until administrative detention is abolished … Because our demands are legitimate and just… Because administrative detention is void and prohibited by international humanitarian law, we are determined to resist it and to reject it… it is either victory and freedom or martyrdom”.[1]
Today, Ja’far Izz Iddin is on his 23rd day of open-ended hunger strike in protest of his detention without charge or trial.
When on 21.03.2012 his house was raided and he was kidnapped blindfolded and handcuffed, the Israeli occupation army officer who dragged him from the midst of his family told Izz Iddin:”you organize solidarity activities with Khader Adnan, and today we will send you to jail to join him in solidarity”[2]. Izz Iddin is only one of at least 13 Palestinian prisoners and detainees currently on an open-ended hunger strike in Israeli dungeons. The latest to join the struggle for freedom is isolated prisoner Abdallah Barghouthi who started his hunger strike today to protest the policy of isolation. According to Palestinian prisoners’ sites, the following prisoners/detainees are on hunger strike:



Bilal Thiab © google images



1 Bilal Thiab: 43 Days of Hunger Strike to Protest Administrative Detention.
On 01.03.2012, administrative detainee Bilal Thiab, 27 years old from Kufr Ra’i, Jenin, started an open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with Hana’ Ash-Shalabi and against administrative detention. He has been in administrative detention since August 2011. After preventing him from meeting his lawyer, Thiab stopped drinking water as a second phase of his hunger strike. His health is deteriorating and he is currently in Ramleh prison “hospital” and can only move on a wheelchair. Thiab was detained several times, spending a total of 7 years in Israeli jails, and one year in administrative detention, which has been recently renewed.
Thair Halhleh © google images

Thair Halhleh © google images
2 Tha’ir Halahleh: 43 Days of Hunger Strike to Protest Administrative Detention.
On 01.03.2012, administrative detainee Tha’ir Halahleh, 33 years old from Kharas, Hebron, started an open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with Hana’ Ash-Shalabi and against administrative detention.

On 05.04.2012, and despite prior coordination between the Israeli prison authority and the Red Cross, Halahleh’s family was not allowed to visit him. After the long journey, the family was told by the Israeli prison authority that Halahleh is prevented from visits until June 2012. His health is deteriorating and he is currently in Ramleh prison “hospital”. More recently, his lawyer was prevented from seeing him.

Halahleh was detained several times, spending a total of 9 years in Israeli dungeons, 6 of which in administrative detention without charge or trial. With his latest detention, he has been held without charge or trial since 22 months.

3 Hasan As-Safadi: 38 Days of Hunger Strike to Protest Administrative Detention.
Hasan As-Safadi © google images
On 05.03.2012, administrative detainee Hasan As-Safadi, 34 years old from Nablus, started an open-ended hunger strike to protest administrative detention. On 04.04.2012 As-Safadi was transferred from Majido prison to Al-Jalameh interrogation centre and locked up with Israeli criminals. Two days later, he was transferred to Ramleh prison “hospital” after his health deteriorated. He suffers from unconsciousness and at one time fell and injured his leg badly. As-Safadi also stopped drinking water and suffers from severe headache and stomachache, low sugar and blood levels and lost 24 kg.
To force As-Safadi to break his hunger strike, Israeli jailors told him that he will be fined 1000 NIS for every strike day and that family visits will be prohibited. On 10.04.2012, he was reported to be in coma as his health continues to deteriorate. As-Safadi was administratively detained for 10 years, during which he was released twice and rearrested. According to his sister, the Israeli prison authority offered him deportation in exchange for captivity but he refused. His current administrative detention has been repeatedly renewed since 30.06.2011.

4 Omar Abu Shallal: 38 Days of Hunger Strike to Protest Administrative Detention.

On 05.03.2012, administrative detainee Omar Abu Shallal, 54 years old from Nablus, started an open-ended hunger strike to protest administrative detention. His health deteriorated rapidly and he is currently in Ramleh prison “hospital”.

5 Ahmad Nabhan Saqer: 28 Days of Hunger Strike to Protest Administrative Detention.
On 18.03.2012, administrative detainee Ahmad Nabhan Saqer, 47 years old from Askar RC, Nablus, started an open-ended hunger strike in protest of the arbitrary so-called administrative detention. He is longest serving administrative detainee and has been locked up behind Zionist bars without charge or trial since 28.11.2008. Saqer is currently held captive in Shatta prison. His current administrative detention ends on 24.04.2012, and he threatens to stop drinking water in case his administrative detention is renewed for the 14th time. Saqer lost 17 kg due to the hunger strike and he suffers from heart problems and pain in the limbs.


At-Taj © google



6 Mohammad At-Taj: 27 Days of Hunger Strike to Demand Recognition as POW.
Palestinian prisoner Mohammad At-Taj, 44 years old from Toubas, is on his 27th day of hunger strike. He started an open-ended hunger strike to demand Israeli prison authority treat him as Prisoner of War (POW). At-Taj was sentenced to 18 years in Israeli captivity. He has been in isolation in Majiddo prison since his hunger strike, before recently being transferred to Shatta prison, where he continues his hunger strike.
7 Faris An-Natour: 24 Days of Hunger Strike to Protest Administrative Detention.
Administrative detainee Faris An-Natour, from Nablus, has been on an open-ended hunger strike since 24 days in protest of the arbitrary so-called administrative detention. He is currently held captive in isolation cells in Al- Jalameh prison.
8 Ja’far Izz Iddin: 23 Days of Hunger Strike to Protest Administrative Detention.
Ja’far Izz Iddin © google images
On 22.03.2012, administrative detainee Ja’far Izz Iddin, 41 years old from Arraba, Jenin, started an open-ended hunger strike to protest the arbitrary so-called administrative detention. Izz Iddin suffers from severe headache, low blood pressure and low sugar levels and pain in the limbs and kidney and he lost 11 kg. Despite isolation in Al-Jalameh and his deteriorating health, Izz Iddin told his lawyer: “I will not be broken or defeated… either freedom and victory or martyrdom”. For refusing to break his hunger strike, Izz Iddin was punished with a fine of 1500 NIS and deprived of family visits. In protest, he decided to stop drinking water. More recently, his lawyer was prevented from seeing him.
Izz Iddin was kidnapped from his home on 21.03.2012 at 3 am, handcuffed, blindfolded and dragged half naked to Dotan illegal Zionist colony and left in the cold from 4 am till 9 am, before being transferred to Majiddo prison. Next day he was ordered into administrative detention. According to latest reports, Izz Iddin was transferred to Ramleh prison “hospital” after his health deteriorated rapidly.
9 Oday Daraghmeh: 21 Days of Hunger Strike to Protest Administrative Detention.
Administrative detainee Oday Daraghmeh, from Toubas, is on his 21st day of hunger strike to protest the arbitrary so-called administrative detention. He is currently held captive in Al-Jalameh prison.
Abdallah Al-Barghouthi © google images
10 Abdallah Barghouthi: 1 Day of Hunger Strike to Protest the Policy of Isolation.
Today, 12.04.2012, Palestinian prisoner Abdallah Barghouthi, 39 years old from Beit Rima, and held captive in Israeli dungeons since 2003, started an open-ended hunger strike to protest the policy of isolation. He will continue his hunger strike until he is released from isolation and allowed to see his father, his wife and children. According to former detainee Ahlam At-Tamimi, Barghouthi said that all isolated Palestinian prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons will join the hunger strike on 15.04.2012 to demand an end to isolation. Currently, Barghouthi is held captive in Ramleh isolation cells.
In addition, other reports add the following Palestinian detainees to the list of hunger striker:
Mahmoud As-Sirsik: 21 Days of Hunger Strike to Protest Administrative Detention.

Mahmoud As-Sirsik © google images
Administrative detainee Mahmoud As-Sirsik, 25 years old from Rafah RC, Gaza, has been on hunger strike since 21 days to protest his illegal detention. He was detained on 23.08.2009 while on his way to Balata RC to join the football team with which he had signed a contract as player. Since then, his detention has been renewed without charge or trial. On 08.04.2012, he was transferred from Naqab prison to the isolation cells of Eshel prison.
Mohammad Sleiman: 3 Days of Strike to Protest Administrative Detention.
To protest his illegal detention without charge or trial, Palestinian prisoner Mohammad Sleiman, from Aroura, is on strike since 3 days by which he refuses to take blood units. A Thalassemia patient, Sleiman is currently held captive without charge or trial in Ofer since over a year. On 06.04.2012, his administrative detention was renewed for the 3rd consecutive time despite his illness and need for blood units every 2 to 3 weeks.
Ahmad Haj Ali

Ahmad Haj Ali © google images
On 02.04.2012, Ahmad Haj Ali, 74 years old from Nablus, stopped his hunger strike which lasted 15 days after the Israeli prison authority promised not to renew his administrative detention and to release him on 06.04.2012. He had been illegally detained without trial or charge since 07.06.2011.
Some reports mention that he already resumed his hunger strike on 09.04.2012 after the Israeli prison authority extended his administrative detention till 05.05.2012. Other reports say that he will resume his hunger strike on 17.04.2012. Haj Ali, the eldest administrative detainee held captive in Israeli dungeons, is one of 27 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) held captive by Israel, and has been in a renewed administrative detention in Majiddo dungeon since 9 months. Al-Haj Ali suffers from various ailments including diabetes and heart problems.
On 07.04.2012, Palestinian Prisoner Society reported that at least 36 Palestinian detainees were punished by Israeli prison authority for their solidarity with their fellow comrades on hunger strike. They were each fined a sum of 420 NIS, their prison section is to be closed for 2 months to restrict their movement and their interaction with other prisoners and are not to be allowed any family visits for 2 months. According to latest statistics, there are 4700 Palestinian prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons, including 185 children, 9 female prisoners, 322 administrative detainees and 27 MPs.

Sources:
http://www.ppsmo.ps/
http://www.palestinebehindbars.org/
http://www.alasra.ps/
http://www.waed.ps/
http://www.freedom.ps/

Footnotes:
[1] http://tinyurl.com/cck6n4d
[2] Ibid.

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Haniyeh: Shalabi Broke the Will of her Warden

Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh said Monday that he would protest Israel’s decision to deport Palestinian detainees in international and Arab courts, according to Maan news agency.

Hana Shalabi
Former hunger-striker Hana Shalabi, who arrived in Gaza on Sunday, was the latest prisoner to be deported by the Zionist entity under the terms of her release. Shalabi is from Burqin village in the northern West Bank.

Haniyeh visited her on Monday in Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. He told reporters her deportation was a war crime and a violation of human rights and international law, Maan’s report said.

He praised 29-year-old Shalabi, who he said had “broken the will of her warden.”

His Hamas-led government will bear all responsibility for her, he added.

Haniyeh urged Egypt to pressure the Israeli enemy to stop targeting released prisoners.

The Gaza premier insisted that Israel should respect the terms of its agreement with Shalabi. According to the deal, Shalabi will be allowed to return home after three years.

Human rights groups have slammed the terms of Shalabi’s deal. The International Committee of the Red Cross urged Israel “to comply with international humanitarian law, which prohibits Israel, whatever its motives, from forcibly transferring Palestinians to another territory.”

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Noam Shalit: ‘Hamas has the right to capture Israeli soldiers’

Israeli Zionist hawks and their supporters around the world are very upset with the comments made by father of Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was captured five years ago by Palestinian freedom-fighters during a raid on a Jewish Army outpost. Shalit was released in a prisoner swap in October 2011.

Noam Shalit who is hoping to contest next Knesset elections for Opposition Labour Party is reported by British daily The Guardian (March 15, 2012) as saying “I will kidnap Israeli soldiers if I were a Palestinian“. Noam’s rant, though not based on facts – has provoked outrage among Israeli warmonger Zionist Jews and their partners-in-crimes in the US, Britain and France. The fact is, Jewish soldier Gilad Shalit was captured in a fight and was treated as ‘PoW’ by Hamas’ military wing.
Noam Shalit supported his statement by saying that in the past, Jewish terrorist groups Haganah and Irgun applied similar techniques against British soldiers in Palestine. “We also kidnapped British soldiers when we were fighting for our freedom“. Freedom from who, one wonders!

Gilad Shalit himself had irked the Israelis when in an interview before returning to Israel – he admitted that “he was treated well by his captors and hoped that his release will bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians“.

The Zionazi Jewish leaders are very allergic to historical facts. Not long ago, the current Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak had told daily Ha’aretz’s columnist, Gideon Levy: “If I were a Palestinian, I would have joined a (Resistance) terrorist organization“.

Speaking to a television interviewer from his family kitchen, Noam Shalit blasted Israeli government for not applying military or diplomatic muscles for the release of his son during his long captivity. He also said, as a Knesset member, he would be prepared to negotiate peace with Hamas – something the Zionist regime and its poodles in the US, UK, Germany, France, Australia and Canada refuse to do.
I am in favour of speaking to anyone who wants to talk to us,” he said. When asked whether he would negotiate with a Hamas government headed by his son’s kidnapper, he maintained: “If they change their ways and are willing to recognize Israelas a Jewish state, yes, I would shake his hand”.
Only when the Israeli pigs fly, Noam.

They want us to recognize the Israeli occupation and cease resistance but, as the representative of the Palestinian people and in the name of all the world’s freedom seekers, I am announcing from Azadi Square in Tehran that we will never recognize Israel. The resistance will continue until all Palestinian land, including al-Quds (Jerusalem), has been liberated and all the refugees have returned,” Ismail Haniyeh, democratically elected prime minister of Palestinian Territories, February 11, 2012.

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Adnan Case More than Scrapping Israeli Detention Law

A foreign peace activist holds a placard depicting jailed Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan during a protest in his support in the West Bank city of Ramallah 20 February 2012. (Photo: REUTERS – Mohamad Torokman)
Published Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The case of the freedom fighter Khader Adnan reminds us of where the strength of the Palestinian people lies. This is the strength that was squandered and dissipated in the Oslo process and the pursuit of a state at the expense of national liberation.
With his historic hunger strike and his heroic resolve in his fight against the occupying state, Adnan has reaffirmed an important principle of resistance to colonialist regimes: when the people, or individuals, who are their victims remain resolute, the world will react. Sympathy turns into solidarity, and that in turn can nurture a growing movement of support for the struggle which is capable of shaking the foundations of the colonialist system.

His case has also confirmed the fact that the colonizer’s agencies can never protect its victim. Its project can only be defeated by breaking the dominance of those agencies and the rules they enforce.
Adnan’s battle for life and dignity is a model to be emulated in the Palestinian liberation struggle. It has lessons to offer the participants in that struggle, including prisoners and international solidarity activists, on how their work can be integrated.

Adnan seized the initiative and declared an open-ended hunger strike to protest against his imprisonment under an administrative detention order. His aim was clear: to defy both the order and the Israeli system of oppression. He also was seeking to serve notice that Palestinians refuse to accept the treatment meted out to them by the occupation authorities.

The campaign he triggered illustrated how the components of popular struggle can be brought together. Inspired by the prisoner’s determination, Palestinians in the 1948 territories responded quickly. A popular media and mobilization campaign was rapidly launched, both locally and internationally. A variety of youth and other grassroots organizations became immediately involved, as did prisoners’ families and political groups.
 

This activism soon spread to the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem. It also spread among the Palestinian diaspora and spawned a formidable worldwide movement.

Prisoners in Israeli jails also launched a campaign to champion, support, and share the responsibility with Adnan. They adopted the principles of organized collective escalation, which began by rejecting meals and refusing to receive supplies (the prison authorities responded by closing off the open-air courtyards and preventing the prisoners from leaving their cells). Growing numbers also declared open-ended hunger strikes.

The prisoners knew that their battle was not with the prison authorities per se, but the occupation state as a system, with all its extensions and institutions. But the prison authorities were the weak link within the security apparatus on which pressure could be applied. The prisoners thus sent a message to the government of Israel that Adnan speaks for them all and warned of the consequences of endangering his life.

The prison authorities in turn urged the government to resolve Adnan’s case as quickly as possible in order to forestall the growing unrest among the prisoners. In effect, the prisoners’ message was received.

The Israeli security apparatus was extremely worried when the hunger strike continued and Adnan’s condition became critical. They were not concerned for his life, but feared his death could help trigger a new Palestinian intifada, including in the 1948 territories.
The strategy of rapid multi-faceted action proved its effectiveness. In addition to Palestinian action, a major and influential role was played by international solidarity movements. This pressure, coupled with fear of what would happen if there was an explosion of Palestinian anger, prompted even the US and European countries to make statements in the last few days of the hunger strike against the administrative detention of Adnan.

Solidarity and Empowerment

One of the major strengths of the campaign to support Adnan was that it told his personal human story, as well as of his life in politics and his struggle, in a manner that successfully conveyed both his suffering and his resolve. Adnan’s story also embodied the essence of the Palestinians’ experience and their quest for their rights and freedom, and serve to expose Israel’s essence for what it really is.

This was more effective at moving people than mere facts and figures – important as they are – could have been. The main part in the drama was played by the prisoner himself. Adnan family, wife, father, and children also played heroic roles.

This battle highlighted the bankruptcy of the discourse of “moderation” which Israel and the US have foisted on the official Palestinian leadership. This moderate stance claims that if we Palestinians wish to secure international support, we must adopt a moderate posture. In practice, this means voluntarily accepting the oppressive controls imposed by the globalized terror of the state. “Moderation” here means abandoning the right to resist the occupying state.

Yet what we have just witnessed is that the world lends support when Palestinians themselves fight back and stand firm, regardless of their political affiliation. The ability to affect and move international public opinion and secure effective wide-scale solidarity was not the outcome of a public relations strategy but of a real struggle on the ground to stand up to the oppressive colonialist machine.

Exposing Israeli courts

In all cases when an Israeli administrative detention by military order has been legally challenged – or an emergency regulations provision such as a ban on travelling or entering the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 – the Israeli high court has always upheld the policies of the military, security, and intelligence services.

What happens in court is that the judge asks the Palestinian challenging the order, whether he is an Israeli citizen or not, to authorize the Israeli judges to see the “secret evidence” which the victims and their lawyers are not allowed to see or know. If the victim agrees, the judges rule on the basis of the “secret evidence” and invariably agree with the finding of the security agencies, normally issued in the name of a relevant minister or military leader.

Should the victim refuse to trust in the honesty or credibility of the occupying state, the legal challenge is in effect over, as the judges will throw it out and blame the victim for its failure.

Lessons Unlearned

During the Adnan campaign, a number of Palestinian political leaders, human rights activists and media outlets used the argument that if Israel had any evidence against Adnan, it should have brought him before an ordinary court. Others have suggested that the success of his campaign should inspire a new one against the use of administrative detention orders in general.

These are dangerous notions, particularly when coming from people of standing and influence. Israel is an occupying state and a colonialist entity. Even international law protects the victims of occupation and prohibits their transfer to prisons within the borders of the occupying state. Therefore, both administrative detention and the “ordinary” occupation prisons are equally illegal.

Moreover, what is “evidence” supposed to mean here? Evidence of resisting the occupation? Resisting the occupation is legitimate: it is the Israeli occupation and colonization, with its settlements and courts, that are illegitimate. Have the thousands of Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli jail been legitimately sentenced? They have all been tried on “evidence” that is mainly secret and neither they nor their lawyers are allowed to see.

There is another factor. Israeli academic studies have proven unequivocally the scale of scandalous discrimination in the sentences handed down by judges in criminal cases. The sentences given to Palestinian citizens of Israel are much harsher than those given to Jewish Israeli convicts. So what can one expect when the judge representing the occupying state adjudicates on a charge of resistance by victims of this occupation?

The real concern for the people under occupation is not whether the detention of their sons or daughters was carried out using an Israeli administrative order or a military or civilian court order. The oppression, repression, and plunder are the same no matter which tool the occupation uses. Adnan’s battle is a fight against the whole colonialist project and not just one of its tools.
 

But when Palestinian leaders and human rights activists declare that the next step is to escalate the campaign against administrative detention orders, it indicates weakness or faulty vision.

The battle against Israeli emergency laws is a battle for the Israelis, not for the Palestinian people. The battle for the Palestinians, and all in the world who oppose occupation and colonialism, is against the occupation and the occupying state, and for national liberation, recovery of the homeland, and the return of its people who are refugees and exiles.

The case of Adnan proves that victory over the colonialist project is not a mission impossible. It is possible. And it has renewed and strengthened the hope that the Palestinian people are capable of energizing heir free will…the will for victory.

Ameer Makhoul is a Palestinian civil society leader and political prisoner at Gilboa Prison.

The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect Al-Akhbar’s editorial policy.

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