Historic Hunger Strikes: Lightning in the Skies of Palestine

By Richard Falk

May 8 2012

There is ongoing militant expression of Palestinian resistanceto the abuses of Israel’s 45 years of occupation and de facto annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and five year blockade of Gaza taking the form of a series of hunger strikes. Recourse to this desperate tactic of courageous self-sacrifice is an extreme form of nonviolence, and should whenever and wherever it occurs be given close attention.

Palestinians have protested by hunger strikes in the past but failed to inspire the imagination of the wider Palestinian community or shake the confidence of Israeli officialdom. Despite the averted gaze of the West, especially here in North America, there are some signs that this time the hunger strikes have crossed a historic threshold of no return.

These strikes started by the individual exploit of a single person, Khader Adnan, at the end of 2011. Dragged from his home in the village of Arraba near Jenin by a night raid by dozens of Israeli soldiers, humiliated and roughed up in the presence of his two and four year old daughter, carried away shackled and blindfolded, roughly interrogated, and then made subject to an administrative decree for the eighth time in his young life, Adnan’s inner conscience must have screamed ‘Enough!’ and he embarked on an open-ended hunger strike. He continued it for 66 days, and agreed to take food again only after the Israeli authorities relented somewhat, including a pledge not to subject Adnan to a further period of administrative detention unless further incriminating evidence came to the surface. Upon release, Adnan to depersonalize his ordeal insisted on visiting the families of other Palestinians currently under administrative detention before returning to his own home.

He has spoken out with firm gentleness and invited persons of conscience everywhere to join in the struggle to induce Israel to abandon administrative detention, and the accompanying violations of Palestinian human rights. Khader Adnan’s open letter to the people of the world is reproduced below to convey the tone and substance of his struggle.

Supporters of Hana Shalabi
Following Adnan, and inspired by him, was Hana Shalabi, a young Palestinian woman subject to a similar abusive arrest, accompanied by humiliations associated with her dress and sexual identity. Shalabi was from the villange of Burqin also near Jenin, and had been released a few months earlier in October 2011 as part of the prisoner exchange that was negotiated to obtain the release of the sole Israeli captive, Gilad Shalit. She had seldom strayed from her family home prior to the re-arrest on February 16, 2012, and her life was described as follows by her devoted sister, Zahra: “The four months between October and February were trouble-free days, bursting with dreams and ambitions. Hana loved to socialize and meet with people. She was busy with getting her papers in order to register for university, with her eyes set on enrolling at the American University in Jenin.

  

She wanted to get her driver’s license, and later buy a car. She went on a shopping spree, buying new carpets and curtains for her bedroom…and she dreamed of getting married and of finding the perfect man to spend the rest of her life with.” It is little wonder that when arrested in the middle of the night she reacted in the manner described by Zahra: “She was panicking, and kept repeating over and over again that she was not going with the soldiers because she didn’t do anything.”





Shalabi Gets Freedom… In Gaza



As with Adnan, Shalabi was released after she was in critical condition, but in a vindictive manner, being sent to live in Gaza for three years, thereby separated from her family and village, which were her places of refuge, love, and nurturing. She also made it clear that her experience of resistance was not meant for herself alone, but was intended to contribute to the struggle against prison abuse and the practice e of administrative detention, but even more generally as engagement in the struggle for Palestinian rights, so long denied. The example set by Adnan and Shalabi inspired others subject to similar treatment at the hands of the Israelis arrest and prison service. Several Palestinians detained by administrative detention decrees commenced hunger strikes at the end of February, and as many as 1650 others, and possibly more, initiated a massive hunger strike on Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, April 17ththat is continuing, and has been named ‘the battle of empty stomachs.’ The main battlefield is the mind of the oppressor, whether to give in and seem weak or remain firm and invite escalating censure, as well as Palestinian militancy, should any of those now in grave condition die.

 

The latest news suggests that Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, continuing their hunger strike that started on February 28th of this year, are clinging to life by a thread. A few days ago they were both been finally transferred to civilian hospitals. Mr. Halahleh after the 70th day without food announced that he was no longer willing even to drink any water or accept further medication.

As might be expected the voices of concern from the international community have been muted and belated. The International Committee of the Red Cross has finally expressed in public its concern for the lives of these strikers. The UN Envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, never someone outspoken, acknowledged a few days ago in a brief and perfunctory statement that he was‘deeply troubled’ by the danger to these hunger strikers, as if such a sentiment was somehow sufficient to the outrages being inflicted.
More persuasively, several human rights NGOs, including Physicians for Human Rights–Israel have been reminding Israel of its obligation to allow family visits, which prison authorities have repeatedly denied, despite it being an accepted tenet of medical ethics that is affirmed in Israel’s Patient’s Rights Law.


On May 7, 2012 the Israel’s High Court of Justice denied urgent petitions for release from administrative detention filed on behalf of Mr. Diab and Mr. Halahleh. The Court in a classic example of the twisted way judges choose to serve the state rather than the cause of justice declared: “Hunger strikes cannot serve as an element in a decision on the very validity of administrative detention, since that would be confusing the issue.” Would it be so confusing to say that without some demonstration of evidence of criminality rejecting such a petition amounts to imposing a death sentence without even the pretensions of ‘a show trial’ that relies on coerced confessions? Israel’s highest judicial body leaves no doubt about their priorities by invoking anti-terrorism as a blanket justification, saying that Israel “should not have to apologize for securing its own safety.”


Other reports that the Israeli government has yet to feel pressure from European governments to act in a more humanitarian manner in response to these hunger strikes, but is worried that such pressure might come soon.


After remaining silent for a long time, Robert Serry, the UN Envoy to the Middle East, a few days ago timidly issued a public statement saying that he was ‘deeply troubled’ by the near death condition of the Mr. Diab and Mr. Halahleh.


On a wider canvas, the hunger strikes are clearly having some effect on Israeli prison policy, although it is not clearly discernible as yet. The Israeli Public Security Minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, convened a meeting in which he voiced the opinion that Israeli reliance on administrative detention was excessive, and should be reduced. There is also some discussion with officials of the Israeli Prison Service and a committee representing some of the April 17thprisoners on a series of demands relating to prison conditions.


The following demands have been articulated by the April 17th hunger strikers, under the banner of ‘The Prisoners Revolution’:


1. Ending the Israeli Administrative detention and solitary confinement, in which Palestinians were imprisoned for more than ten consecutive years, in solitary cells that lack basic human necessities of life.


2. Allowing family visits to those from the Gaza Strip due to political decisions and unjust laws, such as the so-called “law of Shalit.


3. Improving the livelihood of prisoners inside Israeli Jails and allowing basic needs such as a proper health treatment, education and TV channels and newspapers.


4. Putting an end to the humiliation policy carried by the Israeli Prison Service against Palestinian prisoners and their families, through humiliating naked inspection, group punishment, and night raids.

**********


April 30 2012

Khader Adnan’s Open Letter to the Free People of the World

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,*

* Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of
Allah.*

Dear free people of the world.
Dear oppressed and disenfranchised around the globe.
Dear friends of our people, who stood with me with a stern belief in freedom and dignity for my people and our prisoners languishing in the Occupation’s prisons.

Dear free women and men, young and elderly, ordinary people as well as intellectual elites everywhere –
I address you today with an outpouring of hope and pain for every Palestinian that suffers from the occupation of his land, for each of us that has been killed, wounded or imprisoned by the state of terror, that denies anything beautiful in our lives, even the smile of our children and families. I am addressing you in my first letter following my release – praying it will not be the last – after Allah granted me freedom, pride and dignity.

I was an “administrative detainee”in the jail of occupation for four months, out of which I have spent 66 days on hunger strike.

I was driven to declare an open-ended hunger strike by the daily harassment and violation of my people’s rights by the Israeli Zionist occupation. The last straw for me were the ongoing arrests, the brutal nighttime raid on my house, my violent detention, during which I was taken to the “Mavo Dotan” settlement on our land occupied 1967, and the beatings and humiliation I was treated to during arrest interrogation. The way I was treated during the interrogation at the Jalameh detention center, using the worse and lowest verbal insults in the dictionary.

After questioning, I was sentenced to imprisonment under administrative detention with no charges, which proves mine and others’ arrests serve only to maintain a quota of prisoners, to harass us, to restrict our freedom and to undermine our determination, pride and dignity.

I write today to thank all those who stood tall in support of my people,with our prisoners, with Hana al-Shalabi and with myself. I call on you to stand for justice pride and dignity in the face of occupation. The assault on the freedom and dignity of the Palestinian people is an assault on free people of the world by a criminal occupation that threatens the security, freedom and dignity of all, no matter where. Please, continue in exposing this occupation, boycotting and isolating it internationally. Expose its true face, the one that was clearly exposed in the attack of an Israeli officer on our Danish cohort. Unlike that attack, the murder our people is a crime that goes by unspoken of and slips away from the lens of the camera.

Our prisoners are dying in silence. Hundreds of defenders of freedom are on hunger strike inside the prisons, including the eight knights, Bilal Diab and Thaer Hlahalh, who are now on their 61stday of hunger strike, Hassan Safadi, Omar Abu Shalal, Mahmoud Sarsak, Mahmoud Sarsal, Mohammad Taj, Jaafar Azzedine (who was arrested solely for standing in solidarity with myself) and Ahmad haj Ali. Their lives now are in great danger.

We are all responsible and we will all lose if we anything happen to them. Let us take immediate action to pressure the Occupation into releasing them immediately, or their children could never forgive us.Let all those free and revolutionary join hands against the Occupation’s oppression, and take to the streets – in front of the Occupation’s prisons, in front of its embassies and all other institutions backing it around the world.

With deep appreciation,

*Khader Adnan *

++++

Having followed these hunger strikes for several months, I am convinced that these individuals subject to administrative detention are ordinary persons living a normal life, although chafing under the daily rigors and indignities of prolonged occupation. Israeli commentary tends to divert humanitarian concerns by branding these individuals as ‘terrorists,’ taking note of their alleged affiliation with Islamic Jihad. Adnan who is obviously preoccupied with his loving family, a baker by profession, working in his village, does not seem a particularly political person beyond the unavoidable political response to a structure of domination that is violent, cruel, and abusive. The language of his Open Letter is one that exhibits moral intensity, and seeks support for the Palestinian struggle for a sustainable peace with justice. It has none of the violent imagery or murderous declarations found in Al Qaeda’s characteristic calls for holy warfare against the infidels.

I was impressed by Hana Shalabi’s sister’s response when asked about the alleged connection with Islamic Jihad. Zahra responded to the question with a smile saying, ‘She’s not really Islamic Jihad. She doesn’t belong to any faction. When Israel imprisons you, their security forces ask which political faction you belong to. Hana chose Islamic Jihad on a whim.’ Even if it was than a whim, for a religious person to identify with Islamic Jihad it does not at all imply a commitment to or support for terrorist tactics of resistance. Zahra asks rhetorically, ‘Does she have missiles or rockets? Where is the threat to Israel? ..Why can’t we visit her? She has done nothing.’ And finally, ‘I would never place my enemy in my sister’s position…I would not wish this on anyone.’

Israel has by vague allegations of links to terrorist activities tried its best to dehumanize these hunger strikers, or to dismiss such actions as the foolish or vain bravado of persons ready to renounce their lives by their own free will. But their acts and words if heeded with empathy, their show of spiritual stamina and sense of mission, convey an altogether different message, one that exhibits the finest qualities that human beings can ever hope to achieve. Those of us who watch such heroic dramas unfold should at least do our best to honor these hunger strikers, and not avert our eyes, and do our utmost to act in solidarity with their struggles in whatever way we can.

We cannot now know whether these hunger strikes will spark Palestinian resistance in new and creative ways. What we can already say with confidence is that these hunger strikers are writing a new chapter in the story line of resistance Sumud, and their steadfastness is for me a Gandhian Moment in the Palestinian struggle.

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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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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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Prince of Gaza hailed Qatari donation of 25000 tons of fuel to Gaza,

Haneyya calls on Egypt to restrain Israeli targeting of Palestinian prisoners

[ 02/04/2012 – 05:53 PM ]


GAZA, (PIC)– Palestinian premier in Gaza Ismail Haneyya has called on Egypt, in its capacity as the patron of the prisoners’ exchange deal between Hamas and Israel, to pressure Israel into abiding by articles of the deal.
Haneyya, during a visit to liberated prisoner Hana’a Shalabi in Shifa hospital in Gaza on Monday, said that Israel had violated articles of the agreement that banned re-arrest of freed captives in this deal.
He described the deportation of Shalabi to Gaza as a war crime and a violation of human rights, adding that his government would ask Arab and international courts to put an end to such policy.
The premier, shifting to another issue, said that the fuel crisis in Gaza would be resolved within days, pointing to the presence of his deputy in Cairo for that matter.
He hailed in this respect the Qatari donation of 25000 tons of fuel to Gaza, adding that it would suffice the Strip for two months.

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Shalabi Gets Freedom… In Gaza

After 43 days of hunger strike, Hana Shalabi was finally freed when the Israeli occupation authorities deported her to Gaza, in a move described by the Palestinians as a “war crime” and a “crime against humanity”.

Hana Shalabi with her family
Shalabi confirmed that she chose deportation rather than continuing with her hunger strike in prison, because of the serious deterioration in her condition, but stressed the need to continue to support the Palestinian prisoners who are in hunger strike. She had been taken from the Ramla prison south of Tel Aviv to the Erez crossing.
Hana Shalabi out of prison
The Palestinian prisoner, who was being transferred by ambulance to a local hospital for tests, said she was “very happy to be in my country with my people,” but that the meeting with her family was very difficult.
Hana Shalabi out from ambulance
In Gaza, people bearing her picture and calling out her name were waiting for her with the participation of officials from the Islamic Jihad and Hamas movements. The Islamic Jihad movement asserted its rejection to deportation policy but welcomed the arrival of Shalabi to Gaza.
Hana Shalabi
The deal has been also criticized by rights groups and the Palestinian prisoners affairs ministry, which said she had been forced to accept the arrangement.
In a statement released on Sunday through her lawyer Jawad Bulus, Shalabi said:
Supporters of Hana Shalabi
“To my dear family and my people and all the free people in the world, I thank you for your efforts and I appreciate everything you did for me and for the prisoners. I hope that you will understand my position and my decision, which was taken freely. I chose to be transported to Gaza, which is half the homeland, and to be with my family and people there for three years. After that I will go back to my home in Jenin and to my family. I hope that my decision will be respected and that we will continue to support together those who are fighting their battles for the homeland and for the prisoners.”

Source: Agencies
02-04-2012 – 10:10 Last updated 02-04-2012 – 13:5

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Hana Shalabi Reportedly Ends Hunger Strike

Both Reuters and the BBC have published reports in the last three hours saying Palestinian prisoner Hana Shalabi, 30, has ended her hunger strike. Under a deal reportedly reached, Shalabi will be freed from prison and deported to the Gaza Strip, where she is to remain in exile for three years.

RAMALLAH, West Bank, March 29 (Reuters) – A Palestinian
woman on hunger strike in protest at her detention without
charges by Israel will be deported to the Gaza Strip under a
deal ending her fast, boths sides said on Thursday.

Hana Shalabi, a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group,
stopped taking food after Israeli troops seized her in the
occupied West Bank on Feb. 16. She was the second Palestinian
detainee in quick succession to go on hunger strike, a protest
since taken up by around two-dozen others.

Qadoura Fares of the Palestinian Prisoners Club said
Shalabi, 30, had agreed to three years’ exile in Gaza, which is
geographically separate from the West Bank and under Israeli
blockade, “in return for ending her strike and being freed”.

“This is her decision and her own life,” Fares told Reuters.

Reuters also quotes an unnamed Israeli military source as saying the deportation will occur “in the next few days.”

The news comes on the 44th day of Shalabi’s hunger strike. Last week, reports surfaced saying the prisoner was near death and being subjected to intense pressure by Israeli officials to end her hunger strike. Today’s BBC report quotes Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqaa as saying, “She had to accept because Israel put pressure on her. But we are totally opposed to all deportation measures.” 


Shalabi mounted her hunger strike in protest against Israel’s policy of administrative detention, under which Palestinians can be arrested and held for long periods of time without charges and without trial.
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Jihad leader launches hunger strike in Israeli jail while-HanaShalabi in critical condition

Maan News Agency | March 27, 2012

JENIN (Ma’an) — Islamic Jihad announced Tuesday a senior member of the movement who was detained by Israel a week ago has began a hunger strike against his administrative detention.

Jafar Ez Al-Din Qadan, 40, was seized by Israeli forces from Arraba village south of Jenin, at dawn on Wednesday. He was transferred to administrative detention — without charge — and immediately began refusing food in protest, the group said.

Ez Al-Din Qadan has spent four years in Israeli jails. His brother Tareq was released in the October 2011 prisoner exchange deal, and deported to the Gaza Strip.

Jihad-affiliated detainee Khader Adnan, also from Arraba, ended a 66-day hunger strike after striking a deal for early release and non-renewal of his detention order in February.

Hunger striker Hana Shalabi refused a deal to shorten her administrative detention order to four months, and has spent 41 days without food.

Shalabi is in a critical condition, doctors say.

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40 Days and 40 Nights: The Biblical Fast of Hana Shalabi

A Palestinian woman holds a placard depicting Palestinian prisoner Hana Shalabi during a rally in support of her hunger strike as well as calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, in front of Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City 24 March 2012. (Photo: REUTERS – Ammar Awad)
Hana Shalabi’s hunger strike has put her life in danger but she charges on in her battle against Israel’s practice of imprisonment without charge.

Ramallah – Islamic Jihad spokesperson and former detainee Khader Adnan won the battle of “empty stomachs” and handed the torch to Hana Shalabi, another fierce warrior who refuses to give up on her rights.

On Sunday, Shalabi completed 40 days of an open hunger strike for “victory or martyrdom.” She is protesting against being held by Israeli occupation forces without charge, a procedure known as administrative detention. Her body is frail but she is defiant and intent on continuing her protest.
Shalabi continues to fight her battle with the Israeli authorities following the failure of negotiations between her lawyers and the prosecution to reach a compromise to end her agony.

On March 19, Shalabi had sent a message from the prison clinic in Ramleh through her lawyer, Jawad Boulos, head of the legal department in the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC).

“It is true that our lives are the most precious, but our freedom is even more precious and more powerful than their prison cells,” she wrote.

Shalabi explained how the authorities had suddenly transferred her to Rambam hospital in Haifa for medical checkups and then returned her to the hospital of Ramleh prison. This happened without her consent and even after she refused.
 
According to her lawyer, Shalabi is being kept alone in the same room where Adnan held his hunger strike two months ago. She has lost about 16 kilograms (from 73kg to 56kg) and is facing enormous pressure to end the strike.

Authorities are attempting to break Shalabi by focusing on the adverse effects of the lack of food on her body, suggesting that she might become paralyzed or face permanent physical damage.
She is completely isolated from the outside world. Psychological pressure is also growing, especially when her plight is compared to Adnan’s and the amount of support he had received.

Countering the constant fabrications of Israeli authorities, president of the PPC Kaddoura Fares, denies the claim by the Prison Service Ethics Committee that Shalabi’s health situation is satisfactory. He describes her situation as critical and says that she may very well die.

Her family is a major source of strength that allows her to persevere. They have always been involved in the struggle. She is the daughter of Yehia Shalabi (67) and has five sisters and three brothers. Her fourth brother, Samer, was killed by Israeli forces.

Al-Akhbar met with Omar Shalabi, Hana’s brother, who said that she had decided to start the hunger strike prior to her release in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. She was protesting being administratively detained for 25 consecutive months.

He said she had told her family she was going on an open hunger strike the moment she was detained again last February 16. She asked them to support her and not to worry.

It is difficult for Omar to articulate his feelings toward his sister. “What you lose is difficult to regain,” he says, speaking of Samer. It worries her family most that Shalabi might face the same fate.

“Her spirits are high and she has faith in God,” he continues, “Our prayers have not stopped. The tent we set up outside our home is always full of visitors expressing solidarity, from Jenin, Jerusalem, Ramallah, and 1948-occupied Palestine. This makes things easier, along with the solidarity actions and protests.”  

Although many organizations and lawyers have tried to help, the occupation authorities still refuse to provide Shalabi’s family with a permit to visit her.

The PPC explains that Shalabi’s parents applied dozens of times for such a pass but the Israeli secret service kept refusing on grounds of a “security threat.”

Other Palestinian prisoners who had bravely stood by Adnan are also active in supporting Shalabi. Some decided to carry on with hunger strikes against the occupation and its prisons.
Iyad Mahamid, a lawyer at PPC, told Al-Akhbar that while visiting Majdo prison he found out that “the prison administration was punishing the prisoners who went on hunger strike in solidarity with Hanaa Shalabi. There were 50 of them just in Majdo.”

The lawyer confirms that the administration “segregated some of them, denying them visitation rights and the use of the canteen. It also imposed between 200 and 300 shekels (US$50 – 80) in fines and barred them from receiving lawyers, claiming they are in bad health due to the hunger strike.”


The Palestinian Joan of Arc

Hana Shalabi was born in February 1982 in the village of Barqin near Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank, to a family of refugees from Haifa. She is single and has been detained by the occupation twice.

She spent about two and a half years in detention the first time she was detained. This time, she decided it would be different.

She had experienced the reality of Israeli prisons and the meaning of detention: the endless interrogations for days on end, the harassment, and the sordid treatment used by the occupation against Palestinian prisoners, especially women.

On 14 September 2009, Shalabi was arrested for the first time. It was during Ramadan. In the al-Jalma interrogation center, she underwent intensive questioning 10 hours a day, for eight consecutive days.

The soldiers and interrogating officers would beat and humiliate her.

Shalabi lost track of time and did not eat because it was Ramadan and she was fasting. She would only drink some water after the interrogation sessions late at night.

The interrogators did not care about her fasting, and did not provide her with iftar or sohour meals on time. She spent a total of 17 days in a small, dirty, and unlit room containing just a bed and an exposed toilet.

“The Palestinian Joan of Arc,” as some supporters call Shalabi, confirmed that she was verbally harassed by an interrogating officer after a particular session.
He rudely called her habibti (my love), making her angry. He ordered the soldiers to hit her on her face and body. Then, they tied her to the bed and proceeded to insult her and film her on the bed.
Shalabi spent 25 consecutive months in administrative detention.
Shalabi was released on 18 October 2011 in the first phase of a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel. On 16 February 2012, she was rearrested inside her home.
The Israeli army surrounded her family’s neighborhood and raided the houses of her brothers and parents.
Shalabi was handcuffed and detained, without allowing her to say goodbye to her family or informing them of where they were taking her.

She was blindfolded until they reached the Salem detention center near occupied Jenin. That same day, she began a new struggle against the occupation and went on an open hunger strike.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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Hunger Strikers for Freedom, for Justice, for Dignity, for Palestine

Joining the on-going struggle against the inhumane conditions inside Israeli dungeons and against the policies of administrative detention, medical negligence and isolation, it was reported today that 47 year old administrative detainee Ahmad Nabhan Saqer has started an open-ended hunger strike in protest of administrative detention. Saqer is the longest serving administrative detainee, and has been locked up behind Zionist bars without charge or trial since 28.11.2008. Only some days ago, 75 year old Ahmad Haj Ali, the eldest administrative detainee, had also joined the struggle against administrative detention and is today on his 5th day of hunger strike. Al-Haj Ali, who is an MP, has been in a renewed administrative detention in Majido dungeon since 9 months and suffers from diabetes and heart problems. There are currently around 310 administrative detainees held captive in Israeli dungeons. The illegal policy of administrative detention allows the Israeli military to hold Palestinian prisoners indefinitely without charge or trial. Israeli prison authority uses administrative detention as prolonged detention, and in some cases Palestinian detainees are held captive without charge or trial for 5 or even 10 years. Currently, there are over 20 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike protesting administrative detention, the inhumane treatment inside Israeli jails, medical negligence and isolation.

Hana’ Ash-Shalabi, 29 years old, is today on her 32nd day of open-ended hunger strike against administrative detention.

Hana’ was kidnapped from her home in Burqin, Jenin on 16.02.2012 and has been ordered in administrative detention for 6 months. This is not the first time for Hana’: she had been in administrative detention for 6 executive times since 14.03.2009, and was released in October 2011 in the latest prisoner exchange deal after spending 2 and a half years in Israeli detention without charge or trial. Through her hunger-strike, Hana’ is protesting against her illegal detention and to demand an end to the policy of administrative detention. Hana’s health is deteriorating and in a recent letter she said that despite the suffering and pain, she will continue the struggle. Her health is rapidly deteriorating and she is in critical condition: Her blood pressure is very low, salt concentration in her blood is very high which affects her kidneys and causes her extreme pain at night. Her heart beats are weak and irregular, she suffers from a sharp pain in the chest, severe dehydration and dizziness, and cannot stand up. In the letter she confirmed her strict refusal to deportation. The Israeli prison authority has punished Hana’ for refusing to break her hunger strike by denying her family visits for a month.

Kifah Hattab, 51 years old, is today on his 22nd day of open-ended hunger strike against the inhumane treatment in Israeli dungeons

Hattab has been held captive in Israeli dungeons since 04.06.2003. He refuses to acknowledge Israeli military prison orders and on 26.02.2012 started a second open-ended hunger strike to protest the inhumane treatment at the hands of Israeli jailors and to demand Israeli prison authority respect humanitarian and international law and treat him as “Prisoners of War”. He is fined 250 shekels/day for refusing to attend the daily prisoner count. This is not the first time Hattab has been on hunger-strike: on 17.04.2011 he started a hunger strike that lasted 20 days, during which he was punished with isolation.
Bilal Thiab, 26 years old, and Tha’ir Halahleh, 25 years old, are today on their 18th day of open-ended hunger strike against administrative detention
On 01.03.2012, administrative detainees Bilal Thiab from Jenin and Tha’ir Halahleh from Hebron, held captive in An-Naqab prison, started an open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with Hana’ Ash-Shalabi and against their administrative detention. Bilal was detained several times, spending a total of 7 years in Israeli jails, and one year in administrative detention, which has been recently renewed. Tha’ir was detained several times, spending a total of 9 years in Israeli dungeons, 4 of them in administrative detention.
Murad Malayshah and Islam Al-Shu’aybe are today on their 15th day of open-ended hunger strike against administrative detention

On 03.03.2012, Murad Malayshah from Jenin and Islam Shu’aybe from Salfit, both held captive in Shatta jail, started a hunger strike in solidarity with Hana’ Ash-Shalabi and against administrative detention. Both were detained several times by Israeli occupation forces. On 15.03.2012, Malayshah’s administrative detention was renewed for another 7 months.

Hasan Safadi, 34 years old, Mohammad Abu ‘Arab and Omar Shalal are today on their 13th day of open-ended hunger strike against administrative detention
On 05.03.2012, administrative detainees Hasan Safadi from Nablus, Mohammad Abu ‘Arab from Balata refugee camp and Omar Shalal from Nablus started an open-ended hunger strike Both Hasan Safadi and Mohammad Abu ‘Arab have been held in renewed administrative detention. Abu ‘Arab was detained in August 2010 for one year, and hours before his release he was placed under administrative detention. Since then, his detention has been renewed for the 3rd consecutive time without trial or charge.

At least 10 detainees are today on their 12th day of open-ended hunger strike
On 06.03.2012, 10 Palestinian detainees held captive in Majiddo prison started an open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with Hana’ Ash-Shalabi and to protest administrative detention: Ayman Tbeishah from Dura, Salih A. Kmeil from Qabatia, Salih S. Kmeil from Qabatia, Bilal Kmeil from Qabatia, Murad Fashafshah from Jaba’, Adib Al-Qut from Jenin, Mohammad ‘Abushi from Jenin, Fayez Ash-Shayeb from Jenin, ‘Asif Abu Al-Rub from Jenin and Samir Abu Khaznah from Tulkarim.
Some reports mention another 9 prisoners on hunger strike in Majiddo: Tariq Qa’dan, Ayman Batsh, Nathmi Saba’nah, Tha’ir Daraghmah, Rami Foudah, Mohammad ’Ineitri, Hamzah Qa’aur, Adham Al-Jamal, Nidal Abu Shadoof.

Other reports add that another 6 prisoners held captive in An-Naqab and Al-Jalameh are on open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with Hana’ and against administrative detention: Mu’tasim Jaradat, Husni Jaradat, Muhannad Jaradat, Riyad Abu ‘Ahur, Mohammad Al-Batmah, Mohammad Karajah, Tariq Qa’dan and Tha’ir Daraghmah.

In addition, the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons continues against the policies of medical negligence and isolation. According to several Palestinian prisoner organizations there are over 1500 Palestinian prisoners with medical problems, 550 of them are in need of surgery. Many prisoners suffer from cancer, heart diseases, high blood pressure, respiratory and kidney diseases, diabetes, severe inflammation, bone and skin diseases, paralysis, vision loss, dental problems and other malignant or chronic diseases. Some suffer from past injuries inflicted upon them by the IOF during their arrest, or by the Israeli prison authority and the Israeli intelligence (Shabak) during interrogation and after it. In addition to physical suffering, more than 40 Palestinian prisoners suffer from mental and psychological ailments due to the interrogation methods used by the Israeli Shabak and the Israeli prison authorities, which include torture. Many of these patients await an inevitable death because of medical negligence, lack of appropriate medical treatment, medications and specialists to treat their cases. Palestinian patients are treated either in the so-called prison clinics or are sent to the Ramleh prison “hospital”. Both the “hospital” and the clinics lack basic medical equipment and supplies and are run by military personnel with little to no medical training. Palestinian prisoners who need urgent treatment get interrogated in the so-called prison clinics and are blackmailed into giving information. All ailment and diseases, no matter how malignant, are “treated” with pain killers, expired or useless medicines and those who do get operated end up in a worse situation than before the operation. Since 1967, at least 50 Palestinian prisoners died while in captivity as a result of medical negligence. Many others were left for years without medical treatment, and were only released to die after their health condition became hopeless.

In a letter signed by 30 Palestinian patients held captive in Israeli dungeons, the prisoners threatened to start an open-ended hunger strike to protest the policy of medical negligence. In their letter, the prisoners say: “…we are only given painkillers, we are never taken to proper hospitals, and the (Ramleh) prison hospital is nothing but isolation cells, we are humiliated and insulted… “[1] They demand the UN send an international commission to investigate their situation and the abuses they are subjected to, and to investigate the extent of Israel’s commitment to international standards and human rights laws in dealing with political prisoners, especially the patients. They also stressed that the WHO implement its resolution of May 2010 about sending a joint fact-finding commission together with the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Israeli prisons and investigate the state of Palestinian prisons and medical negligence in Israeli jails. Among the patients are heart, kidney and cancer patients and those with disabilities and paralysis, and their health condition is deteriorating with every passing day. The prisoners complained in their letter of the wide-spread medical negligence and that while patients are dying a slow and painful death, they are being ignored by human rights organization. The letter names a number of critical cases: Mu’tasim Radad, Ra’fat Turkman and Fawwaz Ba’arah (cancer patients), Riyad Yaghmour, Mohammad Ridwan and ‘Ala’ Iddin Hassouneh (heart diseases), Ashraf Abu Threi’, Khalid Ash-Shaweesh, Mansour Moqada, Nahid Al-Aqra’, Abdallah Masalmah and Mohammad Abu Libdah (disabilities), Zuheir Lubbadah (cirrhosis)

Among the 4600 Palestinians held captive in Israeli dungeons, over 20 Palestinians are locked up in isolation cells. Isolation is one form used by Israeli prison authority to punish Palestinian political prisoners, and usually isolation orders are extended without reason and prisoners who are placed in isolation remain so for many years and have no access to other prisoners, no contact with the outside world. Isolation cells have an area of only 1.8m x 2.7m, including the WC. These cells are damp, badly ventilated. They have an iron door that is fitted with an opening for passing food to the prisoner and one small window close to the ceiling causing high humidity. Neither fresh air nor natural light enter the isolation cells. Prisoners are expected to live, cook, sleep, shower and excrete in these cells. There is almost no room for movement and little space for personal items. In their continuous struggle for freedom and for their rights, Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli dungeons started a new protest action entitled “Revolution of the Prisoners of Freedom” which is a comprehensive struggle action to protest the policy of isolation. The protest is to start gradually, and grow in intensity and rate of protests with every new struggle phase and finally lead to civil disobedience and an open-ended hunger strike in all Israeli jails until the demands of Palestinian political prisoners are met. (read more)

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

More on Palestinian political prisoners:
A Nation Behind Bars: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israeli Detention
Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike: Defeating Oppression, Liberating Palestine
Palestinian Prisoners: A Symbol of Resistance, Steadfastness and Pride
Graves for the Living: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Solitary Confinement
On International Women’s Day, Palestinian Political Prisoners Remain the Spearhead of Resistance
Palestinian Political Prisoners; the Struggle for a Free Palestine Continues
Hana‘ Ash-Shalabi; A Struggle Against Administrative Detention


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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

She Strikes For Us All

by Kashif Ahmed

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

As our honourable sister Hana al-Shalabi of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad enters the 35th day of her hunger strike to protest Israeli ‘administrative detention’, or to give it its proper name: kidnap and false imprisonment. Palestinian prisoner affairs minister Issa Qaraqaa announced that Hana, 28, is in critical condition and was taken to hospital to undergo a series of tests. Independent doctors from the ‘Physicians for Human Rights’ group declared that she was suffering from severe muscle wastage, a fall in blood sodium levels and a weak pulse: “After the examination, the doctor established that the patient’s life was in danger and recommended her immediate transfer to hospital for observation”, said Qaraqaa. It was later reported that Hana al-Shalabi had been discharged from hospital and retaken by her Israeli captors.
The prognosis doesn’t look promising and there are those who say that Hana is close to death, others; that she has already embraced martyrdom but that the Israeli occupation fears the international backlash this news will cause. Especially since a wave of solidarity hunger strikes, inspired by Khader Adnan Mohammad Musa’s successful 67 day protest, are already beginning to cripple IDF dungeons across occupied Palestine. But whatever the outcome; the fact remains that her courageous stance has embarrassed the wretched parasites of the illegitimate state of Israel and the equally illegitimate, collaborationist popinjays who call themselves leaders of the Arabian Peninsula.

Hana al-Shalabi, from Burqin, Jenin was only a child when heavily armed IDF conscripts, shipped in from every corner of the globe, besieged her hometown. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank took on the form of checkpoints, terror attacks, home demolitions, kidnappings, and disappearances. For Jenin has always been the heartland of Palestinian resistance; in 1935 Mujahid Sheik Muhammed Izz ad-Din al-Qassam made his heroic last stand against the Rothschild controlled British Empire, even in the midst of disaster in 1948, Arab fighters still managed to hold off hordes of Jewish terrorists and prevent the fall of Jenin.
‘The Second Intifada’ saw Jenin become a focal point for resistance once again, and the target of numerous Israeli terror attacks; Hana’s brother was also martyred in such an attack in 2005. The Palestinians, to their eternal credit, tried to conduct retaliatory strikes to the best of their ability and means: Islamic Jihad volunteers managed to put up a spirited defence of their country, but outgunned, outnumbered and under siege, any hopes of a meaningful victory were soon dashed. As the world’s fourth largest army, sustained by conscription and in receipt of at least $8.3 million a day in U.S. military aid; soon encircled the fledging resistance.

Hana al-Shalabi was taken from her home at gunpoint by Israeli kidnappers in September 2009. Held hostage for over 2 years, Hana, along with other Palestinian captives, was released as part of a prisoner swap for French IDF conscript Gilad Shalit in October 2011. Hana’s elderly parents and surviving siblings were overjoyed to have her back. Severely maltreated by the Israelis, Hana slowly began to readjust; trying as best she could to resume what passes for a normal life under occupation. But her freedom was short lived. Four months later, on 16th February 2012, armed Israelis burst into the al Shalabi family home, took Hana into custody again and put her under what the Jewish occupation calls ‘administrative detention’.

Tortured and viciously assaulted by the Israelis, Hana al-Shalabi was placed in solitary confinement and subjected to an increasingly depraved series of attacks. The wounds inflicted upon her are a disgrace only to her persecutors, those extremist Jew villains who, for shame, could not beg for grace.

And what of our pious and upright Ullama in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, how can they stand to see their mothers, sisters and daughters harassed in so brazen a manner? Why do our noble Imams, who so eloquently sermonise about the importance of Hijab; not demand, by the will of Allah (swt), that their Kings show some measure of decency, some indication that they’re still Muslims, some respect for their race and lineage? Are they aware that the Israeli abomination is but a few minutes away from their ivory towers and luxury resorts? Must we, like Qadi Abu Sa’ad Al-Harawi, shave our heads in mourning and enter their palaces? For no doubt, we shall see the same scenes today as Al-Hjawari saw at the court of the great Caliph al-Mustazhir in Baghdad, days after the fall of Al-Quds Jerusalem and the massacre of the Muslim population by European invaders in 1099 A.D:

“How dare you slumber in the shade of complacent safety, leading lives as frivolous as garden flowers, while your brothers have no dwelling place save the saddles of camels and the bellies of vultures? Blood has been spilled! Beautiful young girls have been shamed . . . Shall the valorous Arabs resign themselves to insult and the valiant Persians accept dishonour? Never have the Muslims been so humiliated. Never have their lands been so savagely devastated.”

Qadi Abu Sa’ad Al-Harawi

And at least al-Mustazhir and others could plead ignorance and were quick to organize resistance once made aware of the situation Our leaders today, be they Sunni or Shia, are denied that refuge and reprieve; their excuses, should they fail to act despite being gifted all the means with which to do so, will not be accepted in this life or the next.

African American civil rights activist Kwame Ture a.k.a. Stokely Carmichael once said, that the main flaw of non-violent resistance “…is that it requires your oppressor to have a conscience”. A conscience that Carmichael correctly observed was absent in the U.S., and a conscience that has never existed in any regime run by extremist Jews and their acolytes. Now I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; there’s little glory in martyrdom without victory. And unless Hana Al Shabali’s sacrifice instigates a process whereby civilised countries finalize a new policy to formally engage the criminal state of Israel and begin an open ended, humanitarian intervention in occupied Palestine, then she needn’t have bothered. Each Palestinian life is precious, and ought not to be placed in harm’s way without serious consideration, for to paraphrase General Patton; in any war, the trick isn’t to die for your values, but to get the other lot to die for theirs.

That said, Hana al-Shalabi is the bravest woman in the world. And I echo sentiments expressed by Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh: “The Palestinian people, with all its components and its factions, will never abandon the hero prisoners, especially those who lead this hunger strike battle.”

Hana al-Shalabi recently reassured her supporters in a statement released by her lawyer:

“It’s true our lives are very precious, but our freedom is even more precious and more powerful than their cells”, she said.

I’m inclined to agree, but at the same time, lament the state of affairs that led her to believe that Palestinians were so alone in their struggle that they had embark upon this course of action. And perhaps Khader Adnan Mohammad Musa put it best, when he said: 

“I started my battle offering my soul to Allah almighty and adamant to go ahead until righteousness triumphs over falsehood. Here I am in a hospital bed surrounded with prison wardens, handcuffed, and my foot tied to the bed. The only thing I can do is offer my soul to Allah as I believe righteousness and justice will eventually triumph over tyranny and oppression. I hereby assert that I am confronting the occupiers not for my own sake as an individual, but for the sake of thousands of prisoners who are being deprived of their simplest human rights while the world and international community look on.” Khader Adnan Mohammad Musa

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Zahera Shalabi: My sister Hanaa is a Hero ( Video )

Zahera Shalabi: My sister Hanaa is a Hero ( Video )

Periodical Journal dedicated to the cause of Hana Shalabi – and all Palestinian political prisoners
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“Palestine is the heart of Arab countries” – Hiyam Naour

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Global Hunger Strike with Hana Shalabi

Local Editor

On the 27th day of her open hunger strike, thousands of people across the world joined a one day fasting in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoner inside “Israeli” jails Hana Shalabi.

Event organizers expected thousands of people across the world to join in the protests, calling for “Israel” to respect international human rights.

Student organizations in Europe, including at Edinburgh University, took part in the 12 hour-long fast.

In Palestine hundreds of people clutching pictures of Shalabi gathered outside Ofer Prison near Ramallah, shouting slogans at “Israeli” soldiers guarding the facility.

“Shalabi is suffering spells of dizziness, muscular wasting and loss of consciousness,” her lawyers and medical observers said.

The 30-year-old female is held under administrative detention laws, which allow the “Israeli” military to hold Palestinians on secret evidence without charge or trial for renewable six-month sentences.

Her protest is part of a spreading movement by Palestinian prisoners ignited in December by Khader Adnan who ended a near-fatal fast of 66 days after “Israeli” authorities agreed to cut his detention period.

With Shalabi’s condition is serious, and 23 other Palestinians pledging not to eat while in “Israeli” custody, calls have mounted for “Israel” to repeal the controversial policy it has applied to detainees from the West Bank, which it has occupied since 1967.

The policy has come under attack from human rights groups, with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch saying administrative detention violates international law.

“This magic phrase endangering public order used by the “Israelis” to justify administrative detention is a dishonest instrument,” Jawad Boulos, Shalabi’s lawyer said.

“Some of those behind bars are not even accused of being violent, and their detention has more political motives,” he stressed.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by moqawama.org

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Administrative Detention: Israel’s Way of Bypassing Justice

Palestinians hold pictures of prisoner Hana Shalabi, during a protest in support of Shalabi outside Ofer prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah 15 March 2012. The deteriorating health of Shalabi is focusing international attention on Israel’s decades-old use of administrative detention. (Photo: REUTERS – Mohamad Torokman)
 
Published Friday, March 16, 2012
Tens of thousands of Palestinians and their families have suffered from the humiliation brought on by a single law, one that Israel uses to jail people without charges.

Ramallah – There is no doubt that the historic hunger strike by Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, a leading member of Islamic Jihad – which lasted for 66 days – cast a light on the injustice of the occupation’s administrative detention law.

Now female prisoner, Hana Shalabi, is doing the same. She has just completed 28 days of an open-ended hunger strike which began with her arrest on February 16. She is striking in protest against her arrest, method of interrogation, and strip search.

British Origins

The British were not content with the calamitous Balfour Declaration which led to the Palestinian catastrophe. They went further with their injustice with a set of unfair laws in Palestine which live on today.

The Israeli occupation forces found such measures to be perfectly suited for their needs, so they began to implement them immediately.

One of these is “administrative detention,” which allows for the detention of Palestinians for up to 6 months without a charge. Worse yet, the period can be repeatedly renewed, completely circumventing due process.

According to the Palestinian prisoner affairs ministry, Israeli military law explicitly sanctions administrative detention.

Initially, the law was sanctioned because orders for administrative detention were carried out under “emergency laws” promulgated by the British mandate in 1945. But in 1979, Israel passed a new law adopting the same powers as the emergency law.

A record number of administrative detainees were held during the first intifada. Between 1987 and 1994, 20,000 orders for administrative detention were issued.
 

During the second intifada (2000), Israeli military courts recorded more than 19,000 such detentions.
According to Amnesty International, Khader Adnan is one of over 300 Palestinians currently held in administrative detention, including one man held for over five years and 24 Palestinian Legislative Council members.

The Biggest Hunger Strike

In the last few days, the prison administrations at the Gilboa, Shatta, and Megiddo facilities carried out DNA tests on prisoners under threat of force.

This is one of the reasons why Palestinian prisoners have just put “the final touches on the biggest open-ended hunger strike to be witnessed in Israeli prisons. It will start in April,” according to Waed, who works for the Society for Detainees and Ex-Detainees.

According to the prisoners, the strike will be a decisive turning point and will go on until their demands are met.

One of their most important demands is an end to the policy of solitary confinement, particularly for those who have been subjected to isolation for a long time.

There are some other crucial complaints such as medical neglect, administrative detention, and visitation rights.

Visitors, for example, have to wait many months to obtain the approval of the occupation forces. Their family relationship and the minute details of visitors’ personalities are scrutinized.

However, things do not just end with an Israeli permit. Visitors must then contend with the arduous road to the prison, where family members are subjected to humiliating searches at Israeli checkpoints.
Prisons in the south, such as Ramon and Nafha, are a major nightmare for the people of Bethlehem and Hebron.

If they were to obtain a permit to visit, they know that they have to cross the Zahiriyya and al-Shamaa checkpoints south of Hebron.

Because of the deliberate humiliation of prisoners’ relatives, these checkpoints have become a flash point between the family members and the occupation soldiers.

According to eyewitness statements made to the prisoners affairs ministry by close family members: “The soldiers on these checkpoints search the families on purpose. They strip men and women naked. This generates widespread complaints among the families.”

The account continues by noting that “a number of people refuse the searches…so they cannot complete their trip, because these checkpoints are the gateways to the prisons in the south and the families have to go through them.”
 

Prisoners’ families in the areas of Bethlehem and Hebron announced that they will stop visiting their loved ones if this humiliating treatment continues.

Although more than one meeting has been held with the International Red Cross, one of the organizers of the visits who coordinate with the Israeli side, nothing has changed.

The representative of prisoners in Ramon, Jamal Al-Rajjoub, who is serving a life sentence, says: “Our dignity is more important to us than anything. We don’t want visits where our wives and sisters are humiliated.”

The Zahiriyya military checkpoint is a model for tens of checkpoints all over the occupied West Bank, where prisoners’ families are abused and humiliated.

These visits have become a harsh punishment for the families, a journey of bitterness and hardship.
Furthermore, a large number of these relatives, who spend long hours at the checkpoint, in extreme cold or heat, go back home after refusing to endure such prolonged misery.

Some have their permits torn up by the soldiers without any reason. The measures also make it impossible for the sick and elderly to visit prisoners.

One of the saddest stories is the one of prisoner Mounif Abu Atwan’s mother.

She was humiliated at the Zahiriyya checkpoint, suffered severe exhaustion, and fainted. She died right after her visit to her son.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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Resisting Israeli Oppression Courageously

by Stephen Lendman

My PhotoOn March 8, women worldwide commemorate International Women’s Day. It celebrates over a century of economic, political, and social achievements.

This year for Palestinians, Hana Shalabi’s hunger strike for justice is highlighted. After three weeks, it’s taken a toll. Nonetheless, she’s determined to resist Israel’s lawless arrest, detention, torture, and degrading treatment.

Since arrested on February 16, she’s only ingested water. However, for the past five days, extreme nausea prevents her from drinking more than 1.5 liters daily.

Steadily her health deteriorates. She’s experiencing chest pain and dizziness. Her lawyer said she can barely speak. She’s also tired and can’t move much.

She refuses Israeli Prison Prison Service (IPS) medical care. She’ll accept only Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) doctors. On March 4, IPS officials denied PHR-I’s request to see her.
Repressively they said non-prison physician access is only allowed for second opinions. Since Hana refuses IPS treatment, request denied.

On March 4, PHR-I petitioned the Petach Tikva District Court, demanding immediate access to Hana. No word on if it’s approved or rejected. PHR-I expressed grave concern for her health. After two weeks without food, muscle decomposition begins. The heart and other organs are affected.

On March 5, Hana’s lawyers petitioned Israel’s Military Court of Appeals to end her administrative detention. Her scheduled March 7 hearing was postponed until March 11 or 12. She vowed to continue hunger striking for justice.

For days, Palestinians rallied supportively. A candlelight vigil was held. Dozens of other Palestinian prisoners hunger struck with her. According to Palestinian Prisoners’ Club head Qadoura Fares, they’re also protesting their own horrific conditions.

Fares said growing numbers of prisoners began refusing food. Israel doesn’t care if they live or die. On March 6, IPS authorities transferred about 80 political prisoners from Gilboa Prison to Nafha in Negev desert isolation.

Since February 28, they’d been hunger striking supportively. Earlier they did in mid-February for one day. In response, Israel punished them harshly. Now they’ll endure Nafha Prison isolation far from home. Israel often does it punitively. As a result, their suffering increases.
Torture is official Israeli policy. So is state terror and many other forms of cruel and inhuman treatment. April 17 marks Palestinian Political Prisoners Day. Dozens of human rights and other organizations worldwide called for a day of international action against Israeli injustice.

On March 7, the Addameer Prisoner Support group called for immediately releasing all female political prisoners on International Women’s Day. Among them they named Lina Jarbuni, Wurud Qassem, Salwa Hassan, Alaa Jubeh, Yusra Qaadan, Manal Suwan, and Hana.

According to PLO data, around 100,000 Palestinians, including 10,000 women, were lawlessly administratively detained since 1967. Many spent months or years uncharged with no trials. Young children are affected as part of Israel’s collective punishment policy, violating international law.
Addameer said Israel now detains 36 women administratively uncharged. To raise global awareness, the above named seven were highlighted.

(1) Lina Jarbuni
Arrested on 18 April 2002, she was sentenced to 17 years in prison. She’s currently at HaSharon.
(2) Wurud Qassem
On October 4 2006, she received 6 years in prison. She’s currently at Damon Prison.
(3) Salwa Hassan
Arrested on 19 October 2011, she’s at HaSharon Prison awaiting trial.
(4) Alaa Jubeh
On December 7 2011, she was arrested. She’s also at HaSharon. So far, she’s unsentenced. Though age 17 when arrested, she’ll be treated like an adult. Israel makes no distinction in violation of international law.
(5) Yusra Qaadan
Arrested on March 4, 2012 while visiting an imprisoned family member, she’s currently detained for interrogation in Beersheva.
(6) Manal Suwan
On March 6, 2012, she was arrested. She’s currently undergoing brutal interrogation at HaSharon. Virtually all Israeli interrogations use torture, abusive and degrading treatment to force innocent detainees to confess. It’s standard policy.
(7) Hana Shalabi

On February 16 2012, she was re-arrested less than four months after release as part of Israel’s October 18, 2011 Shalit prisoner exchange deal. Earlier she was lawlessly detained for two and a half years.
On February 23, 2012, she received a six month administrative detention without charge. On March 4, it was reduced to four months. For her and thousands of other Palestinian political prisoners, four minutes is too long.
As a result, Hana, Khader Adnan, and others hunger strike for justice. Hana’s at HaSharon. On March 8, day 22 and counting began.

Addameer highlighted their plight, saying:
All Palestinian prisoners are treated abusively, including children and women. They endure “sexual harassment, psychological and physical punishment and humiliation, and a lack of gender-sensitive healthcare. These practices (violate) international law and must stop immediately.”
Free or incarcerated, Israel treats all Palestinians oppressively. Children and women are especially affected, including young girls.

On March 7, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan, and Al Dameer called for Hana’s immediate release. They hold Israeli responsible for her life and welfare.
A joint March 8 Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organizations (PCHRO) statement said Palestinian women and girls are “regularly subjected to harassment, intimidation and ill-treatment by Israeli military authorities and as a consequence they are denied the enjoyment of basic human rights such as education, health and freedom of movement. Such treatment amounts to an assault on their dignity and security of person in violation of international law.”

“The international community of States cannot continue to avert its gaze while Israel refuses to apply international human rights law, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), in the OPT.”

“Israel is not only in violation of the positive duty to implement its obligations under CEDAW, but also, through the imposition of illegal policies such as restrictions on the freedom of movement, is in breach of its negative duty not to interfere in the enjoyment of the rights under the Convention.”

Israel spurns all international law abusively. Contemptuously, it treats Palestinians horrifically for praying to the wrong God and demanding freedom on their own land in their own country.
As a result, they’re called terrorists. World leaders able to act do nothing. With or without help, their liberating struggle continues.

Hana, Khader, and many other courageous hunger strikers highlight its importance. Millions worldwide support them. Everyone should! Their struggle is ours!
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Hana Shalabi: Day 19 and Counting

by Stephen Lendman

 

My PhotoAnyone who’s fasted several days knows doing it isn’t easy. Persisting for extended periods risks health, even death.

 

Without food for 66 days, Khader Adnan nearly died. Again ingesting food, he’s still very much at risk. Hana Shalabi reached day 19. It’s taken a toll. Daily she grows weaker.

 

The Palestinian Prisoners Ministry said she’s exhausted, pale, and hardly able to speak, but won’t succumb to injustice. She wants administrative detentions ended, and those arrested no longer subjected to brutal and humiliating treatment.

 

She’s losing weight and can hardly stand. Her health’s deteriorating. No matter. She won’t compromise her rights or dignity. She’ll persist until freed.

 

Israel reduced her detention from six months to four. She responded saying she’s committed to continue. Lawyer Fadi Qawasmi asked Ofer military court to let him call witnesses on her behalf. He wants those involved in her arrest and torture interrogated. The court refused. Its mandate excludes justice.

 

Allegations against Shalabi and thousands of other Palestinian prisoners are spurious. She’s hunger striking for them and herself. Human rights groups condemn Israel’s oppression. Shalabi’s struggle highlights its gravity.

 

On March 2, Amnesty International (AI) issued an “URGENT ACTION: PALESTINIAN DETAINEE’S HEALTH AT RISK” alert on her behalf, saying:

 

Israeli authorities so far ignored her lawyer’s request to hospitalize her for vital treatment. They don’t care if she lives or dies. They only respond when world attention exposes their injustice. Even then, they yield little.

 

AI said she’s “increasingly weak but in good spirits.” Throughout most of her ordeal, she’s been isolated in solitary confinement. Her condition increases its harshness. Her parents have been denied permission to see her.

 

She’s not charged with any crimes because she committed none. According to her lawyer, Israeli military authorities allege she’s involved in activities threatening Israel’s security, but nothing’s presented to prove it.

 

Secret evidence alone exists. Israel won’t reveal it for security reasons. In fact, it’s because it’s fabricated. Without access, Hana’s lawyers can’t contest. They can only guess. Either way they face a process rigged to convict or its equivalent in cases of uncharged administrative detentions. They violate the letter and spirit of international law.

 

Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) affirms the following:

 

“1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.

 

2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.

 

3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.

 

4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.

 

5. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.”

 

Israeli detainees are guilty by accusation or allegation. Their rights are entirely denied. AI denounces longstanding Israeli repression.

 

It also “call(s) for an end to the practice of administrative detention. All administrative detainees held on account of their non-violent political opinions or activities should be released immediately and unconditionally, and others should be released unless they are to be charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence and promptly tried in accordance with internationally accepted standards for fair trial.”

 

AI called on Israeli authorities to give Hana immediate access to adequate medical care, ensure she’s treated humanely at all times, and not punished for hunger striking.

 

In addition, it wants her immediately released or lawfully charged, and granted regular access to lawyers, doctors, and family.
It urged Hana’s supporters to petition relevant Israeli authorities on her behalf. They include:

 

Military Judge Advocate General,
Brigadier General Danny Efroni,
6 David Elazar Street,
Hakirya,
Tel Aviv,
Israel.
Fax: +972 3 569 4526
Email: avimn@idf.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Judge Advocate General

 

Commander of the IDF – West Bank,
Major-General Avi Mizrahi,
GOC Central Command,
Military Post 01149,
Battalion 877,
Israel Defense Forces,
Israel.
Fax: +972 2 530 5724
Salutation: Dear Major-General Avi Mizrahi

 

COPIES TO

 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence,
Ehud Barak,
Ministry of Defence,
37 Kaplan Street,
Hakirya,
Tel Aviv 61909,
Israel.
Fax: +972 3 69 16940 / 62757
Salutation: Dear Minister

 

Ambassade d’Israël,
Alpenstrasse 32,
Case postale,
3000 Berne 6.
Fax: 031 356 35 56

 

Note:

 

Two weeks ago, Suheil Akram Al-Masri hunger struck in solidarity with Hana. It took its toll. On March 4, he was hospitalized after fainting. Nonetheless, he vowed to continue until she’s freed.

 

Last week, the PA’s prisoners ministry said hundreds of Palestinian administrative detainees will boycott Israel’s prison administration courts beginning March 1 in protest.

 

Resistance is their only weapon. Hopefully, using it will attract widespread attention. The more the world watches, the less able Israel’s oppression can continue. So far, all Palestine’s affected, especially those wrongfully imprisoned and Gazans under siege.

 

Liberating struggles don’t succeed easily. Sustaining them has the best chance. Palestinians have done it for decades. Heroic hunger strikers highlight what it’s all about. Their struggle is ours.

 

A Final Comment

 

On March 5, two unindicted war criminals met in Washington. Obama and Netanyahu held White House talks. Billed as focusing on Iran’s crisis, they discussed joint criminal responses.

 

According to financial expert Martin Weiss, their only disagreement is when, not whether to attack Iran. “So what’s next,” he asked, saying:

 

“We now have confirmation from multiple sources that, with or without US approval, Israel is planning a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities within the next few months.”

 

If Tehran feels threatened, it may react preemptively. America will become involved. So may world powers China, Russia, and others. Oil prices already escalated sharply. If Iran’s attacked, they’ll skyrocket. Troubled economies will crater.

 

On March 4, Obama’s AIPAC speech reiterated fealty to Israel’s security. It’s “non-negotiable,” he said. He vowed to help Israel defend against any threat. He said no Israeli government will tolerate Iran having nuclear weapons. Nor will Washington. He promised never to let it happen, despite knowing Tehran’s program is non-military.

 

Stopping short of threatening belligerence, he said unless Iran abandons nuclear power, it’ll face “escalating series of consequences.”

 

“I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power, (including) a military effort….”

 

At what point will war replace threats? Will Americans and others react to prevent it?

 

Only mass outrage has a chance. It’s high time it challenged two out-of-control rogue regimes. Their lawlessness endangers humanity. Their agenda’s too outrageous to tolerate.

 

The stakes are either peace in our time or perish. The equation’s literally that stark. So are the consequences.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
 
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Female Palestinian hunger striker ‘to be released early’

An Israeli court decided on Sunday to shorten the administrative detention of a Palestinian who has been refusing food since she was arrested, her lawyer said.
Hana Shalabi has been on hunger strike since her violent detention on February 16, when she was originally ordered detained without trial for six months.

According to lawyer Jawad al-Imawi, head of the legal department in the Palestinian prisoner’s ministry, “an Israeli judge decided to shorten Shalabi’s administrative detention from six to four months.”

According to Imawi, Shalabi’s health was mediocre and the judge said that in case of a deterioration in her health the court would reassess the case.

Imawi said that despite the ruling, Shalabi was refusing to stop her hunger strike.

The decision will give fresh impetus to the campaign against the continued use of administrative detention – under which detainees can effectively be held indefinitely without trial – by Israeli courts.
Her campaign came shortly after Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan ended a 66-day hunger strike in protest at his imprisonment without charge, under a deal that will see him released in April.

Human rights groups have condemned the continued use of administrative detention, with Amnesty International calling the practice illegal.

The Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer has demanded Shalabi’s immediate release.
Shalabi was among more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners released in October in a trade for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held in Gaza for more than five years.

Shalabi, from the West Bank village of Burqin village, near Jenin, spent 30 months in detention without trial before her release last year.

The Israeli army said she was “a global jihad-affiliated operative” and re-arrested her on suspicion that she “posed a threat to the area,” however they have provided no evidence for this claim.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club says she was one of five inmates freed in the October swap who have since been re-arrested.

(Al-Akhbar, AFP)

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Ash-Shalabi: A Family from Palestine

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Hana’ Shalabi’s parents at solidarity tent © Ahmad Daghlas

Yesterday, I came across this picture. It spoke to me, it told me a story of a Palestinian family from Burqin, it told me the story of thousands of Palestinian families in occupied Palestine. This picture tells the story of a people steadfast in their land, the story of a struggle for justice, the story of an occupation that will be defeated one day. I looked at the faces in this picture, full of strength, dignity and pride, four faces speaking to us, without words, their eyes asking: what do you see?

You will see a Palestinian mother, aged by the years, aged by 64 years of oppression, aged by 64 years of a brutal military occupation that snatches her children away from her arms, but still wakes up every morning, strong and determined, to work in the fields, to care for the olive trees, to stand up in the face of brutality and oppression, to struggle for her legitimate rights, for the legitimate rights of her children and the legitimate rights of every Palestinian.

You will see a Palestinian mother, tired of the injustice and tired of a world that is blind, deaf and mute to Zionist crimes, but not tired of resisting, not tired of struggling for freedom, not tired of defying oppression, not tired of hoping, yearning for justice, yearning to be free.

You will see a Palestinian mother, her face the face of every Palestinian mother, wrinkled with the marks of occupation, but a face that is full of pride, of dignity, of steadfastness.

You will see a Palestinian mother, her face the face of every mother striving to survive and protect her children amidst an unjust and brutal world.

You will see a Palestinian mother who raised a son, loved him, cared for him, taught him that dignity is priceless, that freedom is not negotiable, that rights are never begged.

You will see a Palestinian mother who shed a tear and said a prayer when her son was laid in front of her, wrapped in the Palestinian flag, said a goodbye to the little boy she loved, to the young man she raised, touched the face that is imprinted in her heart, kissed his forehead and wished the Zionist bullets had hit her instead of him, wished she could give him her life.

You will see a Palestinian mother who watched her son taken away from her, carried away to his final resting place, his dreams shattered, his blood spilt, his life robbed by Israeli occupation soldiers. You will see a Palestinian mother who raised a daughter, loved her, cared for her, taught her that dignity is priceless, that freedom is not negotiable, that rights are never begged.

You will see a Palestinian mother who struggled to break free from the occupation soldiers who raided her home, who stood between her and her daughter, silenced her cries when her daughter was kidnapped from her, violently dragged away, taken from the warmth of her home to the coldness of a dark dungeon, taken from her family to be interrogated, harassed and humiliated by brutal occupiers, by those who killed her brother.

You will see a Palestinian mother who remains strong, full of courage and dignity, unyielding and unbreakable as she sees her daughter, again and again, being blindfolded and handcuffed, dragged away and thrown into a military jeep to disappear in the darkness, and wishing she could hug her daughter, protect her, take away her pain, take her place and spare her the Zionist graves built for the living.

You will see a Palestinian mother, although aged and tired by the years, on hunger strike for the 8th day, in solidarity with her daughter, in solidarity with every Palestinian prisoner, and defying hunger, defying fatigue, defying the years, defying the occupation, but not tired of demanding justice, struggling for justice so the next generations may be spared the pain, the sorrow, the tears.

You will see a Palestinian father, his hair white with the years, his face aged by 63 years of oppression, his eyes filled with images of a brutal occupation, but his heart is still young and beating, his will is strong and undefeated, his hands still hold on to the olive tree, he still stands tall in his land, he still sings songs of resistance, he still holds Haifa in his heart, still holds Palestine in his heart.

You will see a Palestinian father, his face the face of every Palestinian father who lost a beloved son, lost a beloved daughter, lost a home, lost his land, is denied freedom, denied his legitimate rights, but is determined to continue the struggle for justice, determined to be free. His face is the face of every father out there who lost a beloved child, lost a home, was denied freedom, was denied his legitimate rights, but is still strong and still fighting for his rights.

You will see a Palestinian father hugging the pictures of his beloved children, snatched away from the warm of their family, one brutally robbed of his life by the occupation and one buried alive in a Zionist dungeon. You will see a Palestinian father who loved his son, cared for him, watched him grow up, talked with him about Palestine, listened to him as he spoke of his dreams and wishes, shared with him hopes and aspirations until an Israeli bullet silenced his son’s heart and kidnapped his son’s life. You will see a Palestinian father who saw his son coming back home on the shoulders of his comrades, his young body wrapped in the Palestinian flag, kissed him goodbye on the forehead, carried him to the grave, wiped away the silent tear and swore never to give up, never to surrender. You will see a Palestinian father who loved his daughter, cared for her and played with her, carried her on his shoulder as a child and walked with her among the olive trees, told her tales of the land, of an unbreakable bond. You will see a Palestinian father who was held back by Israeli occupation soldiers while his daughter was handcuffed and blindfolded, shouted at and dragged out of her home, kidnapped in the middle of the night from amongst her family. You will see a Palestinian father hugging the pictures of his children, on hunger strike for the 8th day, refusing food in remembrance of his murdered son and in solidarity with his captive daughter, standing with her and every Palestinian detainee, fighting with them, demanding their release, fighting for freedom, fighting for justice.

You will see a Palestinian woman: a sister, a daughter, a comrade, a friend. You will see a Palestinian woman who grew up under occupation, saw oppression every day, saw her siblings beaten, harassed by Zionists alien to the land, said goodbye to a beloved brother murdered by Israeli occupation soldiers, marched with her sisters for freedom, remained steadfast and strong for her parents, for her siblings, for her brother, for every friend and comrade, for every Palestinian prisoner, for every Palestinian martyr, for Palestine.

You will see a Palestinian woman, her face is the face of every Palestinian woman, the face of every justice-seeking woman, the face of a people that will never be defeated, a people destined to be free. You will see a Palestinian woman, smiling despite the occupation, her eyes full of hope despite the years held captive without charge or trial, strong-willed despite the brutality of the interrogation, despite the inhumanity of the isolation.

You will see a Palestinian woman who is defying the occupation with her will, with her strength, with her belief, refusing food, refusing to accept the chains, refusing to accept injustice.

You will see a Palestinian woman who is strong and steadfast, alive and full of determination inside a Zionist death-trap, dreaming of freedom beyond the dungeon and the walls, fighting for life, defying death.

You will see a Palestinian woman held captive in Zionist dungeons without trial or charge, a Palestinian woman on a hunger strike for the 15th day, standing up to the jailors, to the interrogators, protesting her illegal detention, protesting the theft of her rights, protesting the theft of her homeland, struggling for her freedom, for the freedom of her comrades, for her brothers and sisters locked up in Zionist dungeons, for you, for me, for every Palestinian and for every justice-seeking person.

You will see a Palestinian man: a son, a brother, a comrade, a friend. You will see a Palestinian man, young and smiling, a smile that was wiped off by the occupation, and a life that was brutally cut short by a Zionist bullet.

You will see a Palestinian man, smiling, dreaming of a better day, of a better future, dreaming of a morning free of curfews, free of checkpoints, free of house raids and prisons, dreaming of a morning free of Israeli snipers, free of F-16s, free of markavas hunting down mothers, fathers and children, dreaming of a morning free of land theft, free of armed Zionist colonist gangs terrorizing Palestine, dreaming of a morning free of Israeli bulldozers erasing fields and uprooting olive and fig trees, dreaming of a morning free of occupation, free of injustice.

You will see a Palestinian man, a brother, gone but not forgotten, loved forever, remembered forever.

You will see a Palestinian man who lived under oppression but refused to accept it, saw the daily injustice and swore never to be silent, never to be inactive.

You will see a Palestinian man who fought for his legitimate rights, resisted the occupation so his sister won’t see the inside of an Israeli dungeon ever again, resisted the occupation so his parents can plant their fields without fear of the Zionist colonists, resisted the occupation so the children of Palestine can play in the streets without Zionist warplanes hovering over them or Israeli snipers directing their guns towards them, he fought for his freedom, for our freedom so Palestine can be free of Zionism.

You will see a Palestinian man who sacrificed his life for Palestine, his blood watered Palestine so Palestinian prisoners may be free one day, so Palestinian children may run free in the alleys of Jerusalem, Safad and Akka one day, so Palestinian mothers may replace the hidden tear with a smile of hope one day, so Palestinian fathers may sing and laugh while working the fields in Beisan, An-Naqab and Al-Jalil one day.

You will see a Palestinian family the occupation wanted to separate, but only managed to unite beyond time and space, beyond the grave and beyond the cells of isolation.

You will see a Palestinian family the occupation wanted to break, but only managed to make it stronger, more determined to fight the occupation.

You will see a Palestinian family, one of thousands, one of tens of thousands of Palestinian families, steadfast in occupied Palestine, a family Israel wanted to destroy, wanted to bring to its knees, wanted to defeat, but failed miserably.

You will see a Palestinian family that is steadfast in the village of Burqin, a family whose roots run deep in the land to reach Haifa, a family that became every Palestinian family in every village of Palestine, in every town, ever refugee camp, a family that became every Arab family fighting dictatorship and oppression, a family that became every family fighting injustice and oppression worldwide.

When you look at the picture, you will see the family of Ash-Shalabi, a Palestinian family, your family and mine. You will see Yahya Ash-Shalabi, a Palestinian father, hugging the picture of his son Samir and his daughter Hana’, his eyes speaking to us: never surrender, never give up until Palestine is free. You will see Badi’a Ash-Shalabi, a Palestinian mother, with a will unbreakable, with a steadfastness undefeatable, with a patience unlimited, her eyes speaking to us: Justice will prevail.

You will see the smiling face of Samir Ash-Shalabi, a young man murdered by Israeli occupation forces just for being Palestinian, just for dreaming of freedom, just for fighting for justice, his eyes speaking to us: we die so Palestine can live.

You will see the beautiful face of Hana’ Ash-Shalabi, held captive in Zionist isolation cells without trial or charge just for being Palestinian, just for yearning for freedom, just for fighting for justice, on her 15th day of hunger strike, her eyes speaking to us: yes to the pain of hunger, no and a thousand no to the pain of submission.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

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