As they face severe health crises, six Palestinian prisoners are continuing their open hunger strikes to demand their liberation from Israeli occupation prisons. All six of them are jailed without charge or trial under Israel’s “administrative detention” mechanism, and they are facing increasingly serious health situations, especially as Kayed Fasfous has now gone without food for 85 days and Miqdad Qawasmeh for 78 days. Both are currently hospitalized. In addition, Alaa al-Araj has been on hunger strike for 60 days; Hisham Abu Hawash for 52 days; Rayek Bisharat for 47 days; and Shadi Abu Aker for 44 days.
Join us in taking action to contact your member of Congress and demand accountability and U.S. sanctions on Israel, including signing on to H.R. 2590, the Palestinian Families and Children Act! Read below for more actions you can take to support Palestinian prisoners struggling for freedom.
Both Kayed Fasfous and Miqdad Qawasmeh are currently hospitalized, and they are continuing their hunger strikes. Yesterday, an Israeli court “suspended” Qawasmeh’s detention. This allows him to receive family and legal visits. However, he is continuing his hunger strike, because this type of “suspension” means that his imprisonment without charge or trial will be reimposed as soon as his health improves. This means that Kayed and Miqdad’s lives and long-term health are in serious jeopardy.
What Is Administrative Detention?
Administrative detention was first used in Palestine by the British colonial mandate and then adopted by the Zionist regime; it is now used routinely to target Palestinians, especially community leaders, activists, and influential people in their towns, camps and villages.
There are currently approximately 520 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention, out of 4,650 Palestinian political prisoners. These orders are issued by the military and approved by military courts on the basis of “secret evidence”, denied to both Palestinian detainees and their attorneys. Issued for up to six months at a time, they are indefinitely renewable, and Palestinians — including minor children — can spend years jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention.
Who Are the Hunger Strikers?
Kayed Fasfous, 32, from Dura – al-Khalil, started his strike 85 days ago. He is 36 years old, detained without charge or trial since July 2020. He is married and the father of the daughter; his three brothers, Akram, Mahmoud and Hafez are also detained by the Israeli occupation (Akram and Mahmoud earlier joined the hunger strike.) Before he was arrested, he was working in Dura municipality and had recently returned to Hebron University to complete his computer science degree, which he was earlier unable to complete due to repeated arrests.
Miqdad Qawasmeh: from al-Khalil, started 77 days ago. Miqdad Qawasmeh is a Palestinian university student, 24 years old. He has been jailed without charge or trial since January 2021 and is held in Ofer prison. He has previously spent around 4 years in occupation prisons over various arrests since 2015.
Alaa al-Araj: from Tulkarem, launched his strike 60 days ago. He has been jailed since 30 June without charge or trial under administrative detention and is held in Megiddo prison. He is 34 years old and a civil engineer; he has been detained multiple times since 2013, including being held without charge or trial under administrative detention.
Hisham Ismail Abu Hawash, 39, from Dura, al-Khalil, has been on hunger strike for 52 days. He has been jailed without charge or trial since October 2020 under Israeli administrative detention. Over multiple arrests, he has spent eight years in Israeli prisons. He is married and the father of four children; his youngest child suffers from kidney failure.
Rayek Sadeq Bisharat, from Tubas, on strike for 47 days, has been jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention since July 2021. He is an injured former prisoner and has spent 9 years in Israeli prison. His hand was amputated and his wife was martyred by the Israeli occupation.
Shadi Abu Aker, 37, from Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, has been on hunger strike for 44 days to reject his administrative detention. He has been jailed without charge or trial since October 2020. Married and the father of two children, he is a former prisoner who spent 10 years in Israeli prison before his release in 2012. He has since been held under administrative detention three times.
Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, joins with the calls from Palestine and around the world for all people of conscience to stand with the Palestinian prisoners movement and demand justice and liberation for Palestine, from the river to the sea..
Join us to take action:
1. Join the Social Media Campaign!
Social media campaigns in Palestine and globally are mobilizing people to take a stand for these Palestinian prisoners and not allow the Israeli occupation to erase them.
The hunger strikers need your support on social media! Post about their ongoing strike on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with these hashtags and demand their immediate release:
2. Demand the U.S. Government Sanction Israel!
The racist, settler colonial state of Israel and its war crimes against the Palestinian people are enabled and backed extensively by the over $3.8 billion each year given to Israel by the United States — targeted directly to support the Israeli occupation military killing children, women, men and elders throughout occupied Palestine. Meanwhile, they also purchase billions of dollars in weaponry from the Israeli state. Call your Members of Congress and demand they sanction Israel now, cut off all aid, and stop buying and selling weapons!
As a first step, signing on to HR 2950, The Palestinian Families and Children Act, can help to protect some of the most vulnerable Palestinians. Get your representative’s contact information here and call them to pass on this message: https://secure.everyaction.
3. Demonstrations, rallies and street actions – including actions to boycott Israel!
Call a protest action or educational event to free Palestinian prisoners, support the Palestinian struggle for liberation, stand with the Palestinian resistance and boycott Israel and its complicit corporations. Join the many protests taking place around the world — confront, isolate and besiege the Israeli embassy or consulate in your city or country of residence. Make it clear that the people are with Palestine and want freedom for the hunger strikers!
4. Creative Actions
Creative actions are a wonderful way to spread the word and highlight the struggle of the Palestinian prisoners. The banner hung by Samidoun España in Madrid at the University metro station highlighted the struggle of Palestinian students, while the campaign to symbolically rename streets after Georges Abdallah internationally commemorated his birthday and amplified the demand for his liberation. These actions only require one, two or a few people.
Get In Touch! Please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about your actions to support Palestinian prisoners.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. FREE ALL PALESTINIAN PRISONERS, FREE THEM ALL!