Palestinian hunger striker put into solitary confinement

Published October 11th, 2016 - 06:00 GMT
Palestinian protest in support of prisoners on hunger strike, June 2014. (AFP/File)
Palestinian protest in support of prisoners on hunger strike, June 2014. (AFP/File)

The Israel Prison Service (IPS) transferred Palestinian hunger-striking prisoner Jawad Jawarish from solitary confinement in Ashkelon prison to a solitary confinement cell in Nafha prison, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs reported Monday.

A lawyer for the committee Karim Ajwa said in a statement that Jawarish, from the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, has been on hunger-strike for 14 day since Sep. 27 in protest of Israeli prison authorities' use of solitary confinement and torture, as well as the tactical transfer of prisoners from one detention facility to another.

The head of the Association for Freed Prisoners in Bethlehem, Muhammad Hamida, told Ma'an last month that Jawarish, a 40-year-old father of two girls, had been detained since 2002 for his involvement in the Fatah movement's military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

Jawarish is one of four Palestinian prisoners on hunger strikes in Israeli prisons protesting against solitary confinement and administrative detention.

Maher Moussa Ibayyat, also from Bethlehem, launched his strike on Sept. 23 in protest of his solitary confinement in Ayala prison in southern Israel. He has been transferred between the Israeli prisons of Eshel, Nafha, and Ramla, then to solitary confinement in Ashkelon, before being transferred to a solitary confinement cell in Ayala while serving a 25-year sentence since 2004.

On the same day Ibayyat declared his strike, Ahmad Muhammad Abu Farah, 29, also launched an open hunger strike in protest of being placed under administrative detention, a widely condemned Israeli policy allowing the detention of Palestinians for up to three to six month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence without charge or trial.

Meanwhile, Anas Ibrahim Shadid, 20, declared a hunger strike the following day on Sep. 24 after being placed under administrative detention.

Both Abu Farah, from the village of Surif in Hebron, and Shadid, from the village of Dura in Hebron, were detained on Aug. 1. They have also both been transferred to Israel's Ramla prison hospital after their health conditions worsened during their strikes.

IPS authorities have regularly raids, confiscation of personal belongings, and forcible prison transfers to quash dissent from Palestinian prisoners, most notably this summer when a large-scale movement formed in Israeli prisons in support of a number of high-profile, hunger-striking prisoners.

IPS officials also routinely place Palestinian hunger strikers into solitary confinement in an effort to exert pressure on the detainees to end their strikes.

The four prisoners launched their hunger strikes soon after Muhammad and Mahmoud Balboul and Malik al-Qadi ended their hunger strikes after Israeli authorities vowed not to renew their administrative detentions. Al-Qadi has since returned to his home in Bethlehem, while Mohammed and Mahmoud are expected to be released on Dec. 8.

Muhammad Balboul, 26, had refused food for 77 days since July 7, while his 23-year-old brother Mahmoud had been on hunger strike 79 days since July 5, and 25-year-old Malik al-Qadi declared his hunger strike on July 16, spending 68 days without food.


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