Mass Palestinian hunger strike: solidarity grows

May 7, 2012
Palestinians protest in support of political prisoners outside Ramle prison in Israel, May 3

Urgent: Two prisoners near death as High Court rejects petition
Amnesty issues urgent appeal for hunger strikers near death

Electronic Intifada, May 6 -- An estimated 2000 Palestinian political prisoners are on an open-ended hunger strike that began on April 17, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. The strike is a direct challenge to Israel’s regime of arrest and detention to try to break the Palestinian struggle for liberation.

Prisoners are specifically calling for a resumption of family visits and an end to the widespread, abusive practices of administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial — and solitary confinement. Ahmad Saadat, Palestinian parliamentarian and leader of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is currently on hunger strike after more than three years of solitary confinement. Israel holds nearly 20 percent of the 132 Palestinian Legislative Council members in administrative detention.

Two prisoners, Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, both being held without charge or trial, are on the brink of death after 68 days of hunger strike [see urgent news that, after 70 days on hunger strike, Israel's high court has refused a petition for their release].

Amnesty International has issued a call for urgent action to save Diab and Halahleh’s lives. Several other prisoners have also been on hunger strike for weeks and have been transferred to a prison clinic. Some, like Biab and Halahleh, have not been allowed to see independent doctors.

Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel issued an urgent, joint statement regarding the grave condition of Thaer Halahleh, Bilal Diab and a third hunger striker, Hassan Safadi, whom they said are being subjected to “medical negligence” by Israeli authorities.

In contrast to the deafening silence from world media and governments, there has been widespread support for the mass hunger strike throughout historic Palestine and in exile. Nearly all Palestinian families living under Israeli occupation have been affected by Israel’s regime of arrest and detention and Palestinian political prisoners are celebrated as national heroes.

See more photos of solidarity actions.


AS of May 13th 2012, a search of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation website brings up ZERO references to this story about the Palestinians' mass hunger strike, which may be the largest action of its kind in history. Presumably if Iran detained a similar number of Iranian Jews without trial - and nearly 2.000 of them went on hunger strike - the ABC would also regard the story as having no news value?

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