Photo: Joe Catron- Samidoun

NYC supporters of prisoner Maher al-Akhras protest on his 90th day of hunger strike

 PNN/ New York/

Hours after an Israeli military court renewed the administrative detention of Maher al-Akhras and moved him to a prison clinic, supporters of the Palestinian prisoner held a protest to demand his release as he begins his 90th day of a hunger strike for freedom.

Groups including Jewish Voice for Peace – New York City, the NY4Palestine Coalition and supporting organizations held an emergency protest to free Maher al-Akhras in front of the Israeli consulate in Manhattan.

 “Maher al-Akhras has put his body on strike against the Israeli settler colonial state’s use of so-called administrative detention as a weapon to break down the will of the Palestinian people,” said Rosalind Petchesky, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace – New York City.

“In so doing, he joins many thousands of unjustly detained Palestinians over decades of Israel’s colonial repression for whom hunger strikes have been the only available form—and an honorable form—of resistance.”

Administrative detention is a British Mandate-era military regulation Israeli commanders in the occupied West Bank currently use to imprison 330 Palestinians without charge or trial.

“This is a crucial moment for not only Maher, but also the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and the Palestinian national movement as a whole,” said Joe Catron, U.S. coordinator of Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

“Israel’s renewal of Maher’s detention shows how much its uncritical support from both parties of the U.S. government, as well as normalized relations with reactionary Arab states, have emboldened its crimes against Palestinians.”

Participants included JVP – NYC and the NY4Palestine Coalition, which includes Samidoun as well as Al-Awda New York: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, American Muslims for Palestine – New Jersey Chapter, Students for Justice in Palestine groups in the New York City area, and Within Our Lifetime – United for Palestine.