As 2022 dawns, Hisham Abu Hawash on the 138th day of the hunger strike


Hisham Abu Hawash, a Palestinian hunger striker detained by the Israeli occupation, is now on his 138th day of hunger strike. As the world prepares to welcome the new year, 2022, Abu Hawash faces a risk of death or permanent organ damage at any moment. His hunger strike continues as his fellow administrative detainees have confirmed they will collectively boycott the Israeli military courts beginning on 1 January 2022.

Abu Hawash, 40, married and the father of five children (Hadi, Mohammed, Izz al-Din, Waqas, and Saba), launched his hunger strike on 17 August 2021 to demand an end to his administrative detention, Israeli imprisonment without charge or trial. Throughout his strike, he was repeatedly transferred back and forth between the Ramle prison clinic — notorious among Palestinian prisoners for medical neglect and negligence — and brief visits to civilian hospitals. The Israeli occupation avoided “suspending” his administrative detention until the last possible moment; now, in a very severe health condition, he is continuing his hunger strike while he is held in the Israeli Assaf Harofeh civilian hospital.

He suffers from blurry vision, inability to speak, severe muscle atrophy, and cannot move; his awareness and perception of events around him have decreased significantly. He is visibly emaciated and suffering from extreme pain, continuing to refuse food for freedom. The Israeli occupation is entirely responsible for the life and health of Hisham Abu Hawash, now in great danger after nearly four months on hunger strike.

Because his detention was suspended on 26 December 2021, Abu Hawash can receive visitors, including his children and supporters from occupied Palestine ’48. However, he cannot leave the hospital or be transferred to a Palestinian hospital. Therefore, he remains in fact a prisoner and refuses to stop his hunger strike — because, as soon as his health improves, the Israeli occupation authorities will reimpose his administrative detention.

Abu Hawash has been jailed without charge or trial since 27 October 2020, with his detention repeatedly extended. While his legal appeals have been repeatedly dismissed, his detention was once again extended for four months while he was on a hunger strike.

The Israeli occupation also refused to confirm that it would not be renewed again. In multiple arrests, he has spent 8 years in total in Israeli occupation prisons, 52 months of that time without charge or trial under administrative detention.

Abu Hawash’s case exemplifies exactly why over 500 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention have announced that they will launch a collective boycott of the Israeli military courts and appeals courts beginning on 1 January 2022, as the court system only gives a veneer of legitimacy to an illegitimate regime.

Currently, approximately 500 out of the 4,550 Palestinian political prisoners are jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention. Administrative detention orders were first introduced to Palestine by the British colonial mandate and were later adopted by the Zionist project to target Palestinians. These orders are issued for up to six months at a time and are indefinitely renewable; consequently, Palestinians are jailed for years at a time without charge, trial, or even knowing when or if they will be released.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all supporters of Palestine to take action to save the life of Hisham Abu Hawash and support all Palestinian prisoners struggling for freedom, for their own lives, and for the Palestinian people.

He is confronting the system of Israeli oppression on the front lines, his life and health at risk at every moment, to bring the system of administrative detention to an end. Organize actions to support Abu Hawash and his fellow political prisoners, including during the Week of Action to Free Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian Prisoners from 15-22 January 2022.

Administrative detention like the entire Israeli prison system — is a colonial weapon intended to target Palestinian resistance and isolate the leaders of the Palestinian people’s struggle. End administrative detention; free all Palestinian prisoners!

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