- Published on Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:49
Hunger strikes have been the only means of protest possessed by Palestinian political prisoners and detainees to claim their basic rights; it is the only pressure tool against the Israeli occupation authorities in order to meet their basic demands. These strikes were capable of seizing dozens of demands and rights that many martyrs sacrificed their lives for the cause.
Empty stomachs Battles: started in 1969 in Ramla prison, lasted for eleven days. A great strike was in Ashkelon prison in 1976 that lasted sixty-five days divided to two phases.
A strike in 1980 brought a great change to the act of strikes. Palestinian political prisoners and detainees managed to seize the right to bring in some newspapers and to improve their livelihood. It lasted for 32 days during which prisoners Rasim Halawa, Ali Jaafari and Isaac Maragha paid their lives for it.
In 1992 a nother hunger strike started and lasted for 15 days, it started in all Israeli jails with the participation of about seven thousand prisoners. The strike was a success, however, prisoner Hussein al-Maqdisi paid his life.
A United Goal
The 1190's witnessed series of strikes amongst Palestinian political prisoners and detainees for several reasons, mainly to end the suffering of prisoners including the illegal Administrative detention, solitary confinement and physical and psychological torture and to allow family visits.
In 2004, Palestinian prisoners had a strike that lasted for 19 days in which also a number of freed ones participated.
Major highlight of the year
The longest strike in the history Palestinian prisoners' movement was earlier this year by Sheikh Khader Adnan; he went on 66 days of hunger strike as a response to administrative detention and torture of fellow prisoners.
This strike was a turning point in grabbing the world's attention to the issue of administrative detention and to highlight the experience of individual strikes.
On the footsteps of Sheikh Khader Adnan, prisoner Hana Al-Shalabi, had the longest strike held by a female prisoner, it lasted for 44 days against administrative detention.
Shalabi thus exceeded the individual strike held by female prisoner Attaf Olayan in 1997 which lasted for 40 continuous days.
April 17th strike for dignity "The Prisoners' Revolution"
Palestinian prisoners have started an open ended hunger strike on Tuesday April 17th, 2012, in which they'd refrain from anything but water until all their demands are met.
The following are the demands of Palestinian hunger strikers:
1. Ending the Israeli Administrative detention and solitary confinement, in which Palestinians were imprisoned for more than ten consecutive years, in solitary cells that lack basic human necessities of life.
2. Allowing family visits to those from the Gaza Strip due to political decisions and unjust laws, such as the so-called "law of Shalit.
3. Improving the livelihood of prisoners inside Israeli Jails and allowing basic needs such as a proper health treatment, education and TV channels and newspapers.
4. Putting an end to the humiliation policy carried by the Israeli Prison Service against Palestinian prisoners and their families, through humiliating naked inspection, group punishment, and night raids.