Thousands of Palestinian prisoners launch hunger strike protesting death of prisoner

4,500 Prisoners Refuse Food, Launch 3-Day Hunger Strike in Israeli Jails

On Wednesday 3rd April, around 4,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails sent back their food this morning as part of a protest launched following the death of their fellow prisoner, Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who suffered from cancer.

Palestinian prisoners also launched a three-day hunger strike following the death of 64-year-old Abu Hamdiyeh, who was serving a life term in Israeli prison.

An autopsy of Abu Hamdiyeh’s body was scheduled to take place Wednesday at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir in Tel Aviv in the presence of a Palestinian observer. The body will then be transferred to the Palestinian Authority for burial.

Abu Hamdiyeh’s funeral was scheduled to take place Thursday in his hometown of Hebron.

Palestinian protesters hold up photos of Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh, a prisoner who died of cancer while in an Israeli jail.

Palestinian protesters hold up photos of Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh, a prisoner who died of cancer while in an Israeli jail.

Protests immediately erupted in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and in Israeli prisons on Tuesday over his death. More protests are expected to break out at his funeral in Hebron on Thursday.

Protestors and the Palestinian Authority (PA) blamed on Israel for medical negligence and bare Israeli authorities the full responsibility for Abu Hamdiyeh’s death. Abu Hamdiyeh was claimed a hero and a martyr. 

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Jail death sparks Palestinian protests

Jerusalem (CNN), April 3rd, 2013— A well-known Palestinian prisoner died of cancer in Israeli custody on Tuesday, sparking outrage among Palestinian groups who accuse Israel of denying him treatment.

Maysara Abu Hamdiya, 64, a retired Palestinian general, had been in Israeli prisons since 2002 and was serving a life sentence for alleged involvement in an attempt to bomb a Jerusalem cafe. He died Tuesday morning in an Israeli hospital after being admitted last week because of his deteriorating health, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Government Media Center. Continue reading

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Intifada

A Leap of Faith Toward Freedom
by RAMZY BAROUD, Counterpunch

If Palestinian leaders only knew how extraneous their endless rounds of “unity” talks have become, they might cease their enthusiastic declarations to world media about yet another scheduled meeting or another. At this point, few Palestinians have hope that their “leadership” has their best interests in mind. Factional interests reign supreme and personal agendas continue to define Palestine’s political landscape.

Fatah and Hamas are the two major Palestinian political factions. Despite Hamas’s election victory in 2006, Fatah is the chief contender. Both parties continue to play the numbers game, flexing their muscles in frivolous rallies where Palestinian flags are overshadowed with green and yellow banners, symbols of Hamas and Fatah respectively.

Historically there has been a leadership deficit in Palestine and it is not because Palestinians are incapable of producing upright men and women capable of guiding the decades-long resistance towards astounding victory against military occupation and apartheid. It is because for a Palestinian leadership to be acknowledged as such by regional and international players, it has to excel in the art of “compromise”. These carefully molded leaders often cater to the interests of their Arab and Western benefactors, at the expense of their own people. Not one single popular faction has resolutely escaped this seeming generalization.

This reality has permeated Palestinian politics for decades. However, in the last two decades the distance between the Palestinian leadership and the people has grown by a once unimaginable distance, where the Palestinian has become a jailor and a peddling politician or a security coordinator working hand in hand with Israel. The perks of the Oslo culture have sprouted over the years creating the Palestinian elite, whose interest and that of the Israeli occupation overlap beyond recognition of where the first starts and the other ends. Continue reading

Palestine: Hunger-striker Bilal Diab writes will to family

Palestinian protesters hold up banners and portraits of a prisoners jailed in Israel,during a rally in solidarity with prisoners in Israeli jails, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, April 30, 2012 (APA images)

May 12, 2012 — JENIN (Ma’an) — Hunger-striker Bilal Diab has sent a will to his family in the northern West Bank on his 75th day without food, relatives said on Saturday.

Diab, 27, has refused food since Feb. 29 to protest his detention without charge in Israeli jail.

His family, from Jenin-district town Kufr Rai, said they received his will on Saturday detailing his wishes in case of his death.

“We will have victory, but only through either martyrdom or immediate release — not any partial solution as claimed by the prisons administration,” Diab wrote.

Last week, representative for Fatah prisoners Jamal al-Rjoob said detainees affiliated to Fatah had accepted half the proposals offered by Israeli authorities in response to the strike.

But Yousef Rizqa, political adviser to Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, warned on Monday that Israel was trying to use party affiliations to sow rifts between the hunger-strikers.

“On the 75th day of my hunger strike, I am still determined, patient and focused on continuing against conspiracies, threats and solitary confinement by the fascist Israeli prison administration,” Diab wrote.

Diab instructed his family keep his grave at ground level, in accordance with Islamic teaching, and distribute sweets at his funeral as a sign of celebration.

He asked his brother Homam to perform prayers for him, and freed hunger-striker Khader Adnan to lower him into his grave.

The young hunger-striker thanked all Palestinians, and Arab and Islamic nations for their support. Continue reading

BBC silent on the hunger strike of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners

BBC challenged for ignoring plight of Palestinian prisoners

Glasgow, 25 April 2012
Woman displays portrait of loved one in Israeli prison

Palestinian political prisoners are on mass hunger strike but you’d never know it from watching the BBC.

(Mohammed Asad / APA images)

“I had no idea. How could I not have known?”

I heard those words on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day (17 April) from a teacher, shocked at discovering how Israel abducts, abuses and imprisons Palestinian children — some as young as 12 — in the West Bank because they may or may not have thrown stones at Israel’s wall.

She had tagged along with a friend to a talk given in London by Gerard Horton of Defence for Children International–Palestine Section, and until that moment had been unaware of the brutalities of Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Horton’s lecture focused on a new DCI-Palestine report which documents the various traumas Palestinian children regularly face during Israeli military detention (“Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in military detention,” 14 April 2012).

The answer to her question is fairly simple: this woman — a member of the educated, professional middle-classes — did not know because she relies on the mainstream media, led by the BBC, for her news. And that media’s silence on the realities of Israel’s occupation is deafening.

Last week, 1,200 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails began an open-ended hunger strike in protest at the illegalities and injustices of their incarceration. Another 2,300 refused food for the duration of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. Their action came just weeks after Khader Adnan ended his 66-day hunger strike and Hana al-Shalabi was released (though banished to Gaza) after refusing food for 43 days, both protesting at Israel’s use of administrative detention against them. Continue reading

Palestine: Five Wounded, Four Arrested in West Bank Protests in Solidarity with Hunger-Striking Prisoners

PNN
October 8, 2011
Weekly protests erupted around the West Bank on Friday, resulting in two injuries and the arrests of at least three Palestinians and one German solidarity activist. Demonstrations were held in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners entering their eleventh day of hunger strikes in Israeli prisons.
In the southern West Bank village of al-Walajeh, a few kilometers west of Bethlehem, Israeli soldiers shot tear gas canisters to suppress a demonstration of about 50 people, mostly youths. Hosam Odah, Mohammed al-Jawarish, and Hamzah Sarasreh, ages unknown, were arrested as well as German solidarity activist Amr Mohammed.
In nearby al-Ma’sara village, two Palestinians named Mahmoud Ala’adin and Mahmoud Zawahireh were injured when Israeli soldiers suppressed a protest. Their injuries were described as “moderate.”
In the central West Bank village of Bil’in, popular committee media coordinator Ratib Abu Rahma said that the Israeli army shot tear gas canisters, sound bombs, and rubber bullets at demonstrating Palestinians. He explained that dozens of Palestinians suffered from “severe tear gas inhalation,” including Palestine TV cameraman Ali Dar Ali and photographer Mohammed Radi.
Violent clashes were also reported in the central West Bank village of al-Nabi Saleh, where three Palestinians were hit by Israeli tear gas canisters. Reporters claimed that in violation of Israeli army open-fire regulations, soldiers fired the canisters directly at protestors instead of over their heads.
Palestinian prisoners in Israeli military prisons have been refusing to eat since September 27 in protest of worsening prison conditions. The strike includes at least 500 people as of Friday, about 7% of the 7,500 total prisoners. It was called after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu authorized a tightening of prison restrictions designed to force the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held by Hamas in Gaza since 2006.