Sixth Palestinian prisoner joins hunger strike as battle escalates inside the occupation prisons

The battle inside Israeli occupation prisons is escalating as a growing number of imprisoned Palestinians are taking protest steps to challenge repression, isolation and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

On Tuesday, 8 August, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society announced that Sultan Khallouf, 42, from Burqin near Jenin, is also on hunger strike against his arbitrary detention, joining Kayed Fasfous, who has been on hunger strike for six days, and Saif Hamdan, Osama Khalil, Salah Rabaya and Qusay Khader, all of who have been on hunger strike for 10 days.

Khallouf also launched his hunger strike since 3 August, the day he was seized by occupation forces from his home. On 8 August, the occupation military court in Salem held a session for Khallouf which extended his detention an additional 72 hours, while the military prosecution declared their intention to consider issuing an administrative detention order against him.

Khallouf is a former prisoner who in 2019 carried out a 67-day hunger strike against his administrative detention, only suspending it after a specific date was set for his release. He previously spent four years in Israeli prisons.

The growing movement against administrative detention inside the prisons, with over 1,200 detention orders issued this year and over 1,100 prisoners jailed without charge or trial, out of 5000 total Palestinian prisoners, is continuing to escalate. Six Palestinians are now on hunger strike, and the Administrative Detainees’ Committee has announced escalating protest steps. This is the highest number of administrative detainees held in 20 years, representing over one-fifth of all Palestinian prisoners.

Today, 8 August, prisoners in Ofer prison refused to stand for roll call or give their numbers in the count. Tomorrow, Wednesday, 9 August, a group of prisoners will leave their cells to protest administrative detention. On Thursday, 10 August, prisoners will hold sit-ins and information sessions in the prison yards, and on Saturday, 12 August, prisoners will close their sections and wear prison uniforms, signalling their willingness to confront the jailers. On Sunday, 13 August, administrative detainees will focus on various protest actions to pressure the occupation to bring this form of detention to an end.

Meanwhile, Palestinian prisoners are also facing ongoing repression while escalating their protests in defense of imprisoned leaders who have been subjected to transfer, interrogation and isolation, including Wael Jaghoub, Nael Barghouthi, Yaqoub Qadri and the Freedom Tunnel Prisoners.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine prisoners launched their protest steps inside the prison following the isolation of Wael Jaghoub and the transfer to interrogation of a number of leaders of the Front in prisons, including Nader Sadaqa, Hikmat Abdel-Jalil and Ahmad al-Ardah. The PFLP prisoners refused to participate in the count or roll call, disrupted inspections of the cells and wore prison uniforms to demonstrate their protest.

After the beginning of these protest steps, the Zionist prison administration in Megiddo prison imposed a number of collective sanctions on the PFLP prisoners, including banning them from family visits, confiscating electrical appliances from inside the rooms (including electric fans, necessary amid the intense summer heat) and locking down the sections of the PFLP prisoners to prevent them from going to recreation or the halls.

Also on Tuesday, 8 August, the prison administration suddenly transferred all the prisoners held in Section 4 of Ramon prison to Nafha prison, several hours after they also suddenly transferred the prisoners from Ashkelon prison to Nafha prison. The prisoners were, in many cases, prevented from bringing their clothing and personal belongings, and the use of frequent and mass transfers is intended to destabilize the prisoners’ lives and deny them the opportunity to organize and confront the occupation. This is a long-standing strategy of the occupation, currently practiced by the notorious far-right fascist Minister of Public Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, who oversees the prison administration.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all supporters of Palestine to take action to support the Palestinian hunger strikers and all Palestinian prisoners struggling for freedom, for their own lives and for the Palestinian people. These sons of the Palestinian popular masses are confronting the system of Israeli oppression on the front lines behind bars, with their bodies and their lives, to bring the system of administrative detention to an end. With over 1100 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial — over 20% of all Palestinian prisoners — the struggle to bring down administrative detention is more urgent than ever. Take these actions below to stand with the hunger strikers and the struggle for liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea!

Download these signs for use in your campaigns:

TAKE ACTION: 

Protest at the Israeli Embassy or Consulate in Your Country!

Join the many protests taking place around the world — confront, isolate and besiege the Israeli embassy or consulate in your city or country of residence. Make it clear that the people are with Palestine! Send us your events at samidoun@samidoun.net.

Take to the streets: Organize a protest in solidarity with Palestine!

Take to the streets and join actions for justice! Organize your own if there is none in your area, and send us your events at samidoun@samidoun.net.

Boycott Israel!

The international, Arab and Palestinian campaign to boycott Israel can play an important role at this critical time. Local boycott groups can protest and label Israeli produce and groceries, while many complicit corporations – including HP, G4S, Puma, Teva and others, profit from their role in support Zionist colonialism throughout occupied Palestine. By participating in the boycott of Israel, you can directly help to throw a wrench in the economy of settler colonialism.

Demand Your Government Sanction Israel!

The racist, settler colonial state of Israel and its war crimes against the Palestinian people are enabled and backed extensively by the over $3.8 billion each year given to Israel by the United States — targeted directly to support the Israeli occupation military killing children, women, men and elders throughout occupied Palestine. From Canada to Australia to the European Union, Western governments and imperialist powers provide ongoing diplomatic, political and economic support to Israel as well as selling billions of dollars of weaponry to the settler-colonial state. Meanwhile, they also purchase billions of dollars in weaponry from the Israeli state. Governments in league with imperialist powers, such as in the Philippines, Brazil, India and elsewhere, also buy weapons and “security” services — all “battle-tested” on the Palestinian population. Call your representatives, MPs, political officials and demand your government sanction Israel now, cut off all aid, expel its ambassadors, and stop buying and selling weapons!

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