Seven Palestinians held in Israeli prisons continue their unlimited hunger strike against “administrative detention”.
The seven striking prisoners’ health conditions have deteriorated, such that they are now in “extreme danger”.
The oldest of the striking prisoners, Kayed al-Fusfus, from Dura, south of Hebron, has now maintained his hunger strike for 82 continuous days. Miqdad al-Qawasma, from Hebron, is on the 73rd continuous day. Both are held in the Israeli Kaplan hospital due to their health conditions.
The other hunger strikers are: Alaa al-Araj, from Tulkarm, who struck for 56 days; Hisham Abu Hawash, from Hebron, on his 46th day; Raiq Bisharat, on his 41st day; and Shadi Abu Aker and Hassan Shawkam, on their 39th and 12th days respectively.
Through multiple agencies, the Israeli occupation continues to enact abusive measures against the striking prisoners. It has, so far, refused to respond to their demand to end administrative detention.
Palestinian detainees typically only take drinking water and salt whilst hunger striking, as a means of putting pressure on the Israeli prison service.
All seven prisoners are suffering from ill health due to their detention and hunger strike, with symptoms including aches, significant weight loss, and severe fatigue and exhaustion.
Since the beginning of 2021, occupation authorities have issued 869 administrative detention orders, including against four minors. The number increased massively from May onwards, with 200 such orders issued in that month alone.
“Administrative detention” implies detention without charge or trial and involves files that neither the detainee nor their lawyers are able to access. According to military protocol, an administrative detention order can be issued for a maximum of six months – through an order can be renewed an unlimited number of times.
Israel currently holds approximately 4,850 Palestinian prisoners, including 225 children and 41 women, plus 550 administrative detainees, according to Palestinian groups specializing in prisoner affairs.
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) has called for a campaign of solidarity with the seven Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike – with the demand of their immediate release, given that their detention now poses a threat to their lives.