On Prisoners Day, AMP stands with Palestinians hunger striking in Israeli prisons
(WASHINGTON DC 04/172017) – In an op-ed today in the New York Times, Palestinian political prisoner Marwan Barghouti announced the beginning of a new hunger strike, joined by perhaps up to 1,500 Palestinian prisoners, to protest “torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, and medical negligence.”
“Hunger striking is the most peaceful form of resistance available,” Barghouti writes. “It inflicts pain solely on those who participate and on their loved ones, in the hopes that their empty stomachs and their sacrifice will help the message resonate beyond the confines of their dark cells.”
The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education organization, fully stands with Palestinian prisoners and calls upon the international community and all people of conscience to demand an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands; and an end to arbitrary arrests and detentions, administrative detentions, isolation, torture and other treatment that violates numerous international laws.
The prisoner rights group, Addameer estimates Israel has imprisoned fully 40 percent of the Palestinian male population and since 1967 has incarcerated about 800,000 Palestinians. Children are not immune. Defense for Children International – Palestine reports that Israeli military authorities arrest and detain up to 700 children per year in the military court system and 8,000 children have been imprisoned since 2000.
Addameer reports in April 6,300 Palestinians are held as political prisoners. Of that number, 500 are being held without charge or trial in administrative detention; 300 are children; 61 are women; and 13 – including Marwan Barghouti – are Palestinian Legislative Council members.
The last massive Palestinian prisoner hunger strike took place in spring of 2012, when about 2,000 prisoners staged a long-standing hunger strike. In 2014, about 220 administrative detainees launched a hunger strike lasting 63 days to protest the illegal use of detention without charge or trial. The strike ended with Israeli prison authorities agreeing to ease restrictions on the prisoners and to continue dialogue about the use of administrative detention. The prisoners’ current demands include: family visits, proper medical care, end to Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial in so-called administrative detention and stopping the use of isolation. We must support the Palestinians who are putting their bodies and lives on the line to protest the occupation and inhumane treatment in Israeli prisons.
We must support the Palestinians who are putting their bodies and lives on the line to protest the occupation and inhumane treatment in Israeli prisons.