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Palestinian woman’s hunger strike enters third week against arbitrary detention by Israel


March 1, 2012 - Today marks the 15th day of Hana al-Shalabi’s hunger strike against her arbitrary imprisonment by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank. Currently held in the Hasharon prison, she was seized from her home in a violent nighttime raid in the early hours of 16 February, when, according to an Addameer profile, 50 Israeli soldiers raided her house in Burqin village, near Jenin, in the early morning. The soldiers were accompanied by an intelligence officer and a large number of dogs and first raided her brother’s home before coming to her house. The IOF [Israeli occupation forces] moved through his house with the pack of dogs, causing the children of the household to panic....


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Palestinian woman’s hunger strike enters third week against arbitrary detention by Israel

Ali Abunimah

28_jenin_protest_hana_al-shalabi.jpg

School children in Jenin protest in solidarity with Hana al-Shalabi, who has been on hunger strike since 16 February against her detention without charge or trial by Israel.(Aljazeera)

March 1, 2012

Today marks the 15th day of Hana al-Shalabi’s hunger strike against her arbitrary imprisonment by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank.

Currently held in the Hasharon prison, she was seized from her home in a violent nighttime raid in the early hours of 16 February, when, according to an Addameer profile,

50 Israeli soldiers raided her house in Burqin village, near Jenin, in the early morning. The soldiers were accompanied by an intelligence officer and a large number of dogs and first raided her brother’s home before coming to her house. The IOF [Israeli occupation forces] moved through his house with the pack of dogs, causing the children of the household to panic.

Al-Shalabi, 29, is being held without charge or trial under an "administrative detention" order, a practice dating back to British colonial rule, that goes until 16 August. Al-Shalabi previously spent two years in administrative detention from September 2009, to October 2011, when she was released as part of the Hamas-Israel prisoner exchange deal.

During the raid, Hana and her family were subjected to violence and harassment, and since her detention she has been subjected to further abuse, including solitary confinement to punish her for her hunger strike, according to Addameer.

No due process

A 29 February Addameer release reports that a hearing by an Israeli military judge (an occupation military officer) to review the administrative detention order was postponed from 29 February, and that:

the judge stated he would be meeting with an Israeli intelligence officer on 4 March. In the meeting, neither Hana nor her lawyers will be permitted to be present. The military judge will make his decision regarding the confirmation of her order following the meeting.

Israel frequently renews administrative detention orders, effectively turning the practice into a form of indefinite detention, as in the case of political prisoner Ahmed Qatamesh.

Parents hunger strike and solidarity

The Addameer release added:

On 23 February, Hana’s mother, 65, and father, 67, also began an open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with their daughter. Hana’s hunger strike began during the 66-day hunger strike of Palestinian administrative detainee Khader Adnan, whose case has helped to raise awareness about Israel’s use of arbitrary detention and its violations of international humanitarian law, which permits limited use of administrative detention only in emergency situations, but does not allow for its use as punishment when there is not sufficient evidence for criminal procedures.

An Aljazeera Arabic report (video above) showed Hana’s parents on hunger strike in a solidarity tent near their home in Burqin. Umm Omar, Hana’s mother, said she had attended the military court to see her daughter but was not allowed to see her. Other solidarity actions, included a protest by children at a local school and rallies by the families of other Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Addameer has asked people all over the world to contact officials to demand that Al-Shalabi be immediately released and Israel halt the widespread practice of detention without charge or trial. Currently more than 300 Palestinians are held in "administrative detention," including 21 elected members of the Palestinian legislative council.

During the hunger strike of Khader Adnan, Amnesty International called on Israel to end its use of administrative detention and launched a petition that over five thousand people have signed.

Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, has also issued an action alert with suggested solidarity actions concerned people can take.

Addameer 29 February press release

Another Hunger Striker Challenges a Policy Unchanged: Hana Shalabi on Day 14 of Hunger Strike in Protest of Her Ill-Treatment and Administrative Detention

Ramallah, 29 February 2012 – Addameer demands the immediate release of Hana Shalabi, a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike currently held without charge or trial by Israel. Today, 29 February, Hana entered her 14th day of hunger strike in protest of the inhuman and degrading treatment she was subjected to during and following her arrest.

Hana was issued a 6-month administrative detention order on 23 February. After being postponed from an original date of 27 February, today’s review hearing regarding the confirmation of her order resulted in the Israeli military judge postponing the decision yet again. Instead of issuing a decision, the judge stated he would be meeting with an Israeli intelligence officer on 4 March. In the meeting, neither Hana nor her lawyers will be permitted to be present. The military judge will make his decision regarding the confirmation of her order following the meeting.

Hana was arrested on 16 February, less than four months after being released from over two years in administrative detention on 18 October 2011 as part of the prisoner exchange deal concluded by the Israeli government and Hamas, whereby 1,027 Palestinian political prisoners were released in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. During her arrest, Hana and her family were beaten and harassed by Israeli Occupying Forces. After being taken to Salem Detention Center, Hana was subjected to additional beatings, humiliation, and other stark violations. She immediately began an open hunger strike and was subsequently placed in solitary confinement as punishment.

After visiting with her on 27 February 2012, Addameer lawyer Samer Sam’an noted that she had been moved back into a room with other Palestinian female prisoners. She is not ingesting any kind of food or minerals, and is only drinking water. After an initial medical examination, she is now refusing further exams. Addameer lawyer Mahmoud Hassan reported after seeing her in today’s hearing that she seems fatigued but is mentally sharp.

On 23 February, Hana’s mother, 65, and father, 67, also began an open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with their daughter. Hana’s hunger strike began during the 66-day hunger strike of Palestinian administrative detainee Khader Adnan, whose case has helped to raise awareness about Israel’s use of arbitrary detention and its violations of international humanitarian law, which permits limited use of administrative detention only in emergency situations, but does not allow for its use as punishment when there is not sufficient evidence for criminal procedures.

Addameer urges the international community to continue pressuring Israel to end its practice of administrative detention and immediately release Hana Shalabi prior to confirming her administrative detention order. Hana has stated that she will continue her hunger strike if she remains in administrative detention; to ensure her release, local and international coalitions must work rapidly to build a movement in her support.


:: Article nr. 86147 sent on 01-mar-2012 23:40 ECT

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