Monday, November 30, 2020

Eleven men on hunger strike with prisoners

By Jessica Purkiss - December 29, 2012
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation] [Features] [Behind Bars]
Tags: [Hunger Strike] [protests] [prisoners] [Administrative detention]

As the plights of long term hunger strikers Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawneh became even more critical, on Thursday, December 20th a group of eleven young men began their own hunger strikes in a show of support.

Held without any charge on administrative detention, Issawi and Sharawneh’s strikes have continued with little reaction on the ground from the Palestinians.
From within two 'solidarity’ tents constructed inside the Red Cross headquarters in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in Jerusalem, the young men Mousa Abassi, Hani al Asouli, Daound Abu Libdeh, Jihad Khatib, Fadi Marag’a, Yassin Sbeh, Hussam Dandees, Ahmed Jubeh, Samer Abu Eisham, Bashar Mashni, Ahmad Qarain, began a week long campaign.
“This is to send a message to the prisoners, that the Palestinian people are supporting you, they feel the pain you feel,” said Hussam Danees, one of the youth hunger strikers.
Ayman Sharawneh has recently suspended his 178 day long hunger strike for ten days after doctors warned he was on the brink of death. Sharawneh also said that he had received assurances from the Israeli Prison Service that in exchange for an end to his hunger strike, he would be released at the beginning of 2013, but asserted that if the IPS failed to follow through he would re-launch his strike again.
Samer Issawi, who has surprassed 150 days on hunger strike, was beaten during his most recent court session and dragged from his wheelchair. His sister Shireen was arrested from her home the following day and was placed under house arrest for ten days, in addition to being prevented from attending any more of her brother’s trials.
Three other prisoners, Tarek Ka’dan, Yousef Sha’ban and Ja’far Eiz al Din, have started their own individual hunger strikes last month in protest of their detention, and their conditions are also deteriorating.
The hunger strikes by the youth in Jerusalem were conducted alongside demonstrations to raise the profile of the prisoners and to shame the “silence of international community that should take a reaction in-order to prevent this,” said Hussam.
Issawi’s brother Shadi joined the group and in support of his brother went on a hunger strike for four days. The group decried the lack of local and international media attention for their action, which they saw as a continuation of the media silence regarding the prisoners’ hunger strikes.
On Christmas Eve, five of the youth hunger strikers made their way from a demonstration outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem to Bethlehem to hold up a large banner of Samer Issawi outside the Church of Nativity. The act was carried out as a reminder to those who came to celebrate Christmas from around the world that even during the festive season, the plight of the prisoners is still on-going.
Hussam Dandees made the trip to Bethlehem despite being on his seventh day without food.
On Thursday December 27th, the week long agreement with the Red Cross to allow the two tents to reside ended. By this time Hussam was on his ninth day without food.
Speaking on his protest he said, “I feel tired. It’s a mixed feeling of [being] tired and empty of energy, but I am happy to share these feelings with the prisoners.”

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