In the month of May 2017 Staat van Beleg could list 625 human rights violations (and 202 reports/analyses). (see our archive).
Every month we are highlighting another aspect of the occupation of Palestine. This month we would like to show our solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike.
The Palestinian hunger strike in the media
At the time of writing we have seen little coverage in the mainstream media about the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. The only thing that has been published widely was the hypothesis of Marwan Barghouti eating cookies in his cell. When Barghouti stopped drinking water this seemed significantly less important. Senior international lawyer Barry Grossman from Canada deplored the mainstream media’s silence saying it proves that the media outlets are apathetic about the Zionist regime’s crimes.
Support from international bodies, politicians and public figures
We also missed out on a huge international solidarity among international bodies, politicians and public figures with the hunger strikers as we could witness in the case of hunger strikes during the apartheid regime in South Africa. It is no coincidence that South Africa is currently leading in foreign support to the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. More than a dozen South African politicians and several anti-apartheid activists and public figures fasted for a day to draw attention to the fight of hunger-striking Palestinians protesting conditions in Israeli prisons.
Members of the Pan-African Parliament adopted a motion to admit Palestine as an observer in the legislative body and issued a declaration in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike at Israeli prisons and against Israel’s detention policies.
Here we can find a number of international statements.
And on 11 May the Portuguese parliament declared support for Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike.
Support from activists worldwide
Nevertheless the support from activists worldwide is overwhelming as you can see in this two ‘Global Schedules of Events to Support Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger Strike’ published by Samidoun. The first, the second and the third.
We saw politicial prisoners worldwide sending their messages of solidarity.
Support from within Palestine
But the most support for the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike came from within Palestine. Since the start of the hunger strike Palestinians held solidarity marches, protests and sit-ins all over the occupied territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and in Gaza. We saw mothers of prisoners joining their hunger striking children.
We also saw a raise in the number of injuries and arrests and there were two Palestinian deadly victims in separate incidents during solidarity marches. On 12 May Israeli forces shot dead 20-year-old Saba Abu Ubeid during a solidarity march in Nabi Salih village and on 18 May an Israeli settler shoot dead 23-year-old Muataz Hussein Hilal Bani Shamsa during a solidarity march near the village of Huwwara.
Palestinian hunger strikes over the years
In this timeline from al-Jazeera you will find all the hunger strikes of Palestinian prisoners since 1969 with additional information of the demands of the prisoners and the outcome.
End of the hunger strike
And then on 27 May, on the first day of Ramadan and after forty days of hunger strike, we read that the Palestinian prisoners reached an agreement after twenty hours of negotiations between the strikers’ leadership and Israeli occupation prison administration. Here you can read the details regarding the agreement under which Palestinian prisoners suspended the 40-day hunger strike.
Staat van Beleg