Shalabi Supporters Boycott Courts

Thirty Palestinian prisoners have joined the hunger strike of Hana Shalabi, who has consumed only water for 33 days, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society said Monday.

Prisoners in jails across Israel have designated different day-long strikes in addition to the continuous hunger strikers, Qadura Fares told Ma’an.

Shalabi, who has been held without trial since Feb. 16, is protesting Israel’s practice of administrative detention.

Israeli prison authorities transferred detainee Nael Halabi from Ofer prison to an unknown destination after he announced he had joined Shalabi’s hunger strike, a detainees center said Monday.

In Ofer jail, 70 administrative detainees have boycotted Israeli military courts since March 1, and detainees in Magido jail will join their refusal, as well as launching an open hunger strike, on April 1, representatives in the jails said.

Fares said the society is working on an agreement for all administrative detainees to join the boycott by April 17, which is Palestinian prisoners day.

Prisoners can either refuse to appear in court, or tell judges they refuse its authority, as academic Ahmad Qatamish did in his recent trial, the prisoners society chief said.

A hearing on Shalabi’s case on Tuesday morning will try to agree a compromise deal as Shalabi’s health deteriorates. Fares said the Israeli judge wants to prevent a deal similar to former hunger-striker Khader Adnan’s, in order to preserve the credibility of the charges against the administrative detainees.

Adnan was guaranteed early release and non-renewal of his detention order in exchange for halting his 66-day hunger strike in February.

Shalabi refused a deal in early March to reduce her sentence by two months, saying she would continue her strike to end administrative detention.

The Palestinian Authority minister of prisoners said on Saturday that Israel offered to deport hunger-striker Shalabi to the Gaza Strip, but the government rejected the offer.

Israeli authorities say they have information she is a threat to Israel’s security and safety of its people.

"If they are afraid of her returning to her Jenin community, she can come to Ramallah and work with us and register at the university," the prisoners society head said on Monday.

Shalabi is one of around 300 Palestinians jailed in Israel without trial.

After over a month without food, minerals or salts, her lawyers and doctors say she is suffering spells of dizziness, muscular wasting and loss of consciousness.

Ran Cohen, of Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, told Reuters TV on Friday that Shalabi could be risking her life if she remains on hunger strike.

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Thursday expressed his support for Shalabi after meeting her parents at his office in Ramallah.

"She is fighting for her dignity," the premier said.

Last month, Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, expressed "longstanding concern about the extensive use by Israel of administrative detention without formal charge."

(Ma’an News)

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