Palestinian Committee Accuses Israel of ‘Deliberately’ Trying to Kill Hunger Strikers

Palestinians in Nablus march in support of prisoners on hunger strike. (Photo:, file)

Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe accused Israeli authorities of “deliberately” attempting to kill Palestinian hunger strikers, while simultaneously employing several tactics to convince hunger strikers to break their strikes, according to statements released on Thursday.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that Palestinian hunger striker Ammar Ibrahim Hamour, 28, who has been on hunger strike for 18 days in protest of being held in administrative detention — the controversial Israeli policy of internment without charge or trial –told PPS lawyer Khalid Mahajna that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) has been attempting to pressure him to end his strike.

According to the Mahajna, Hamour has been held in solitary confinement in Israel’s Ashkelon detention center after being transferred from Israel’s Ktziot prison a few days prior, and informed Mahajna that he was being kept in “very bad conditions,” while IPS officials have taunted the hunger striker with meals. An Israeli doctor also visited him in the prison to convince him to take vitamins, according to the statement.

Qaraqe said that Anas Shadid and Ahmad Abu Farah have gone without food for 76 and 77 days, respectively against being held in administrative detention. Shadid, 20, and Abu Farah, 29, both residents of the southern occupied West Bank village of Dura, have been reported in “critical condition” this week.

Qaraqe called Israel’s “slow killing of Palestinian hunger strikers” a “crime,” and urged the international community to intervene, adding that Israel’s treatment of Palestinian hunger strikers represented a “humanitarian crisis,” and that Israel was fully responsible for the conditions of Palestinians in Israeli prisons that have forced scores to go on hunger strike.

He also said that 75 days was the “maximum” that a hunger striker could continue their strike only consuming water, noting that Shadid and Abu Farah were both experiencing worsening health as their organs were failing.

Qaraqe added that four Palestinian prisoners were currently on hunger strike: Anas Shadid, Ahmad Abu Farah, Ammar Ibrahim Hamour, and Kifah Hatab.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Muhammad, 26, and Mahmoud Balboul, 23, were released from Israeli prison after going on hunger strike for 77 and 79 days respectively after being placed under administrative detention.

Rights groups have claimed that Israel’s administrative detention policy has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political and social processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists. According to Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons as of October, 720 of whom were being held in administrative detention.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

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