Today, 28 year old Palestinian female political prisoner Hana’ Yahya Ash-Shalabi enters her 9th day of an open-ended hunger strike in the Israeli HaSharon jail. She is currently in solitary confinement and, according to latest reports, her health condition is deteriorating. Hana’ was kidnapped from her home in Burqin, Jenin on 16.02.2012 and has been ordered in administrative detention for 6 months. This is not the first time for Hana’: she had been in administrative detention for 6 executive times since 14.03.2009, and was released in October 2011 under the latest prisoner exchange deal after spending 2 and a half years in Israeli detention without charge or trial. Through her hunger-strike, Ash-Shalabi is protesting against her illegal detention and to demand an end to the policy of administrative detention. Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret evidence without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. Israeli prison authorities use administrative detention as prolonged detention, and in some cases Palestinian detainees are held captive without charge or trial for 5 or even 10 years. One example is 47 year old Palestinian political detainee Ahmad Nabhan Saqer from Askar refugee camp, who is being held in administrative detention since four years. Saqer was detained 3 consecutive times and held each time in administrative detention, thus spending a total of 12 years in Israeli captivity without charge or trial.
Yahya Ash-Shalabi told reporters that the Israeli occupation forces raided his family home at 1:30 am on 16.02.2012, held all members of his family hostages while they searched the house and confiscated all mobile phones and computers. Then the Israeli occupation soldiers kidnapped his daughter Hana’, who was blindfolded and handcuffed, to an unknown destination. Later, Ash-Shalabi was informed that his daughter was in administrative detention. After visiting her, Yahya Ash-Shalabi said that Hana’s spirits were high and that she will continue her hunger strike until she is released. Like most Palestinian families, Ash-Shalabi family is not new to Israeli terrorism; Samir Ash-Shalabi, Hana’s 24 year old brother, was killed by Israeli occupation forces on 29.09.2005. Her sister Huda was held as administrative detainee and her brothers were also held captives in Israeli dungeons. On 23.02.2012, and in support of their daughter’s struggle for freedom and in protest of her illegal detention, Hana’s 67 year old parents have started an open-ended hunger strike in a protest tent set in front of their family home. Yahya Ash-Shalabi said that they will continue the hunger-strike until the release of their daughter and the abolishment of administrative detention.
Currently, there are over 4500 Palestinians held captive in Israeli dungeons, including 6 women, 166 children and 320 administrative detainees. According to Palestinian prisoner solidarity sites, over 20,000 administrative detention orders were issued since 2000 by the Israeli occupation authority. On 24.02.2012, the 320 Palestinian administrative detainees held captive without charge or trial declared a boycott of Israeli military courts. This boycott is to start on 01.03.2012 in protest of these sham courts that are used by the Israeli occupation army and the Israeli intelligence as a cover for illegal detention based on “secret” files and lack of indictment.
Hana’ Ash-Shalabi is one of 6 Palestinian female political prisoners currently held captive in Israeli dungeons:
1. Lina Ahmad Al-Jarbouni, from Arrabet Al-Batouf, Al-Jalil, in Israeli captivity since 15.4.2002, received 17 years sentence.
2. Woroud Mahir Qasim, from At-Tira, Al-Muthallath, in Israeli captivity since 04.10.2006, received a 6 years sentence.
3. Salwa Abdel-Aziz Hassan, 52 years old from Hebron, in Israeli captivity since 19.10.2011.
4. Ala’ Al-Ju’ba, a minor from Hebron, in Israeli captivity 07.12.2011.
5. Saja Al-Alami, 18 years old from Beitunia, Ramallah, in Israeli captivity since 09.01.2012.
6. Hana’ Ash-Shalabi, 28 years old, from Burqin, Jenin, in Israeli captivity since 16.02.2012