The “Battle of Breaking the Chains”: Towards the Freedom of Palestine and Palestinians

Palestinian hunger strikers © google images

Palestinian hunger strikers © google images

Nidal, Shadi, Ghassan, Bader, Munir, Sleiman, Bilal, Amer and Kayed
9 Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike, refusing to eat, refusing to surrender. 9 Palestinian heroes held captive in Zionist dungeons, breaking the walls of captivity, defying their jailor, protesting their illegal and inhumane detention. 9 Palestinian freedom fighters; their only weapon their strong will and the belief in their just cause, their only weapon their empty stomachs steadfast in the face of torture, intimidation and force-feeding. Hunger strikes have always been a legitimate and effective weapon of protest and struggle used by Palestinian political prisoners and detainees in the face of injustice. Whether mass hunger strikes that sweep Israeli jails or single hunger strikes that last for months; Palestinian freedom fighters continue to resist the occupation from behind Zionist bars and isolation cells. Their battle against their jailors, against the policy of administrative detention, against the sham courts of the occupation, is the “Battle of Breaking the Chains”; an on-going battle till all Zionist jails are empty, an on-going battle till Palestine is free from the River to the Sea. It is a battle to break the chains of all Palestinians held in Zionist captivity; those held captive in small jails and those held captive in the bigger jails defined by the infamous Oslo Accords, it is a battle against injustice, a battle towards the freedom of all of us.

Nidal, Shadi, Ghassan, Bader, Munir, Sleiman, Bilal, Amer and Kayed
9 Palestinian political prisoners held captive by the Zionist entity along with the around 500 Palestinian political prisoners currently detained without charge or trial; The Israeli occupation resorts to administrative detention and so-called secret files, prepared by the Israeli intelligence and used against Palestinian prisoners when Israeli interrogators fail to force confessions out of Palestinians detainees and when the prosecution is unable to prove the charge on the detainee. 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. The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) uses administrative detention as prolonged detention, and in some cases Palestinian detainees are held captive without charge or trial for 5 or even 10 years. On 20.08.2015, Nidal, Shadi, Ghassan, Bader, Munir started an open hunger strike to protest the renewal of their captivity without charge or trial and to protest the policy of administrative detention. They stopped consuming food, and are facing the brutality and illegality of their detention with their empty stomachs. Additionally, they announced their boycott of all Israeli occupation courts, being nothing but sham courts, along with another 50 administrative detainees, and in protest of the so-called secret files. As a punishment, the IPS transferred the hunger strikers to isolation cells. The detainees gave the IPS an ultimatum till 01.09.2015 to end their administrative detention, otherwise they will stop consuming liquids and medicines.

Since 1967, the Zionist entity held more than 850,000 Palestinian men, women and children captive, including thousands of Palestinians held in administrative detention, for periods ranging from months to years. According to the latest statistics from Palestinian human rights organizations and prisoner support sites, there are currently over 6000 Palestinian political prisoners held captive in 22 Israeli jails and detention centres, including 160 children, 26 women, and more than 1600 prisoners suffering from various diseases, and 30 prisoners detained since before the Oslo agreement. Additionally, around 500 Palestinians are held in administrative detention in several Israeli prisons, including Ofer, Megiddo and Al-Naqab. These detainees are held without charge or trial, and often their detention is extended in the final minutes of their captivity, which increases their suffering and that of their families. Among the around 500 administrative detainees, there are 3 PLC members. Alone in August 2015, 390 cases of detention were registered in comparison to 330 in July 2015. Among the 390 detained in August, 85 were children – mostly from occupied Jerusalem, 15 were women, and geographically; 155 from occupied Jerusalem, 70 from occupied Hebron, 50 from occupied Bethlehem and 15 from besieged Gaza. Additionally, in August 2015, 94 new administrative detention orders were issued in comparison to 63 in July 2015.

Currently, the following Palestinian detainees are on hunger strike protesting their detention without charge or trial:

Nidal Abu Aker © google images

Nidal Abu Aker © google images

1. Nidal Abu Aker: 47 years old from Ras Abu Ammar, temporarily resident of Dheisheh refugee camp, on day 18 of an open hunger strike.
Nidal was born on 10.05.1968 in Dheisheh refugee camp to a family expelled from Ras Abu Ammar village in occupied Jerusalem by Zionist terrorist gangs in 1948. He is a father of 3 children, and has a BA in Sociology from Bethlehem University. Nidal works as a journalist and hosts a program titled “In their Cells” on Sawt al Wihdeh Radio station in Bethlehem, which tackles the issues of Palestinian political prisoners. He also works as a Hebrew translator, and is among the founders of the “Families of Prisoners Association” in Dheisheh. Since a young age, Nidal, as the rest of his family members, resisted the occupation. From a total of 15 years in Israeli captivity, he spent 9 years in administrative detention. Nidal was detained for the first time in 1984, still a child at the age of 13, and was accused of throwing stones. His home was raided by Israeli occupation soldiers on the dawn of 28.06.2014; he and his son Mohammad were beaten, and his home ransacked. Since then, he’d been held in administrative detention without any charge or trial, whereby his administrative detention order was renewed several times: in a hearing on 14.01.2015, his administrative detention order was confirmed under the pretext of being “a threat to security” without the prosecutor presenting any substantial evidence. On 20.08.2015, Nidal and his comrades started an open hunger strike to protest their administrative detention and their captivity on the basis on so-called secret files. As punishment, the IPS transferred him to isolation cells in ‘Asqalan prison to pressure him to end his strike. It is worth noting that Nidal suffers from various health problems, including blood pressure, weakness of the heart muscle, ulcer, acute rheumatic and haemorrhoids.

Shadi Maali © google images

Shadi Maali © google images

2. Shadi Ma’ali: 39 years old from Al-Jorah, temporarily resident of Dheisheh refugee camp, on day 18 of an open hunger strike.
Shadi was born in Dheisheh refugee camp to a family expelled from Al-Jorah village in occupied Jerusalem by Zionist terrorist gangs in 1948. He is a father of 5 children. A long-time activist against the occupation, he was held captive several times for resisting the occupation by both the Israeli occupation forces and the “PA security forces”, spending a total of 12 years in Israeli captivity and around 2 years in “PA” jails. He was tortured by both during interrogation. During the First Intifada, Shadi was only 16 years old when he was detained for the first time by the occupation and was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment. Shadi was released from Israeli captivity in February 2014 after spending 22 months in jails. On 28.06.2014, Israeli occupation forces raided and ransacked his home before detaining him. He has been since held in administrative detention, which was renewed 3 consecutive times for 6 months each. On 20.08.2015, Shadi and his comrades started an open hunger strike to protest their administrative detention and their captivity on the basis on so-called secret files. As punishment, the IPS transferred him to isolation cells in Ela prison to pressure him to end his strike. Shadi participated in various hunger strike while in Israeli captivity, including the Karameh mass hunger strike in 2012 and the 2013 hunger strike. Shadi suffers from chronic ulcer in addition to the weakness of the cornea.

Ghassan Zawahreh © google images

Ghassan Zawahreh © google images

3. Ghassan Zawahreh: 34 years, temporarily resident of Dheisheh refugee camp, on day 18 of an open hunger strike.
Ghassan was born in Dheisheh refugee camp to a family expelled from its original village by Zionist terrorist gangs in 1948. Ghassan is a former prisoner and was detained several times by the Israeli occupation forces, spending a total of 10 years in Israeli captivity, including 3 years in administration detention. He was beaten during his various arrests, leading to injuries in his right hand, his left leg and knee, for which he was denied treatment. In 2008, Ghassan was a student of Social Work in his final year at Al-Quds Open University when he was detailed by the Israeli occupation forces, after which he was prevented from completing his studies due to his multiple arrests. Ghassan is a long-time activists and works as a taxi driver. He was detained on 08.04.2015 at a flying checkpoint in Bethlehem, and has since been held in administrative detention, which was renewed 3 times for 4 months each. On 20.08.2015, Ghassan and his comrades started an open hunger strike to protest their administrative detention and their captivity on the basis on so-called secret files. As punishment, the IPS transferred him to isolation cells in Eshel prison to pressure him to end his strike. On 04.09.2015, Ghassan stopped consuming any liquids or medicine. Ghassan suffers from ulcers and arthritis

Munir Abu Sharar © google images

Munir Abu Sharar © google images

4. Munir Abu Sharar: 31 years old from Dura, Hebron, on day 18 of an open hunger strike.
Munir was born in Dura, Hebron. He is the only son to his parents. Munir is an activist, a former prisoner and was detained several times by the Israeli occupation forces. Munir is an employee at the Hebron municipality. On 24.07.2014, Israeli occupation forces detained Munir, and since then he’s been held in administrative detention without charge or trial. His detention order was renewed several times, totalling 14 months. On 20.08.2015, Munir and his comrades started an open hunger strike to protest their administrative detention and their captivity on the basis on so-called secret files. As punishment, the IPS transferred him to isolation cells in Naqab prison to pressure him to end his strike.

Bader Al-Ruzzeh © google images

Bader Al-Ruzzeh © google images

5. Bader Al-Ruzzeh: 26 years old from Nablus, on day 18 of an open hunger strike.
Bader was born in Al-Yasminah neighborhood in Nablus. He is the nephew of martyred leader Ayman Al-Ruzzeh. Bader was detained on 13.05.2014 by Israeli occupation forces, and after interrogation was send to administrative detention without charge or trial. His administrative detention order has been since renewed twice. On 20.08.2015, Badir and his comrades started an open hunger strike to protest their administrative detention and their captivity on the basis on so-called secret files. As punishment, the IPS transferred him to isolation cells in Naqab prison to pressure him to end his hunger strike. It is worth mentioning that Bader suffers from asthma.

Bilal As-Seifi © google images

Bilal As-Seifi © google images

6. Bilal As-Seifi: 26 years old, temporarily resident of Dheisheh refugee camp, on day 11 of an open hunger strike.
Bilal was born in Dheisheh refugee camp to a family expelled from its original village by Zionist terrorist gangs in 1948. He has been held captive in administrative detention since 01.03.2015, which was renewed twice for six months. On 27.08.2015, Bilal started an open hunger strike to protest his administrative detention and his captivity on the basis on so-called secret files. As punishment, the IPS transferred him to isolation cells in Naqab prison to pressure him to end his strike.

Sleiman Skafi © google images

Sleiman Skafi © google images

7. Sleiman Skafi: 30 years old from Hebron, on day 6 of an open hunger strike.
Sleiman was born in Hebron. He is a former prisoner, and was detained 5 times. Sleiman spent a total of 6 years in Israeli captivity. During interrogation, Sleiman was subjected to torture, which resulted in chronic pains in his back and legs, in addition to other health issues. He was denied the needed medical follow-up and treatment. Sleiman has been held captive without charge or trial since 12.11.2014 on the pretext of a secret file that claims he is “a security threat”. Sleiman’s appeal against his administrative detention was refusal by Israeli military courts. In August 2015, Sleiman went on a 2-day warning hunger strike to pressure the IPS to consider the issue of the systematic medical negligence against him and the continuation of his administrative detention without charge. He ended his strike after promises from the IPS to look into his demands and respond to them within days. When the IPS did not reply to his demands, Sleiman started an open hunger strike on 01.09.2015 to protest the renewal of his administrative detention. As punishment, the IPS transferred him from Al-Naqab prison to isolation cells in Ofer prison to pressure him to end his strike. It is worth mentioning that Sleiman participated in the general hunger strike of 2012.

Kayed Abu Al-Reesh © google images

Kayed Abu Al-Reesh © google images

8. Kayed Abu Al-Reesh: 42 years old, temporarily resident of Al-Ein refugee camp, on day 5 of an open hunger strike.
Kayed was born in Ein Beit Al-Ma’ refugee camp in Nablus. He is a father of three children, and was detained 10 times by Israeli occupation forces, spending a total of 16 jails in Zionist captivity. On 14.12.2014, Kayed was detained by Israeli occupation forces yet again, and has since been held in administrative detention, which was renewed twice for 6 months each. Kayed started an open hunger strike on 04.08.2015 to protest his renewed hunger strike. As punishment, the IPS transferred him to isolation cells in Majido prison to pressure him to end his strike. During the first days of his hunger strike, Kayed’s mother received a telephone call from the Israeli intelligence asking her to convince her son to end his hunger strike in return to releasing him at the end of his detention period, but the family refused as he was held without charge or trial. After 23 days, Kayed suspended his hunger strike following promises from the IPS to review his case and hold a special court hearing to consider the possibility of his release. But at usual, the IPS did not comply with its promise. Days afterwards, Kayed was transferred to the so-called Ramleh clinic due to severe migraine as a result of his hunger strike. On 02.09.2015, Kayed’s family reported that he resumed his hunger strike.

Amer Shammas © google images

Amer Shammas © google images

9. Amer Shammas: 24 years old from Hebron, on day 4 of an open hunger strike.
Amer was born in Hebron. In 2014, Amer went on an open hunger strike for 3 months to protest his detention without charge or trial, but suspended his hunger strike after the IPS promised to release him, nonetheless his administrative detention was renewed more than once. Amer started an open hunger strike on 03.09.2015 to protest his administrative detention. As punishment, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) transferred him to isolation cells in Naqab prison to pressure him to end his strike.

In addition to the 9 administrative detainees on hunger strike, a 10th prisoner is currently on hunger strike:

Nour Jaber © google images

Nour Jaber © google images

10. Nour Jaber: 42 years old from Hebron, on day 5 of an open hunger strike.
Nour Jaber was born in Hebron. He was charged with resisting the Israeli occupation and was sentenced to 17 times life imprisonment, and has been in Zionist captivity since 17 years. He was injured in the leg by the Israeli occupation forces during his arrest, and was tortured during the interrogation, including the use of staplers on his body more than 50 times by the Israeli interrogators, placing salt on his wounds and beating him severly on his injured leg. Since his imprisonment, Nour has been subjected to medical neglect by the IPS. On 02.09.2015, Nour started an open hunger strike to protest his arbitrary transfer from Rimon jail to Jilboa jail and to protest the policy of medical negligence he was subjected to. As punishment, the IPS transferred him to isolation cells in Nafha prison to pressure him to end his hunger strike.

Palestinian hunger strikers © google images

Palestinian hunger strikers © google images

In a statement issued by five of the hunger strikers, they stressed that the goals of their hunger strike include the rejection of the policy of administrative detention against our people and freedom fighters, the refusal of the law of forced feeding, demanding the immediate freedom and breaking the stalemate and internal division, and the unification of the Palestinian national forces on the basis of joint national action inside the prisons and culmination of true national unity.

Freedom for ALL Palestinian and Arab political prisoners and detainees held captive in Zionist dungeons.

Sources:
http://pflp.ps
http://www.ahrarwledna.com
http://alasra.ps
http://samidoun.ca/
http://addameer.org

© https://avoicefrompalestine.wordpress.com/

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5 Responses to The “Battle of Breaking the Chains”: Towards the Freedom of Palestine and Palestinians

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  2. Pingback: Hunger-striking Palestinian journalist Nidal Abu Aker’s detention renewed as “Battle of Breaking the Chains” continues | khamakarpress.com

  3. Pingback: Hunger-striking Palestinian journalist Nidal Abu Aker’s detention renewed as “Battle of Breaking the Chains” continues | altahrir, news of Islam, Muslims, Arab Spring and special Palestine

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  5. Pingback: Steadfast for Palestine: The Heroes of the Battle of “Breaking the Chains” | Uprootedpalestinians's Blog

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