On Wednesday 13 February a group of activists came together to send a message around the world, in solidarity with the hunger striking Palestinian prisoners.
Similar messages of solidarity and hunger strikes have been taking place around the world to raise the profile of the plight of Palestinians held with no charge in Israeli prisons.
Samer Al-Issawi is now on his 206th day on hunger strike, and in a critical condition. Fellow prisoners Ayman Sharawneh, Tarek Qaadan and Jafar Azzidine are also on hunger strike and said to be extremely ill.
The prisoners are peacefully protesting the principle known as ‘administrative detention’ which allows the occupying Israeli Army to hold Palestinians with no charge for an indefinite period. Many of which are moved and held within Israel, illegal under international law and limiting the ability of lawyers and family to visit, as permits for Palestinians to travel are required and frequently denied.
Last year 2000 Palestinian prisoners went on an open ended hunger strike, ending with agreement to their terms by the Israeli Prison authorities, one of which being the end of the use of ‘administrative detention’ and release of those held.
Palestinian prisoners are frequently subject to abuse and torture at the hands of the Israeli forces. Many are held in solitary confinement with no access to a lawyer and without the knowledge of their families. This contravenes international law.
G4S, the British-Danish firm, provides equipment used in Israeli prisons and against the Palestinian population in contravention of international law.