Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger Strike, Spring 2017

FOSNA Community Supports the #Dignity Strike

May 11, 2017

In solidarity with the 1,500 Palestinian prisoners currently hunger striking in Israeli prisons, members of the FOSNA community are participating in a solidarity fast today. Staff and supporters took photos with signs and posted them to social media in support of the prisoners, to help raise awareness about the hunger strike.

Consider participating in the fast, and if you do, make sure to post a photo like the ones above!
If you would like to send a photo in support of the prisoners to be featured in next week’s News Digest and on our social media accounts, please send it to [email protected]

Tell the NY Times: report on Palestinian prisoners

May 10, 2017

Palestinian political prisoners have been on hunger strike for 23 days, demanding
an end to the cruel treatment and unjust policies they face in Israeli prisons.

The American media? Essentially silent.

1,600 people are taking their lives in their own hands for a reason, and our media
should be covering it and covering it right.

In April, the editorial board at the New York Times published an important op-ed
by Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian leader and political prisoner who initially
called for the strike. But actual news coverage has been sparse and one-sided.

Send a letter to the editor of the New York Times
and tell him this is news
that’s fit to print.

This strike is about the one million Palestinians who have been detained since the establishment of the state of Israel. It’s about the approximately 6,500 Palestinians currently in Israeli custody, many of whom are children. It’s about the refusal of the Israeli and US governments to accede to conditions that would make truly just negotiations possible.

It’s about the ongoing occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, which will enter its 50th year next month – and it’s about a historic moment in the struggle for Palestinian human rights. Solidarity protests have broken out across the West Bank and been violently suppressed by Israeli forces. Palestinians and allies all over the world are showing their support online.

And yet, the last story the New York Times published about it focused on whether Barghouti secretly ate a candy bar.

The conviction rate for Palestinians in Israel’s military courts is over 99%. Since the occupation of 1967, roughly 20% of the Palestinian population has been imprisoned by Israel at one point or another. That’s news. This isn’t about a candy bar.

The prisoners’ demands are simple. They include reinstating visitation rights, installing phones, improving medical care, and ending solitary confinement and administrative detention – which is just another term for being held indefinitely without charge or trial.

Our paper of record should be talking about this hunger strike in the context of how we arrived at this historical moment. They should be talking about the conditions of Palestinian political prisoners and the injustices of the Israeli judicial and prison system. And they should be talking about the prisoners’ extremely reasonable demands.

We’re not providing a template and asking you to just click send – that doesn’t work. For your words to matter, they have to be your words – the Times won’t publish open or third-party letters.

So I’m asking you to take a few minutes to write something yourself
with the help of the instructions and talking points we’ve provided here
asking the Times to give the hunger strike the coverage it deserves.

In solidarity,
Ari Wohlfeiler
Deputy Director

Show your solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners by raising awareness

May 9, 2017

Aareb Barthouti, son of political prisoner Marwan Barghouti, starts the Salt Water Challenge to raise awareness of the mass hunger strike.

(WASHINGTON DC, 05/08/2017) – Today marks the 22nd day of a hunger strike waged by 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners, who are protesting Israel’s use of administrative detention, lack of access to medical care, lack of family visits and the use of isolation. The National Committee for the Support of the Prisoners Strike, a coalition of Palestinian NGOs, has called for global support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, a general strike and fasting campaigns to raise awareness.

Now in its fourth week, the situation is growing dire for those who are abstaining from food and drink. At this time, those hunger striking may be finding it difficult to stand as they become increasingly weak. In addition, they are facing threats of force feeding and other harsh tactics at the hands of the Israeli Prison Service and special units designed to get prisoners to end the strike, prisoner rights group, Addameer, states.

Furthmore, Israeli authorities have banned most attorney visits so NGOs are unable to track the prisoners’ health, according to Addameer.

In a new order delivered on May 5 by the Israeli Health Ministry, physicians who refuse to force feed starving prisoners must find a replacement doctor who will carry out the inhumane treatment. Force feeding is considered tantamount to torture and is against international law, according to the World Medical Association.

The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education organization, fully stands with Palestinian prisoners and calls upon the international community and all people of conscience to demand an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands; and an end to arbitrary arrests and detentions, administrative detentions, isolation, torture and other treatment that violates numerous international laws.

Addameer estimates Israel has imprisoned fully 40 percent of the Palestinian male population and since 1967 has incarcerated about 800,000 Palestinians. Children are not immune. Defense for Children International – Palestine reports that Israeli military authorities arrest and detain up to 700 children per year in the military court system and 8,000 children have been imprisoned since 2000.

Addameer reports in April 6,300 Palestinians are held as political prisoners. Of that number, 500 are being held without charge or trial in administrative detention; 300 are children; 61 are women; and 13 – including Marwan Barghouti – are Palestinian Legislative Council members.

The last massive Palestinian prisoner hunger strike took place in spring of 2012, when about 2,000 prisoners staged a long-standing hunger strike. In 2014, about 220 administrative detainees launched a hunger strike lasting 63 days to protest the illegal use of detention without charge or trial. The strike ended with Israeli prison authorities agreeing to ease restrictions on the prisoners and to continue dialogue about the use of administrative detention. The prisoners’ current demands include: family visits, proper medical care, end to Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial in so-called administrative detention and stopping the use of isolation. We must support the Palestinians who are putting their bodies and lives on the line to protest the occupation and inhumane treatment in Israeli prisons.


Do what you can to raise awareness of the hunger strike:

Take the Salt Water challenge

Social Media: Hold a sign saying #PalHunger, #FreePalestinianPoliticalPrisoners, and #StopAD (Stop administrative detention), and share either a picture of you holding a sign or with the hashtag. Use Twitter handles @Addameer and @AMPalestine so we can follow your activism!

Organize an event: Plan a protest, demonstration, speaking event or banner drop in your city, community or campus calling for the immediate release of all Palestinian political prisoners and to show solidarity with the hunger striking prisoners and detainees. Contact AMP for materials and information.

Join a BDS Campaign: Participate in AMP’s Ramadan Israeli Date Boycott, organize an action at Hewlett-Packard office in your city to highlight the role of corporations involved in – and profiting from – the political imprisonment of Palestinians by the Israeli occupation.

Send an email to [email protected] to let us know what you’re doing to support Palestinian political prisoners. For further actions, go to . We must support the Palestinians who are putting their bodies and lives on the line to protest the occupation and inhumane treatment in Israeli prisons.