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Demonstrators also rejoiced in the news of the recent victory of Palestinian political prisoners, 2000 of whom maintained a month long hunger strike, another 7 of whom maintained hunger strikes of from 54 to 77 days.
While Palestinians have long-used tactics of non-violent resistance, in tandem with legitimate armed resistance to the occupation of Palestinian land, this recent victory brought the issue of Palestinian political prisoners to the news, particularly highlighting the Zionist Israeli military’s illegal and immoral use of “administrative detention” to hold Palestinians for indefinite numbers of months, years, without charging them or giving them fair trial.
Particularly important among the victories gained are the restoration of families’ visitation rights–families from Gaza have been denied access to their imprisoned loved ones for over 6 years–and in theory the end of solitary confinement and administrative detention. It remains to be seen whether the Israeli military will abide by their agreement, but the Palestinian male and female prisoners nonetheless were victorious in their “empty stomachs” battle, as it has been dubbed.
More info on Palestinian political prisoners:
There are approximately 4,600 Palestinian political prisoners inside Israeli jails. Palestinians, living under occupation and oppression for nearly 64 years, have been targeted for mass imprisonment and detention by the Israeli occupation. Nearly every Palestinian family has been touched by political imprisonment – a father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, cousin, uncle, aunt. Since the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, over 650,000 Palestinians from those areas have been held as political prisoners – one out of every four Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza. Forty percent of Palestinian men in the West Bank and Gaza have spent some time in occupation jails.
NO CHARGE? NO TRIAL? NO JUSTICE!
320 Palestinians are currently held under administrative detention, including 24 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. 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. It is renewable indefinitely for repeated periods of up to six months. Palestinians held under administrative detention are not charged with any crime, nor are they brought to trial even before the Israeli occupation’s rigged military courts.
Palestinians have been subjected to administrative detention since the beginning of the Israeli occupation and before that time, under the British Mandate. The Palestinian hunger strikers whose cases have attracted much recent attention, Khader Adnan and Hana’ Shalabi, were both held under administrative detention.
The Canadian government is complicit in Israel’s ongoing use of mass imprisonment against the Palestinian people when it vocally supports Israeli aggression in the UN and around the world.
Despite the harsh conditions of imprisonment, the frequent use of isolation, ransacking of cells, confiscation of media, and denial of access to education among Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian prisoners’ movement is central to the Palestinian struggle for freedom and liberation. Palestinian prisoners are not only victims of an unjust and oppressive legal/military structure – they are part of an entire people seeking their freedom and liberation, including the end of occupation, the right of return of Palestinian refugees, and full rights for all Palestinians.