Solidarity Hunger Strikes Day 1
17/03/2012- Day 1 – Sarah Watson
To begin with I would personally like to say massive thank you to all of you for taking part and supporting this action. Together we can make this huge and let thousands of people know about Hana al-Shalabi’s fight. Unsurprisingly the mainstream media are doing their best to ignore Hana so it falls to us to make sure they know that we won’t let them away with it. We will make them tell Hana’s story and if they don’t then we will do it ourselves.
The story of Hana and her family is truly shocking and what’s worse is that it’s all too common throughout villages and towns across Palestine. Her parents have lived through the daily humiliation and aggression of Israel’s occupation; they survived through all the violence and attacks to have a family only for the Israeli army to murder their son and then arrest their daughter. Hana’s brother was shot and killed by the Israeli army when they came to re-arrest him after releasing him only three months before. The family home has since been raided several times, during one of these raids a soldier tore up a picture of Hana’s brother and walked over it in front of the family; they then went on to physically assault Hana and her father before arresting Hana. Hana was held under administrative detention for two years based on secret evidence. Every day for two years Hana was denied her liberty and was subject to abusive conditions, daily humiliation, physical intimidation and sexual harassment.
She was eventually released in the prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel in October 2011 and for four short months was reunited with her family. For those four months her mother and father got one of their children back. Her mother say Hana was just beginning to recover from her ordeal in prison when 50 armed soldiers came in the night and took her from her family once more. No arrest warrant was shown when they came for Hana. She and her brother were beaten and a soldier stated “Hana must die”. This was all done in front of her family- a family who already had a son killed by this army. This was on 16th of February 2012 and Hana has been on hunger strike ever since. The least we can do for Hana is to take one day of our lives to share her struggle and show some solidarity.
Hana’s story is all too common in Palestine: over 300 people are currently being held under administrative detention. This allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on secret evidence without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. This is done on the basis of Military Order 1651. This order empowers military commanders to detain an individual for up to six month renewable periods if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.” – A definition which is vague enough to be easily abused. On or just before the expiry date, the detention order is frequently renewed. This process can be continued indefinitely. The pain of each prisoner and there family has been felt by hundreds of families in hundreds of homes and still their stories aren’t told. We need to do something about it, to make sure that people know about administrative detention, to make sure they know Hana’s name what Israel is doing and to help us stop it.
So please if you can take part in the solidarity hunger strike and use your experience to help raise awareness about the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention. Let your friends know you’re doing it and why, support other people taking part and write up your reasons and thoughts for this blog.
You can read more about Hana here:
More about our campaign here:
And you can sign up to a day of fasting here: