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3 Palestinians continue hunger strikes in Israeli prison

Sept. 21, 2017 11:46 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 7, 2017 8:29 P.M.)
Anas Shadid launched a 90-day hunger strike in Israeli prison last year, only to be redetained in June
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Three Palestinians continued their hunger strikes in Israeli prison to demand their release on Thursday, including 21-year-old Anas Shadid who launched a 90-day hunger strike last year, only to be redetained in June.

According to Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun Anas Shadid from Dura village in the Hebron district of the southern West Bank, Ahmad Salameh al-Sawarkeh from Gaza city, and Sheikh Izzadine Amarneh, 55, from the village of Yabad in Jenin, have all been on hunger strike for up to eight days.

Anas Shadid was redetained by Israeli forces during an overnight raid in June. He had undergone a 90-day hunger strike last year in protest of being held under Israel’s controverisial policy of administrative detention -- imprisonment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence.

In June, he was sentenced to six months of administrative detention, and declared another open hunger strike eight days ago. According to Samidoun, he was placed in solitary confinement in Israel’s Hadarim prison. His hunger strike is being launched in order to demand his release from solitary confinement and administrative detention.

Amarneh, a blind Palestinian prisoner, was detained by Israeli forces earlier this month. Samidoun reported that he was sentenced to administrative detention on Sept 18, and launched his hunger strike that same day in protest of being held without any evidene of wrongdoing.

Samidoun noted that Amarneh had previously spent six years in Israeli prison.
Sheikh Izzadine Amarneh (Photo: Asra Media Center)
Israel uses administrative detention almost exclusively against Palestinians. The widely condemned Israeli policy allows for a detainee to be sentenced for up to six-month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence.

Although Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.

Meanwhile, Samidoun reported that al-Sawarkeh is on his seventh day of his hunger strike, which was launched in order to protest his continued detention in Israeli prison, despite his sentence having expired a year ago. He was detained in 2009 and sentenced to seven and a half years in Israeli prison.

Israeli authorities have reportedly told al-Sawarkeh that he would be released to the Sinai in Egypt; however, he has instead demanded to return to his home and his family in Gaza city.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,279 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of August, 465 of whom were administrative detainees.
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