Lawlessly detained without charge, Hana's 40th hunger strike day began. She wants freedom or death, and not just for herself. It's for thousands of wrongfully imprisoned Palestinians.
On Sunday, an Israeli military court rejected her appeal. The judge spuriously claimed grounds to continue holding her. Turning reality on its head, she threatens Israeli security, he said.
On Sunday, Addameer twittered:
"Despite her critical condition, the Israeli military judge rejected (her) appeal today, on the 39th day of her hunger strike."
On Monday, Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said a PHR-I doctor examined her on Saturday in Meir Hospital where she’s now held. Blood tests confirm more deterioration. Hana agreed to ingest calcium and Vitamin K. They protect her from imminent heart attack.
PHR-I’s doctor reported further muscle atrophy, including Hana’s heart muscle. She remains dangerously close to death.
Her lawyer, Jawad Boulos, said he'll appeal to Israel's High Court. He added that Hana will keep hunger striking for justice so far denied.
Though uncharged, Israel claims she's "a global jihad-affiliated operative....pos(ing an unnamed nonexistent) threat to the area."
According to Palestinian Prisoner Society President Qaddura Fares, dozens of other wrongfully detained Palestinians also refuse food, saying:
"Consultations are underway at all the occupation's prisons, and while a hunger strike is always individual, there will be a large hunger strike in different Israeli prisons in the next two months."
"The prisoners in the occupation's prisons are using the weapon of 'empty stomachs' as a result of increased repression and in the absence of a channel of dialogue with the Israeli side or negotiations with the Palestinian Authority to improve their conditions."
Fares also said he's not surprised Hana's appeal was denied. Israeli-style justice never treats Palestinians fairly. Guilt by accusation is policy, even when uncharged.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) researcher Bill ban Esveld accused Israel of violating her rights, saying:
"After previously imprisoning her without charge for more than two years, Israel is again violating Hana Shalabi's basic due process rights," van Esveld said. "If it lacks the evidence to charge her with any crime, as seems to be the case, it should release her immediately."
Amnesty International's Ann Harrison said "Hana Shalabi must be released or charged with internationally recognizable criminal offenses."
Despite repeated requests, her family's been denied permission to see her.
On March 25, the Palestine News Network said "hundreds of students, ministers from the Africa National Congress, Palestinians politicians and ex prisoners including Nael Barghouti, and minister of prisoners Issa Qaraqea, gathered today at Abu Dis University's media centre in support of Hana Shalabi...."
Dozens of West Bank Palestinians began hunger striking supportively. Many slept outside in a tent on university grounds.
Former prisoner Nael Barghouti spent 33 years wrongfully incarcerated. "As a former prisoner," he said, "I can connect to the difficulty of (Hana's) experience as I spent 20 days on hunger strike in 1987."
It's "important to make connections between the students, the prisoners," and former ones. An African National Congress spokesman pledged ANC support, saying Palestinians are entitled to self-determination and freedom for their prisoners.
Abu Dis organizers promised more protests coming, involving all Palestinian universities. Palestinians must work together supportively to win freedom for all others wrongfully held.
On March 21, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) called for ending "the shameful practice of routine administrative detentions," saying:
ACRI's Executive Director, Hagai El-Ad wrote Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He "call(ed) on him to intervene and either release (Hana) immediately or bring her to trial."
At any time, hundreds of Palestinians are lawlessly detained without charge. El-Ad said doing so violates human rights and "requires a systematic change in policy." He added:
"I ask you to act promptly – to stop the shameful practice of unrestrained use of administrative detention against the Palestinian population which is under Israeli military occupation."
Institutionalized injustice defines Israeli policy. Barak won't help. He's part of the problem, not the solution. He enforces lawlessness. So do Netanyahu, his entire cabinet, and most Knesset members. They systematically defile rule of law principles.
Many human rights organizations support Hana's struggle for justice. So far, B'Tselem remained silent. HRW said little. Scoundrel media say nothing.
In contrast, West Bank and Gaza protests, as well as UK vigils, rallied supportively. Others are planned. Meanwhile, Hana faces imminent danger of death.
Israeli authorities want her dead and gone. They're complicit in letting her starve by denying justice. Family, relatives, and friends urge support to save her. Hana's father Yahya says she's "not only my daughter. She is the daughter of every Palestinian."
Hana's sister Zahera said she could have been in her place hunger striking for justice. On March 19, Mohammed Horreya, Toronto-based Ryerson University student and Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) president, began fasting supportively.
He was inspired because "Hana's case has not received the slightest bit of media attention here in Canada."
Imagine a hunger striking Jew in a Palestinian prison not getting world headlines and perhaps threats to forcibly free him or her. Horreya added that Hana's "the first person on my mind when I wake up and the last" when he goes to sleep.
Racist injustice she faces affects all Palestinians and many others. We're all obligated to help.
A Final Comment
Land Day commemorates the IDF March 30, 1976 killing of six Israeli Arab protesters against Palestinian land theft. At the time, another 100 were wounded and hundreds more arrested.
Supportively on March 30, the Palestinian BDS National Committee urges supporters unite for a BDS Global Day of Action "in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality and for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it fully complies with its obligations under international law."
The Palestinian High Follow-Up Popular Resistance Commission also called for broad Land Day participation in the "Global March to Jerusalem." On March 30, it begins after Friday prayers together with others internationally.
On March 26, Haaretz headlined, "IDF girds for Land Day disturbances," saying:
It's preparing to confront peaceful marches belligerently. Soldiers were instructed to "open fire along the borders and in the territories."
Preparations also include "readying crowd-dispersal equipment and the deployment of marksmen." Israel calls peaceful marches and demonstrations "flash points." According to an unnamed senior defense source:
"The Palestinian Authority is looking for ways to again raise the Palestinian issue on the (world) agenda, and therefore it has an interest in protests that attract attention on Friday."
Israel blames victims for its own crimes. They range from assaults to naked aggression. The scenario's replicated throughout the Territories. Israel's blame game claims terror threats.
The only relevant ones are its own. They ruthlessly kill, and at times massacre multiple numbers of nonviolent Palestinian civilians. Will Israeli "gird(ing)" this time be different?
Only in body count and numbers arrested. Nothing else will change.
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|William A. Cook|