Two hunger striking detainees, Ahmad Abu Farah and Anas Shadid, appealed on Friday, December 16, for the administrative decrees against them to be repealed. The two, who are being detained without trial in connection with alleged security offences and who have been on a hunger strike for more than 80 days, stopped drinking water last week after Israel’s Supreme Court denied their petition to have their detention orders rescinded. Both are said to be in poor physical condition.
“I appeal to human rights organizations in Israel and abroad, to the countries of the free world, to anyone who has a conscience to help me so I may live,” said Abu Farah in a choked voice. “I’m dying and I don’t want to die.” Shadid had difficulty talking, but murmured a few words about wanting to live. Their messages were distributed by Hadash Knesset Member Yousef Jabareen (Joint List) who visited them in hospital and taped their words. The two detainees have refused all food and medical assistance during the weeks that they have been in the hospital.
“Despite their serious condition, the two are insistent that they be freed, because they are convinced of their innocence and the justice of their hunger strike to have the administrative detention repealed,” Jabareen said. Administrative detention is a clear violation of the human rights of the detainees, Jabareen said, and they deserved wide support for their struggle to be freed.
Abu Farah, 29, from Tzurif, and Shadid, 19, from Harasa near Hebron, were arrested at the beginning of August. Abu Farah was detained on allegations of “security offenses,” Shadid on suspicions of “incitement on social media”. Both were ordered held without trial for six months. Their attorney, Ahlam Haddad, said that their medical condition was deteriorating daily. He said that the defense establishment was aware of their condition, but had not made any proposal regarding their release. The last offer was for their detention, which is due to end in February, to be extended by another four months, he said.
Two appeals were submitted on Friday by the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs and Israel’s Physicians for Human Rights. The Palestinian Authority (PA) also released a statement on Friday, holding the Israeli government responsible for the rapid deterioration of the hunger strikers’ health. A PA spokesperson, Yousef al-Mahmoud, said that the authority has been closely following the health of the prisoners and are conducting “efforts at all levels” to save their lives, while calling upon all international and human rights organizations to intervene in order to ensure the hunger strikers’ release from Israeli prison.
Al-Mahmoud added that rights groups should condemn the suffering of all Palestinian prisoners, and highlighted that Israel’s use of administrative detention was one of the most unfair legal policies Israel uses against Palestinian prisoners, and reiterated his demand that all signatories of the Geneva accords break their silence and save the lives of the hunger strikers. According to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons as of October, 720 of whom were being held in administrative detention.