Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mass Hunger Strike for Justice: Day 25 and Counting


Mass Hunger Strike for Justice: Day 25 and Counting

by Stephen Lendman

Nearly 1,800 Palestinians are mass hunger striking for justice Israel systematically denies them.

It’s “the most peaceful form of resistance,” strike leader Marwan Barghouti earlier explained. “It inflicts pain solely on those who participate and on their loved ones, in the hopes that their empty stomachs and their sacrifice will help the message resonate beyond the confines of their dark cells.”

Thousands of Palestinians are imprisoned without due process or judicial fairness - getting sham rubber-stamp military trials or none at all, hundreds held administratively uncharged.

Israel considers legitimate resistance for justice criminality, harsh treatment meted out to Palestinians protesting against occupation harshness.

Prisoners want better conditions, an end to brutal ones, including edible food, proper medical treatment, education and their religious rights respected.

They want punitive longterm solitary confinement ended, administrative detentions abolished, regular family visits, along with the ability to communicate with loved ones and legal counsel.

Thousands of Palestinians incarcerated for political reasons, along with brutal prison conditions exacerbate occupation harshness. Resistance for justice is a universal right. So is challenging tyrannical rule.

Thursday marks Freedom and Dignity hunger strike day 25, numbers abstaining from food growing, around 1,800 enduring the ordeal so far - a tribute to their courageous struggle, deserving universal support.

According to the hunger strike media committee, the health of participants is severely deteriorating, prisoners experiencing severe malnutrition and dehydration, stomach and headaches, irregular heartbeats, low blood pressure, as well as difficulty standing and walking.

The health of growing numbers of strikers reached a “tragic” level of “extreme danger,” the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs explained. Most participants lost from 15 to 25 kilograms of body weight. Some are vomiting blood.

Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies spokesman Riyad al-Ashqar said Ktziot detention center authorities refused to transfer ill strikers to hospitals, instead holding them in prison clinics providing deplorable care or none at all.

Harsh measures are being used to break the will of strikers, including punishing solitary confinement, isolation from all outside contacts and communications, repressive inspections, confiscated clothes, other personal belonging and salt, forced transfers to other prisons, along with other tactics employed.

The National Committee for Supporting the Strike called Thursday a “day of anger” throughout the Occupied Territories.

Families of some prisoners are abstaining from food in solidarity with their loved ones. So are activists in Europe, America and various Arab countries.

On May 9, the Palestinian BDS National Committee called for the PA to immediately end so-called “security coordination” with Israeli occupation forces.

It urges legal action against Islamophobic Israeli public security minister Gilad Erdan, along with prison service officials for brutality and other crimes against Palestinian prisoners.

Physicians worldwide should refuse to force-feed hunger strikers, they stressed, calling the procedure an illegal form of torture.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee intends intensified campaigns to hold Israel accountable for cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners, adding:

The Palestinian BDS National Committee “is confident that this hunger strike demanding dignity and freedom will further nourish nonviolent popular resistance to Israeli injustice and advance the BDS movement’s aspirations for freedom, justice and equality.”

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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