Victory to the Palestinian Hunger Strike - London Projection #DignityStrike [Inminds, 29 Apr 2017]
Over 1,000 Palestinian political prisoners launched a hunger strike to protest against the inhuman suffering of thousands of Palestinian prisoners held in Apartheid Israeli jails. The Dignity strike that began on April 17th 2017, Palestinian prisoners day, is drawing attention to the lack of basic human rights and the continued flouting of international humanitarian law. The demands of the prisoners match the demands of earlier strikes over the 69 years of Zionist rule in Apartheid Israel. Since the beginning of the strike the Prisoners have faced punitive action from their captors in the form of solitary confinement and the refusal of access to their legal representation. These actions on the part of the Apartheid Israeli government are in contradiction of the UN Committee Against Torture who demanded a guarantee that persons deprived of liberty engaging in hunger strikes are not subjected to ill-treatment or punished for their strike.
The Dignity strikers have made a number of basic demands:
An increase in the frequency and duration of visits.
Currently the prisoners held in Israeli jails have 2 x 45 minute visits per month. This is not nearly enough, and with the Apartheid checkpoints and refusal of papers to family members, it is extremely common for prisoners not to have visits for many months. Many of the prisoners in Apartheid jails are children, jailed and held illegally against guidelines laid down by International Committee on Human rights, International committee on treatment of prisoners, UNHCR, Amnesty amongst others. Apart from being illegal under international law, this separation from parents and family, as well as being denied legal support, is beyond cruel especially as these children are incarcerated, often for many months, for the act of stone throwing. This is in contravention of the Geneva Convention.
An end to long periods of solitary confinement
The law of Apartheid Israel allows for Palestinian prisoners to be held in solitary confinement. Though internationally recognized laws state that prisoners should not be held in solitary confinement for longer than 15 consecutive days the Apartheid jails regularly violate this law holding prisoners for much longer periods of time. From data released by the Israelis, 54% of the prisoners being held in solitary confinement had been there for more than 6 months.
Access to medical care.
The current situation in Apartheid jails is that when prisoners are sick they have limited access to medical professionals and many conditions are exacerbated by the poor living conditions and sub standard food in the Israeli jails for Palestinian people. It is important to note that there is a huge difference between time served in jail and sentences for Israelis and for Palestinians, as well as a huge difference in the basic conditions and treatment of Israeli or Palestinian prisoners. Also, they do not share jails under Apartheid.
There are long waiting times to see physicians and the Israelis do not prioritize health care within their prison budget. The prisoners are effectively prevented from complaining as they have limited access to legal support, visits or phone calls and these are strictly monitored and enforced.
An end to Administrative detention,
International law allows the right to use administrative detention under extreme circumstances, however the Apartheid Israelis are now holding in excess of 600 men, women and children under administrative detention, increasing the numbers by more than two thirds in just 5 years. The Dignity strike is calling for an end to the use of administrative detention and the incarceration of politicians and individuals from the Palestinian community on jumped up charges or as is happening today, no charges at all.
Many international human right organizations have called for the meeting of the strikes demands. This would bring Apartheid Israel prisons in line with other civilized and democratized nations. There is concern that the Apartheid Israelis will begin to force feed the striking prisoners in violation of international law. This has killed as many as 70 Palestinians since the first hunger strike in 1969, it is ready to begin the lethal practice once more by importing doctors from other countries to do their dirty work.
Some facts about Apartheid israels jails.
There are three prison camps in the occupied territories of Palestine run by Israel.
Ofer, Megiddo and Kitz’ot. These three prisons are exclusively for the detention of Palestinians. The majority of prisoners incarcerated here have violated laws that would not be in effect anywhere but in an Apartheid state and many of the prisoners are under the internationally accepted or recommended age to be incarcerated in adult facilities.
So many international laws are being violated every day by Israel.
Ofer was built to hold 800 prisoners it now holds in excess of 1,250. The conditions are naturally appalling.
Kitz’ot is the biggest of the prisons in occupied Palestine, it is made up of tents and shacks and is more like a concentration camp than a correction facility.
One has to ask oneself what is the legitimacy of the Apartheid Israelis holding Palestinians prisoners in their own Palestinian land. Forget the understanding you have that if a person is convicted of a crime by 12 of their peers in the face of convincing legally obtained evidence and that their guilt “is beyond all reasonable doubt” -they will end up in prison. The majority of Palestinian prisoners have not committed acts that would be considered crimes under international law or in most other democratic countries. Their ‘crime’ is to be Palestinian and ask for equal rights to self-determination, justice, dignity and expression, which includes being able to live and move freely in their own land. Their punishment is meted out not by a jury of their peers but an Israeli military court ruling on secret and often contrived evidence.
Regardless of the jails in occupied territories the majority of Palestinian people are held at some time or another in Apartheid Israel cells. Against international law and the Geneva Convention Palestinians are taken across the borders from their occupied land to the land of their occupiers. There are 17 prisons in Israel but again the inmates are separated as is customary for Apartheid.
Deportation of protected persons from occupied territory into the occupying state constitutes an unlawful deportation as per Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention - as well as constituting a grave breach of the same Convention under Article 147 – and is also recognized as a war crime under Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. More specifically, Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention – which draws heavily from Article 49 - stipulates that an Occupying Power may not detain residents of the occupied territory in prisons outside of the occupied territory.
If you are still not sure that Gaza is a prison then it is worth noting that the Zionists will deport inmates to Gaza. It is a threat that when carried out puts the Palestinians from occupied Palestine behind the walls of the worlds largest prison with 2 million other inmates.
There is no doubt that the political Palestinian prisoners deserve dignity, they deserve the decency of our regard and our determination to free them and their country from occupation, theft and murder. It has never been more important for the world at large to end this last Apartheid and free Palestine and Palestinians from the terrorism of Zionist Apartheid to bring world peace.
Una Casey Cadao ,28th day of the Palestinian Dignity strike 2017.
 DEPORTATION AS POLICY: PALESTINIAN PRISONERS & DETAINEES IN ISRAELI DETENTION from Addameer, Badil Resource centre for Palestinian residency &refugee rights.