More Palestinian prisoners go on hunger strike

Prisoner Shireen Issawi starts hunger strike, joining her brother Samir who also went on hunger strike in solidarity with Muhammad Allan

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Palestinians stage a demonstraition demanding the release of hunger striker Muhammed Allan

According to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, the Palestinian administrative detainee Shireen Issawi on Monday joined her brother Samir Issawi in an open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with hunger striking prisoner Muhammad Allan.

Shireen, a prominent lawyer, was detained in March last year in a raid by Israeli forces. Activists have protested Shireen's arrest, calling for her freedom. On August10 in San Francisco there a rally by activists in support of Shireen was carried out.

Her detention has been extended since she was arrested in 2014 without trial or even charge as part of a controversial Israeli policy known as administrative detention, the head of the Palestinian Authority Committee for Prisoners' Affairs in Jerusalem, Amjad Abu Asab, said.

On Sunday, Samer Issawi - Shireen's brother - launched a hunger strike in solidarity with Muhammad Allan, who has been on hunger strike for over two months in protest against his own administrative detention that started in November.  

Allan, who was also detained without charge, fell into a coma on Friday morning as a result of his strike. He is currently connected to ventilators to assist his breathing and is being administered fluids and sodium intravenously.

Samir was released from Israeli prison in December 2013 under an agreement in which he ended a 266-day hunger strike against his administrative detention. Samir's hunger strike, during which he fell close to death, was one of the longest recorded in history. The strike drew international attention. In July 2014, Samir was arrested again.

Last month the Israeli Knesset passed a controversial new law allowing doctors to force feed hunger-striking prisoners, which raised fears that Israel may force feed Allan.

Palestinians across both Israel and occupied Palestinian territory have rallied in support of Allan.

According to prisoners' rights group Addameer there are currently 5,750 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, and more than 400 administrative detainees who are being held without charge or trial.  

It is estimated that up to 40 percent of the male Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territories have been detained by Israeli forces at one time or another, according to Ma’an.

TRTWorld and agencies