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(Ismael Mohamad / United Press International)

Palestinian who went 71 days without food restarts hunger strike after Israel breaches deal to free him

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Palestinians call for the release of hunger-striking prisoners Akram Rikhawi and football player Mahmoud Sarsak.

(Nedal Eshtayah / APA images)

Hassan Safadi, who ended a 71 day hunger strike on 14 May, restarted his hunger strike today after Israel blatantly breached a deal to free him from so-called “administrative detention” in which he is held without charge or trial.

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Prisoners’ rights group Addameer issued the following urgent release a short time ago:

Urgent: Hunger striker’s administrative detention order renewed in violation of recent agreement

Note: following publication of this press release, Addameer lawyer Fares Ziad phoned after visiting Hadarim prison and confirmed that Hassan Safadi has re-launched his hunger strike and is currently being held in solitary confinement in Hadarim.

Ramallah, 21 June 2012 - Addameer is outraged by today’s news that Hassan Safadi, who engaged in hunger strike for 71 days, has had his administrative detention order renewed for an additional six months. Hassan, who launched his hunger strike on 5 March, was one of the five long-term hunger strikers in administrative detention who were promised release upon the expiration of their current orders in the agreement that ended the Palestinian prisoners’ mass hunger strike on 14 May.

During his hunger strike, Hassan was subjected to severe ill-treatment by Israeli prison authorities when he was held down by prison guards and forcefully given treatment by a prison doctor via an injection in his arm. By the end of his hunger strike, his health had deteriorated significantly and he was in critical condition.

Hassan has been held in administrative detention since 29 June 2011 and this renewal of his detention is a blatant violation of the agreement between the prisoners’ hunger strike committee and Israeli officials. Addameer is concerned that this renewal may cause Hassan to return to open hunger strike, which would put his health at urgent risk. Addameer additionally fears that his extension may indicate even more troubling breaches of the agreement to come, as there is now no guarantee that any of the long-term hunger strikers will be released upon their given dates.

In regards to the implementation of the agreement as a whole, one of the 19 prisoners in long-term isolation, Dirar Abu Sisi, has still not been moved to the general prison population, and an additional prisoner was moved to isolation last week. Furthermore, family visits to prisoners from Gaza have not yet resumed, though one month has passed since the agreement was signed. Addameer has observed no change in Israel’s overall administrative detention policy and fears that these practices will only continue without significant pressure from the international community.

The latest Israeli violation of prisoner deal

Israel’s violation of its deal to free Hassan Safadi is only the latest. As The Electronic Intifada reported, Israel began violating the deal it reached to end a mass hunger strike almost as soon as it was signed in mid-May.

Currently, Samer al-Barq is on the 32nd day of a hunger strike which he resumed after Israel reneged on its agreement to free him. Meanwhile, Akram Rikhawi, who is seriously ill is on day 71 of his hunger strike.

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Comments

Readers are encouraged to make a distinction between Zionism and classical, ethical Judaism. No self-respecting Jewish citizen anywhere in the world can or will accept Zionism's lamentable and well-documented record of horrific sins and crimes in Israel and the illegally occupied West Bank. No self-respecting believer in the Islamic faith would call for the destruction of Israel or rocket attacks on its citizens. A daily focus and honest reporting on the facts of everyday life in the region is the prelude to conflict resolution. Creeping annexationism into Palestinian territory, terrorizing the indigenous population by attacks on their homes and olive gardens, and simutaneously demanding that Palestinians "renounce terrorism", has earned Israel the world's revulsion. It is not the road to peace. Zionist fundamentalists know this and act accordingly. Calling for Israel's annihilation by radical Islamic factions is evidence that psychopathology is both non-denominational and cross-denominational. Islamic radicals reinforce the latent and deep-seated paranoia of Zionist extremists, who then justify their fears with anti-social behavior toward Arabs in Israel and the West Bank. Let there be Israel - forever. And let it be an Israel with a written Constitution and with a Bill of Rights which guarantees equal protection under the law for all persons regardless of ethnicity, race, or religion. Let every Arab enjoy in his own land what every Jewish citizen enjoys in the United States of America every day of his or her life.

This article is ridiculously one sided. Why is it never said what this man did to deserve jail time? Or why he required a shot in the arm? Perhaps he blew up a school bus or needed a needle for nutrients so that he could survive. Israel is one of the only democratic countries in the middle east, they do not lock people up for no reason. Had this situation been reversed, I can guarentee that an Israeli prisoner would get a much worse treatment in Palestinain territory. ALL of the facts should be presented in an article, not just a one sided, biased opinion.

il Popolo Palestinese è in carcere da oltre 60 anni e non mi sembra che i loro aguzzini lo trattino bene!

Whatever Hassan Safadi did, or did not do (remember: Israel allows no trial, defence lawyers are routinely banned, nor is the accused allowed to see any evidence against him that may exist), the fact is that Israel has just blatantly reneged on an agreement reached after great suffering and mediated by international negotiators. Please explain how this is compatible with Israel's self-proclaimed status of a "democracy in the ME" respecting the rule of law ???