Addameer, PHRI won’t confirm Hana Shalabi ends hunger strike, warn of coercion in banishment deal

Just after 2AM Palestine local time, or around 7PM US East Coast time, Addameer, the Palestinian prisoner’s rights group, issued this important statement in Arabic via Facebook and in English on its website regarding Hana al-Shalabi, the Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for more than 40 days against her detention without charge or trial by Israel.

The statement followed reports by Ma’an News Agency, the BBC and other outlets, that Shalabi had ended her hunger strike as part of a deal which would see her banished from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip for three years.

Official English version of Addameer/PHRI statement

Addameer and PHR-Israel Cannot Yet Confirm That Hana Shalabi Has Ended Her Hunger Strike

Joint Statement, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

Ramallah-Jaffa, 29 March 2012− In response to this evening’s reports in the media that Hana Shalabi has ended her hunger strike on its 43rd day and agreed to a deal in which she will be deported to Gaza for three years, Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) cannot yet confirm this news. Addameer’s lawyers were deliberately denied access to Ms. Shalabi today and PHR-Israel’s doctor has been denied access to her tomorrow. Her family has also been denied permission to visit her.

Addameer and PHR-Israel are first and foremost concerned about Ms. Shalabi’s health. Addameer and PHR-Israel are further concerned that her medical condition and the high danger on her life were used in order to threaten her to take the sole option of being deported.

Addameer and PHR-Israel are against this form of forcible deportation, which is not only illegal under international law, as clearly stated in the Fourth Geneva Convention, but is also part of an Israeli policy that is not new; Israel has systematically made agreements in which Palestinians are deported from their homes and separated from their loved ones.

Addameer and PHR-Israel are working hard to receive confirmation about Ms. Shalabi’s condition and will release a more comprehensive analysis of today’s events shortly.

Earlier Electronic Intifada rush translation of Arabic version

The Arabic statement is rush-translated by The Electronic Intifada:

Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights cannot confirm end of Hana Shalabi’s hunger strike

Regarding what has appeared in the media this evening regarding the prisoner Hana Shalabi ending her hunger strike on its 43rd day, and her agreement to a deal that would include banishing her to Gaza for three years, Addameer and Phyisicians for Human Rights - Israel [PHRI] cannot confirm this news as of this moment, given that Addameer’s attorney was prevented from visiting her today, just as physicians have been prevented from visiting her tomorrow. She is also forbidden from receiving family visits.

Addameer and PHRI, first and foremost, are gravely concerned over the health of Shalabi, and are afraid that her critical health condition and the danger to her life were causes of pressure and threat to accept the only choice which was banishment to the Gaza Strip.

Addameer and PHRI oppose this kind of compulsory banishment, which is not only against international law, and is mentioned clearly in the Fourth Geneva Convention, but is also a long-standing part of Israel’s policy which it has come to rely on - to make deals with Palestinians that result in banishing them from their homes and families.

Addameer and PHRI are working to obtain confirmation regarding the condition of Shalabi and they will release a more complete analysis of the day’s events soon, and they call on media to exercise caution and and to verify information before publishing it.