Mass Palestinian Hunger Strike Day 31
by Stephen Lendman
Hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners continue hunger striking for justice, their action begun on April 17, a month later still ongoing - met with Israeli viciousness.
Strikers want their fundamental rights under international law observed, systematically denied by Israel, including administratively imprisoning hundreds uncharged and untried, as well as excruciating longterm isolation - cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment amounting to torture.
Families throughout Occupied Palestine suffer from fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and other loved ones imprisoned in Israel's gulag, silent victims of its oppression.
In response to their collective action, prison authorities subjected hunger strikers to violent, coercive treatment, extreme punishment for exercising their only way to resist injustice.
A month without food takes a terrible toll, including severe loss of body weight and mobility, illness affecting growing numbers, and denial of medical treatment addressing it.
On hunger strike day 30, the Addameer prisoner support group "urge(d) supporters of justice around the world to take action to support the Palestinian prisoners whose bodies and lives are on the line for freedom and dignity."
It called on all justice-seeking "people to organize events in solidarity with the struggle of hunger-striking prisoners and detainees (including) political parties, institutions, organizations and solidarity groups working in the field of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory and abroad to support the prisoners in their hunger strike and demand that their legitimate demands be granted."
On Tuesday, strike organizer/leader Marwan Barghouti stopped drinking water in response to refusal by prison authorities to respond to striker demands.
The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs (PCPA) quoted Barghouti's lawyer Khader Shqeirat, saying his decision to refuse water marks "a new turning point in the ongoing open-ended hunger strike."
PCPA said Israel is responsible for endangering the lives of strikers by taking "a criminal stance regarding" their just demands.
It explained Barghouti insists on Israel meeting all prisoner demands, without bargaining or compromise.
It called for emergency Security Council and General Assembly sessions to address the situation, urging the international community to compel an Israeli policy of "slow death" by incarceration to end.
It deplored how ill strikers are mistreated, transferred to so-called field hospital confinement, saying:
"In these clinics, the role of doctors resembles the role of jailers who offer all kinds of food to the sick detainees and bargain with them to provide medical treatment in return for ending the strike" - otherwise none forthcoming.
Separately on Nakba Day, May 15, the Global BDS Movement quoted famed Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941 - 2008), saying:
"It is possible…
It is possible at least sometimes…
It is possible especially now
To ride a horse
Inside a prison cell
And run away…
It is possible for prison walls
For the cell to become a distant land
The Global BDS Movement called on people of conscience worldwide to nonviolently resist through "the ongoing, intensifying Nakba."
Israeli ruthlessness remains unrelenting. Resisting its tyrannical rule is a universal right. The Global BDS Movement is a vital initiative, indispensable in the struggle for Palestinian liberation.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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