Over 1,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails are now on their 38th day of hunger strike. (Scroll down to see a list of actions you can take.)
Addameer reports that they’re experiencing alarming deteriorating health conditions, with many reporting weight loss, weakness, difficulty speaking, standing & walking, high-blood pressure, kidney & chest pain, and vomiting of blood. Some have lost consciousness and have been transported to hospitals for immediate care.
Since the Israeli occupation began in 1967, Israeli forces have arrested more than 800,000 Palestinians, almost 20% of the total Palestinian population in the occupied territories.
More than one in three Palestinian men have been imprisoned by Israel. They are sentenced by a court system run by the Israeli military, and 99.74% of the cases heard there end in conviction.
Some Palestinians are held indefinitely without charges or trial. Palestinians have even been jailed for posting about their own oppression on Facebook.
The prisoners have a range of basic demands, but Israel still refuses to negotiate with them and has inflicted various forms of punishment on those participating, including:
- Subjecting them to dehumanizing strip searches
- Confiscating salt supplements and forcing them to drink unsanitary tap water
- Placing them in solitary confinement
- Providing insufficient medical examinations
- Forcing them to stand to be counted or face severe fines
- Transferring them from prison to prison
- Confiscating their personal items
- Banning them from shaving their beards, cutting their nails, and washing their clothes
While American media is quick to report violence coming from the Palestinian resistance to Israel’s occupation, they are astoundingly quiet when it comes to nonviolent resistance. The largest collective hunger strike in the world should be headline news.
These hunger strikers need us to act now to amplify their voices.
Here are things you can do:
1) Call, write, and tweet your Congressional rep and ask them to:
- Pressure Israel to meet the prisoners’ demands
- Write a letter of support for the hunger strike (use rep Danny Davis as an example)
2) Call the International Red Cross at 202-587-4600 and demand that it fulfill its obligation to examine the prisoners’ cells
3) Call Amnesty International USA at 212-807-8400 and urge it to pressure Israel to meet the prisoners’ demands
4) Post about the hunger strike on social media:
- Post facts about Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners using #DignityStrike
- Change your profile picture to this
- Post a photo of yourself holding a sign of support
- Post a video of yourself taking the #SaltwaterChallenge (initiated by Marwan Barghouti’s son)
5) Write to the major media outlets as well as your local newspaper giving the facts, and ask why they’ve barely covered this
6) Organize or attend a rally:
- NYC (Tonight!)
- Washington, DC, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, (Thursday, May 25)
- International events
Resources for educating people:
- Empire Files video on Palestinian prisoners
- Addameer’s latest report
- Phil Giraldi’s write-up about the situation
- Congressman Danny Davis’ letter of support
- Letter to President Trump from families of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails