Jun 27 2014
By Daoud Kuttab
Sixty-three days after they declared an open-ended hunger strike, some 75 Palestinian administrative detainees announced on June 25 that they have suspended their hunger strike. Few details have emerged, but the Palestinian prisoners succeeded in exposing the injustice of administrative detention without putting a stop to this undemocratic practice.
No written agreement has been signed, a point Israel insisted on. But Al-Monitor sources among ex-prisoners point to some small signs of success despite the general observation that the prisoners failed in their stated goal of ending the Israeli practice of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial.
Political events, especially the disappearance of the three Israeli settlers and the large arrest campaign, have caused a major change in tactics for the hunger-striking prisoners. The over 100 detainees who were held without trial or charge when the April 24 hunger strike began, found their numbers nearly doubling in the past weeks as Israel detained hundreds of Palestinians without any charge or evidence against them. The campaign to find the three Israeli settlers who disappeared June 12 has also made the Israelis so sour and angry that the Palestinian prisoners realized this was not the best time to press them on what they consider a deterrent weapon — administrative detention.
Prisoner leaders as well as their counterparts outside had concluded a week ago, according to a former Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) prisoner in Bethlehem, that a face-saving formula must be found to end the hunger strike. The first problem was that the Israeli prison authorities had separated the prison leaders into different prisons and later, when their physical condition worsened, in separate hospitals. Therefore, the priority was to find a way to regroup the leadership committee that was made up of eight prisoners. The committee was comprised of two representatives each from Fatah, Hamas, the PFLP and Islamic Jihad. Continue Reading »