Daily Diaries of the Hunger Strike

Day Seventeen 31 August 2004

Israeli High Court of Justice turned down an appeal by Israeli and Palestinian human rights NGOs seeking a ruling ordering the Israeli Prison Authority to provide liquids, milk and salt for the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. The court saw these items as “Luxurious for the prisoners” and argued the Israeli Prison Authority is obliged to provide prisoners with three meals a day. It described the prisoners’ refusal to take the meals as a “Violation of the code of conduct of the Israeli prison system”.

The court also ruled against providing prisoners with salt citing an opinion by the Medical Advisor of the Israeli Prison Authority who claimed that salt is not vital for prisoners on hunger strike and only becomes imperative after the fourteenth day of the strike. The court asserted the prison authority allowed salt in on
29 August 2004. Yet, a representative of the same authority claimed his administration cannot allow salt
into the prison as it is dangerous to their health “If taken in large quantities”! He affirmed the administration will provide prisoners with a salty solution;

Fahmy Mashahra and Abdul-Halim Abdullah were among four infirm prisoners that were transferred from Nafha Prison to an Israeli hospital;

The clinic at Nafha Prison forced two infirm prisoners into signing a form releasing the administration and the Israeli Prison Authority of any responsibility should any thing happens to them if  they continue the hunger strike. The inmates were Issa Shabaneh who suffers cardiac problems and Issa Jabarin who was diagnosed earlier with renal problems;

Inmates at Nafha Prison decided to boycott the prison clinic;

Prison authorities transferred 50 inmates from Nafha to Ashqelon and brought 50 others from Ha Liqdar and
Ashqelon to Nafha;

Israeli prison authorities held a meeting with the Dialogue Committee at Shatta Prison. Prisoners decided to adjourn their hunger strike for four days after receiving promises from the prison authority that their demands will be met. Inmates started taking milk and other liquids;

Day Sixteen 30 August 2004

Israeli prison authorities transfer dozens of inmates between Galbou’ and Shatta prisons. The administration transferred 50 infirm prisoners from Galbou’ to Shatta and brought 90 inmates, on hunger strike, from Shatta to Galbou’;

Inmates at Galbou’ prison decided to boycott the prison clinic;

Seriously ill cases, including two inmates vomiting blood, were reported at Galbou’ prison. Some cases were reported to be unable to move;

Accusing them of being the strike’s motivators, the administration of Ovik prison transferred Houssam Khader, Walid Daqqa and Dean of Arab prisoners Samir Qanttar to the interrogation section at Jalama prison;

Striking prisoners refused to take vitamins offered instead of liquids by Israeli prison authorities;

Striking prisoners threaten to stop drinking water for two days which jeopardizes their wellbeing;

  Day Fifteen Sunday 29 August 2004

After a one-day adjournment, inmates at Ashqelon Prison resumed their hunger strike.

The administration of Ashqelon Prison reneged on several promises it had made to the Dialogue Committee
on 28 August 2004. Avi Vanaqfi, Commander of the so-called Southern Command and Dodo, the Officer in
charge of Prison Intelligence were present at the said meeting.

The administration of Ovik Prison refused to allow advocate Buthaina Duqmaq meet inmates held in isolation

  Day Fourteen Saturday 28 August 2004

Authorities at Ramla Prison for Females transferred 15 Palestinian females to the prison clinic as their health condition deteriorated.

Twenty eight inmates at Ha Darim Prison lost consciousness and were transferred to the prison clinic. ‘Atef Wuraidat, a Palestinian from Hebron suffers high blood pressure, cardiac problems and diabetes. Prisoners affirmed the clinic does not provide them with appropriate medical care.

The administration of Ha Darim prison cut the cold water supply off but left the hot water on.

  Day Thirteen 27 August 2004

Prisoners at Ashqelon Central Prison, 300 in total, decided to adjourn their hunger strike until Monday 30
August 2004. The decision was based upon a deal reached by the Palestinian Factions’ Dialogue Committee and the Israeli Prison Authority.

The decision to adjourn the hunger strike means prisoners will only take milk, salt and water.

Prison clinics were reported to be crowded with striking inmates

  Day Twelve 26 August 2004

The administration of Beer Shiva’ Prison called repeatedly through loudspeakers upon the striking inmates to break their hunger strike. Prison officials used scare tactics to petrify inmates of serious consequences should they continue their strike.

Prisoners reported the administration also uses contemptuous rumors to break the prisoners’ tenacity.

The administration ordered a raid on Eischel section at Beer Shiva’ Prison in the presence of Israeli female soldiers even during the prisoners’ count.

Prisoners described the prison clinics as “Fruit and vegetable stands”. Medical officials used the bountiful produce to force striking prisoners into breaking their hunger strike in return for medical care.

Palestinian female prisoners at Tal Mund Prison went on a partial hunger strike. They will go on a full scale strike on the 30th of September 2004 in  solidarity with their male inmates.

Israeli prison officials used electrical batons against inmates at Nafha Prison.

Israeli prison authorities transferred common criminals for preparing meals at Beer Shiva’ Prison.

Prisoners were reported to be doing their prayers while seated because of the serious deterioration in their health. Prisoners experienced an average weight loss of 13 kilograms.

  Day Eleven 25 August 2004

Prison officials transfer striking inmates on stretchers to prison clinics;

Israeli Prison Authority distributes statement to prisoners;

Israeli prison officials offer striking prisoners three choices: (1) Strip naked in front of soldiers including females, (2) Break hunger strike or (3) Beating;

Admission of common criminals to Eischel section at Beer Shiva’ Prison

  Day Ten 24 August 2004

Israeli prison authorities brought 11 out of 41 prisoners to the ‘Ofar military court. This constitutes a serious indicator of the deterioration in the health conditions of striking inmates and their inability to stand up or move around.

Yahia Senoir, a Palestinian prisoner, was moved from Section 3 at Ha Darim to regular cells.

Israeli prison authorities move inmates more than once within the same detention facility.

Israeli prison authorities continue to conduct random and thorough search at different times of the day or night.

The administration at Ayalon-Ramla Prison, where sixty Palestinian political prisoners are detained, appropriated electrical fans. This caused breathing difficulty for several inmates.

Israeli Prison Authority distributed a memo threatening Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike with more repressive measures including force-feeding.

  Day Nine 23 August,2004

  • Israeli Prison Authority imposed severe restrictions in order to hinder lawyer visits and thwart them from meeting Palestinian political prisoners.
  • Prison clinics try to force prisoners into breaking the strike in return for medical aid.
  • Prisoners reported inability to move around and extreme difficulty in standing up for the daily count.
  • Israeli soldiers brutally assault prisoners during transfer to and from military courts.
  • Infirm prisoners held in Section 5 at Galbou’ Prison, including diabetics and some with cardiac problems, joined the hunger strike.
  • Prison authorities conduct random night raids in all prisons and confiscate mattresses at Ha Darim Prison.
  • Israeli military authorities transfer 50 Palestinian prisoners from Ashqelon Central Prison to Nafha detention compound. It also transferred Walid Daqqa to the isolation section at Ovik prison.

  Day Eight 22 August 2004

Israeli prison authorities transferred the Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Houssam Khader and Samir Qanttar, the Dean of Lebanese prisoners, to the isolation section at Ovik Prison.

Israeli soldiers, using rifle butts, assaulted a number of Palestinian prisoners who refused to appear in front of the Salem military tribunal with their upper and lower limbs cuffed.

  Day Seven 21 August 2004

Guards and soldiers stormed the cells holding Palestinian females at Ramla Prison, conducted a thorough search of the place and isolated female inmates in two separate sections.

Infirm prisoners threatened to join the hunger strike and stop taking their medications as of Monday 23 August 2004.

Prison authorities at Galbou’ and Shatta prisons forced the prisoners to strip off their clothes in a degrading manner.

Two prisoners were transferred from Ha Liqdar section at Beer Shiva’ Prison to the Ramla Prison hospital.

Israeli prison authorities transferred Tawfic Abu-Na’im, the prisoners’ representative at Nafha Prison, to the isolation section (Eischel) at Beer Shiva’ prison.

  Day six Friday 20, August.2004

Upon their return from the ‘Ofar military court to Nafha Prison on Thursday 19 August 2004, prisoners refused to succumb to strip search and were subjected to brutal beatings.

The administration at Nafha Prison substituted the inmates assigned to work in the  corridors with common criminals .

Israeli Prison Authority restricted Palestinian prisoners from carrying out Friday prayers at Ashqelon, Ha Darim and Nafha prisons.

In an attempt to break interconnection among prisoners, the administration at Ashqelon Prison ordered the placement of inmates in isolated cells upon their return from the military court.

  Day Five Friday 19, August.2004

Inmates at Shatta Prison, numbered 133, and 610    inmates at Galbou’ Prison joined the hunger strike on Thursday 19 August 2004.

Guards and soldiers raided sections at Galbou’ and Shatta and confiscated electrical appliances including hot plates, radios, TVs, books and stationary supplies.

The administration at Nafha Prison allowed inmates out for one hour of exercise after four days of hunger strike. On the contrary, the administration at Ha Darim and Shatta prisons restricted their inmates from going out for exercise.

The prison clinic at Shatta conducted a medical exam including “Blood pressure and weight” for striking prisoners. Inmates at Ashqelon Prison underwent a similar exam.

The administrations at Ha Darim and Nafha confiscated personal belongings from striking inmates including cooking utensils but left them with the mattress, a blanket and the clothes they have on.

The administration at Ashqelon, Beer Shiva’ and Nafha prisons confiscated tooth brushes, toothpaste, soap and fans from striking prisoners.

The administration at Ha Darim Prison began conducting a thorough search of prisoners’ cells twice a day.

About 15 inmates at Nafha began their hunger strike as of 10 August 2004.

Israeli military authorities began photographing infirm prisoners while eating at Ashqelon Prison.

  Day Four Wednesday 18 August 2004

-More Palestinian political in central prisons like Ashqelon, Ha Liqdar Section at Beer Shiva’, Nitzan-Ramla, Neve Tritsa (Women) and Tal Mund (Women) joined the hunger strike on Wednesday 18 August 2004.

-About 3659 detainees held at the Israeli military detention compounds of ‘Ofar, Negev and Megiddo went on a one-day  hunger strike in solidarity with striking colleagues.

-Israeli Prison Authority conducted a very thorough search of the striking sections and confiscated radios, TVs, electrical appliances, canned or bottled liquids and salt.

-Israeli Prison Authority restricted newspapers and confiscated books, pencils and other stationary supplies.

-Israeli Prison Authority reduced the exercise time to one hour.

  Day Three 17.August.2004

*The Nafha Prison administration separated sentenced prisoners from those under detention. It also moved infirm prisoners to a special section and confiscated their personal effects especially the radios and TVs.

*Sources close to the Mandela Institute confirmed Palestinian female political prisoners decided to join the hunger strike on Wednesday 18 August 2004.

 *Similar sources affirmed 70 inmates held at Ayalon-Ramla Prison and 738 others held at Galbou’ and Shatta prisons will definitely join the strike on Thursday 19 August 2004.

*The Administration of Ashqelon prison transferred 12 infirm Prisoner’s to special section . 

  Day two 16.August.2004

  • One hundred prisoners at Megiddo Detention Compound joined the hunger strike.
  • Israeli Prison Authority confiscated juice, salt, milk and cigarettes from canteens at Beer Shiva’, Ha Darim and Nafha prisons.
  • Israeli military authorities transferred 140 inmates, including leaders of the hunger strike, from Nafha to central prisons. Some were sent to Ha Liqdar, an isolation section, at Beer Shiva’ Prison.
  • Nafha Prison administration moved 300 inmates within the prison. Some inmates were moved 3 times within different sections. The Israeli move is an attempt to destabilize striking prisoners and is a part of the psychological pressure to break the strike.
  • Prison authorities reduced exercise time to one hour.
  • Israeli prison authorities transferred common criminals to the same sections holding political prisoners at Nafha prison. They were provided with extra special food and were asked to prepare delicious meals to tempt striking prisoners.

  Day one