by Saed Bannoura
Palestinian political prisoner Hasan Safadi was released from an Israeli detention facility, on Monday, after being detained for 16 months under administrative detention without charges or trial; he held two extended hunger-strikes amounting to 168 days.
Talking to his family and the massive crowds that gathered to greet him after his release, Safadi stated that his freedom was obtained “after an extended battle motivated by patience and determination”.
He added that he did not receive any medical treatment during his strike when he was hospitalized at the Ramla Prison Clinic, which lacks basic supplies, and added that “[d]octors and nurses at the prison clinic are wolves in pigeons clothes”, the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) reported.
The PIC said that thousands of residents gathered at the center of Nablus city, in the northern part of the West Bank, to welcome Safadi, and chanted slogans praising him, the resistance and the Hamas movement.
Talking to the crowds that gathered to greet him, Safady called for more solidarity with the detainees, held by Israel, especially those who are on hunger strike”, and thanked the people for all solidarity activities they held to express support for him during his strike.
Safady was kidnapped by the Israeli army in July 2011, and conducted two extended hunger strikes; the first strike was for 73 days, and ended in mid-May this year after the Israeli Prison Administration reached an agreement, with him and five other striking detainees, vowing to release them.
He resumed his strike, this time for 95 days, after Israeli imposed another six-month administrative detention order against him without pressing any charges against him. He ended his strike when an Israeli Military Court ordered his release.
In related news, Palestinian detainee, Ayman ash-Sharawna, who has been on hunger strike for 121 days, stopped drinking water on Wednesday, escalating his strike as Israel still refuses to release him, and due to pressures practiced against him by the Prison Administration.
A lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) managed to visit ash-Sharawna on Tuesday at the Ramla Prison Clinic; the detainee told him that he refuses to be exiled in exchange for his release, and will continue his strike “until freedom or death”.
Sharawna repeatedly loses consciousness, and faces repeated sharp migraines and is gradually losing his memory.
The Israeli prison administration “offered” exiling him in exchange for his release, but he refused.
Earlier in June, Israel released Palestinian detainee Thaer Halahla, 32, ending his illegal Administrative Detention, without charges or trial, starting when he was kidnapped by the army on June 26, 2010. Halahla was released after conducting a 79-day hunger strike.
Back in April, Adnan Khader, a leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad went on hunger-strike for 66 consecutive days demanding an end to his illegal detention without charges or trial. He too was released by the Israeli Prison Authorities.
Israel is holding captive more than 4,550 Palestinians, held in 17 prisons, detention and interrogation centers, including 250 detainees who are held under administrative detention orders without charges or trial. Approximately 220 children currently imprisoned by Israel.