Rally backs Palestinian hunger strikers
The demonstration was held on Friday in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners Mahmoud Sarsak and Akram Reghawi who are in Israeli jails without any charge.
“Our son is sick, very sick and his condition is very serious. Yesterday he was taken to the hospital, all the time moving between hospitals,” said Um Abdel Aziz Sarsak, the mother of hunger striker Mahmoud Sarsak.
“For how long will this go on, what is his crime? What is the evidence that he committed? This is not justice,” she added.
The protesters also called on the international community to take decisive measures against what they called Tel Aviv’s detentions without charge.
Israel reached a deal with 16,000 Palestinian hunger strikers in May. But Sarsak, a former player with the Palestinian national football team, continued his strike to protest his detention without charge. He has refused to eat for over 86 days, the longest hunger strike in an Israeli prison.
His brother, Imad, called on “FIFA and all (football) unions to stand together with our brother Mahmoud in his ordeal.”
“This could cost him his life, 86 days of hunger strike and the occupation has no evidence against Mahmoud, three years of arbitrary detention,” said Imad Sarsak, Mahmoud’s brother.
The group Physicians for Human Rights says Sarsak’s health condition is deteriorating and that there is a real threat to his life.
Speaking to media in Gaza on Friday, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said detention of Sarsak by Israeli regime was a “crime against humanity, which still the Zionist enemy commits against our prisoners in the occupation jails.”
“And we call upon all the world and our brothers in Egypt who sponsored the recent agreement on prisoners hunger strike to intervene in every way, in order to compel the Israeli occupation to end the suffering of the prisoners who are on hunger strike, especially Sarsak and Rikhawi,” he said.
Rikhawi says that Israel violated a pledge to release him when it extended his detention on 21 May. He has been on hunger strike for more than 56 days.
The administrative detention, often implemented by the Israeli regime against the Palestinian population, is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge, allowing regime forces to make detentions for up to six months. The detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time.