Hisham Abu Hawash on 138th day of hunger strike


As 2022 dawns, Hisham Abu Hawash — Palestinian prisoner jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention — is on his 138th day of hunger strike.  His life and health are at risk at every moment, and the Israeli occupation bears full responsibility for his survival. Abu Hawash, the father of five, is putting his life on the line in order to put an end to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. 

Abu Hawash is about to be joined on 1 January 2022 by the collective boycott of his fellow administrative detainees. The 500 Palestinians (out of over 4,500 total Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails) held without charge or trial under administrative detention will refuse to go before the Israeli military courts from this point forward. They demand this sham system come to an end. 

As the world is marking New Year’s Eve, Samidoun Deutschland took to the streets of Berlin, with fireworks all around, to highlight the case of Abu Hawash and demand his immediate release. Watch and share the video here:

All of this points to why organizing is necessary to defend Palestinian prisoners and struggle for the liberation of Palestine. 

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is a people-supported movement. As a grassroots organization without foundation funding or full-time staff, your generosity is absolutely critical to continuing to build our work to support Palestinian liberation.  Make your US tax-deductible donation today, or donate safely and securely from around the world. 

Alternately, checks and money orders may be written and mailed to:

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Urgent Letter to UN Concerning Detainee Hisham Abu Hawash

Ref: 61/2021
Date: 30 December 2021

Due to the serious deterioration in the health condition of administrative detainee, Hisham Abu Hawash, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) sent an urgent letter to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) on 30 December 2021, calling for an immediate intervention and pressuring the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) to release Abu Hawash immediately and unconditionally.

PCHR indicated in the letter that Abu Hawash (39), from Dura city in Hebron, has been on hunger strike for 137 days in protest to his administrative detention. Abu-Hawash is fighting for his life despite the serious deterioration of his health. On 23 December 2021, the Israeli Prison Service ordered to transfer him to Assaf Harofeh Hospital in Tel Aviv, as he became immobile and unable to speak or hear, and he is in a semicoma. On 26 December 2021, due to the serious deterioration of Abu Haawash’s health condition, his administrative detention was frozen, and his family was allowed visitation, but under the surveillance of hospital guards.

Israeli occupation’s practices against Abu Hawash constitutes a clear violation of the international humanitarian and human rights laws, and a flagrant violation of his right to a fair trial, including his right to receive a proper defense and be informed of any charges against him, which is guaranteed in article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This also violates the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
PCHR stresses that Israeli occupation’s practices against the detainees on hunger-strike reflect its racism and flagrant breaches of human principles and values, particularly as hunger strikes are considered the most difficult choice for prisoners to regain their basic human rights which are guaranteed in all international laws and standards.
PCHR points out that more than 500 Palestinians are currently placed under the illegal administrative detention, which falls under political detention.

New Film on Hebron at the New York Times

Mission: Hebron by Israeli filmmaker Rona Segal was published recently in the opinion section of the New York Times website, and can be watched there (with a subscription) or on YouTube.

Mission: Hebron is a short documentary based on interviews conducted by the director with Breaking the Silence testifiers about their service in Hebron. Describing a horrifying yet mundane routine of manning checkpoints, invading homes, nighttime arrests, and violently dispersing protests, they paint a picture of what serving in the second largest Palestinian city in the occupied territories requires, the atmosphere in the city, their interaction with the local population, both Palestinians and settlers, and how they felt about it all.

Screened around the world at international film festivals, the film won the Shagrir Prize at last year’s Jerusalem Film Festival and is now long-listed for the Academy Award for Best Short Documentary.

November 20, 2021
Palestinian Children in Israel’s Military Detention System

Israeli soldiers knelt on top of 16-year-old Osama while holding him at gunpoint, arrested 17-year-old Qusai in his home at three in the morning, and forced 17-year-old Islam to sleep outside in the cold overnight.

On November 20, Universal Children’s Day, join us for the global premiere of Caging Childhood: Palestinian Children in Israel’s Military Detention System, a new short documentary produced by Defense for Children International – Palestine.

October 12, 2021
No Way to Treat a Child Webinar

On Tuesday, October 12, at 8 p.m. Eastern / 5 p.m. Pacific, please join the No Way to Treat a Child campaign for a webinar to unpack U.S. military funding to Israel. We’ll discuss the different kinds of military funding that the U.S. sends to Israel, share updates from Capitol Hill that affect Palestinians and our advocacy efforts, and hear from grassroots activists working to advance Palestinian human rights.

Sign up for the webinar

Between the Iron Dome supplemental funding vote and the new Two-State Solution Act, it was a busy September with lots to track for Palestinian human rights activists. We’ll go into depth explaining how the recent events in Congress relate back to H.R. 2590 and how you can continue organizing in support of this bill and rights-based policy supporting Palestinian rights.

Everyone who registers will be sent information for how to join via Zoom. If you aren’t able to attend live, please register and I’ll send you the recording a few days after the webinar.

In solidarity,

Miranda Cleland
Digital Communications Manager
Defense for Children International – Palestine

Israeli Prison Denies Release For Daughter’s Funeral

Addameer, July 13, 2021

On 12 July 2021, following several communications submitted to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) for the temporary humanitarian release of Palestinian political prisoner Khalida Jarrar to attend her recently deceased daughter’s funeral, the Israeli Prison Service denied Khalida’s release on political grounds, citing the alleged “security threat” she poses due to her “[negative] leadership role” inside and out of prison. The denial of Khalida Jarrar’s release to mourn the sudden death of her daughter and participate in burial rights stands in stark violation of protected recognition of human dignity and family rights under international law.

Khalida Jarrar’s daughter, Suha Jarrar, was unexpectedly found dead in her apartment in Ramallah on 11 July 2021. Suha, a 30-year-old human rights defender, served as a Research and Advocacy officer for Al-Haq, working with United Nations treaty bodies and the Human Rights Council, specializing in gender, environment, and climate change. In response to Suha’s sudden and tragic death, regional human rights organizations began mobilizing international instruments and advocacy, calling for Khalida’s immediate and unconditional release, on humanitarian grounds, to attend her daughter’s funeral, scheduled for 13 June 2021, and mourn in human dignity. Addameer’s lawyers, representing Khalida, sent forth legal communications with the relevant local occupation authorities appealing for her temporary release. Nevertheless, the Israeli Prison Service responded to the communication, firmly denying the request and any possibility of further entreaty with an index of justifications that allegedly mark Khalida as a “security threat” ineligible for humanitarian considerations.

On 31 October 2019, Khalida Jarrar was detained once again by IOF and held in detention for months before her sentence on 1 March 2021 to 24 months in prison and a fine of 4,000 NIS. During the hearing session, the military prosecutor amended Khalida’s indictment, limiting it solely to her political role and work with the Palestinian Authority, thus establishing no charges against her in affiliation with any military, financial nor organizational activities.[1] Despite the sentence relating to her political activities, the IPS characterized Khalida Jarrar as a “security inmate,” thus falling under a category prohibited from temporary humanitarian release under the Israeli Prison Ordinance No. 03.02.00. In establishing her as a “security inmate”—constituting a “security threat” to the region, the IPS explicitly notes Khalida’s leadership role as a Palestinian Legislative Council member and former director of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. Her classification as a “security inmate” automatically sets her under more stringent rules and allows for greater violations and restrictions on her basic rights. Moreover, the IPS notes Khalida Jarrar’s “negative influence” inside and outside of prison, coupled with her previous arrests and administrative detention, further confirming the “security threat” she poses if temporarily released. In a base “humanitarian” gesture, the IPS allowed for one short phone call between Khalida Jarrar and her bereaved family.

In listing the purported grounds for the denial of the request for Khalida Jarrar’s humanitarian release to bury her daughter, the Israeli occupation regime explicitly relies on criminalizing Khalida’s political work and human rights activism as a means of establishing her “security threat,” thus depriving her of any inherent human dignity and humanitarian considerations. Furthermore, Israeli occupation authorities cement their determinations by citing her previous arrests and administrative detention, her systematic harassment and targeting by the Israeli occupation regime, never minding the lack of evidentiary grounds for her administrative detention or her most recent sentencing solely addressing her political activities.

Throughout Khalida’s work as a Palestinian civil society leader, former General Director of Addameer, Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member, and role in the formulation of Palestine’s application to the ICC, she has been systematically harassed and targeted by the Israeli occupation regime. These efforts come as part of an ongoing Israeli effort to suppress Palestinians’ exercise of political sovereignty and self-determination. Khalida has been detained by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) three times between 2015 and 2019 for an accumulated period of 59 months. Furthermore, Khalida was issued a travel ban in 1998, which was only lifted once in 2010 to receive medical treatment.

The denial of the humanitarian request by the Israeli occupation regime violates the essence of human dignity and family rights protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the Fourth Geneva Conventions mandated upon Israel as the Occupying Power. The act confirms the retaliatory and punitive nature of the occupation regime, which denies the most basic humanity to Palestinians and where political activities, affiliation, and leadership are prohibitively taken against their rights and dignity.

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association mourns the sudden death of Suha Jarrar and the tragic reality of Israeli military occupation that denies a mother the chance to mourn her daughter and participate in her burial. Notwithstanding, Addameer will continue to call for the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar and is committed to advocating for the actualization of the dignity and rights of Palestinian prisoners.


[1] Addameer, “Continued Targeting of PLC Member Khalida Jarrar,” 1 March 2021, available at: https://www.addameer.org/news/press-release/en/khalidajarra 

ADDAMEER (Arabic for conscience) Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association is a Palestinian non-governmental, civil institution that works to support Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons.

US congresswoman denounces ‘disturbing’ arrests of Palestinian children

Betty McCollum vows to push that US military aid to Israel is not ‘used in any way that violates the rights of any Palestinian’


B’Tselem says Israeli forces arrested five Palestinian children in the West Bank on Wednesday (B’Tselem)

Ali Harb, Middle East Eye, 11 March 2021

US Congresswoman Betty McCollum, a Democrat who has led efforts in Congress to hold Israel accountable for human rights abuses against Palestinians, denounced the arrest of Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday. 

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem had reported that five Palestinians aged 8 to 12 had been detained by the Israeli military in the West Bank near the settlement of Havat Maon south of Hebron for picking wild vegetables. 

The group shared video footage of Israeli troops in combat gear pushing visibly terrified Palestinian children into military vehicles. 

At one point, an older child tried to rescue another minor who was being escorted by a soldier only to be yanked away by another officer.

“Seeing the images of heavily armed Israeli soldiers manhandling and detaining these five preteen Palestinian children is extremely disturbing,” McCollum told MEE in an email. 

“Using Israeli soldiers to capture little boys who were reportedly ‘gathering wild vegetables’ in occupied Palestinian land is wrong.”

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UPDATE: Violence and Ethnic Cleansing in South Hebron Hills

One of our members is personally acquainted with these people and provides the following update. Please sign the petition below and consider donating to help both shooting victim Arun Abu Aram and arrested rights activist Sami Huraini.

Palestinian human rights activist Sami Huraini was arrested by Israeli forces during a pre-dawn raid on his home in the West Bank village of At-Tuwani on January 9, just hours after participating in a nonviolent demonstration in the neighboring village of Al Rakeez, where Israeli soldiers shot an unarmed Palestinian man, Harun Abu Aram, on New Year’s day.

Abu Aram, 24, was shot in the neck by Israeli soldiers who were conducting a raid on what remained of his neighbor’s home after a recent demolition. The soldiers were attempting to steal a generator from the neighbor. Abu Aram is in critical condition, in an induced coma, and is permanently paralyzed from the neck down.

Here is a short video account of the shooting.

Despite a complete lack of evidence and the peaceful nature of the protests, Sami Huraini has been charged with obstructing the peace and assaulting an Israeli soldier. He was conditionally released on January 15 after paying a cash bail of 10,000 shekels, while the prosecution prepares charges. The conditions of release are extremely punitive. In addition to the non-refundable bail, he is required to spend each Friday inside (or more likely waiting for hours outside) an Israeli police station inside a settlement, and is forbidden from planning or participating in any demonstration. He remains under threat of immediate re-arrest and is at risk of being taken into administrative detention.

These restrictions are indefinite, while the prosecution searches for evidence against him, so it is essential to continue to insist that all charges against him be dropped.

Sami Huraini is a leading human rights activist in the Masafer Yatta (South Hebron Hills) area. Residents of At Tuwani believe that his arrest is part of an effort to target him for his effectiveness as a community organizer and his leadership of the nonviolent protests that followed the nearby Abu Aram shooting. His arrest is just another example of the widespread targeting of activists by the Israeli military. The Israeli practice of trying Palestinians in Israeli military courts results in a conviction rate of over 99 percent and cannot be defended as just or democratic.

Sign a petition, addressed to the Secretary General of the United Nations and the incoming United States Secretary of State, asking them to request that Israel drop all charges and restore Sami Huraini’s democratic rights to free speech.

Contribute towards bail and legal expenses for Sami Huraini via Palestine Partners (a non-profit based in Madison to assist women and activists in the South Hebron Hills area.)

Donate to the care of Harun Abu Aram & his family via our friends at The Rebuilding Alliance, see a video of the incident, and read updates on his condition.

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Free Sami Huraini

Palestine Partners started this petition to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’.

Palestinian human rights activist Sami Huraini was arrested by Israeli forces during a pre-dawn raid on his home in the West Bank village of At-Tuwani on January 9.  The arrest occurred just hours after Sami’s participation in a nonviolent demonstration in the neighboring village of Al Rakeez, where Israeli soldiers shot and paralyzed an unarmed Palestinian man on New Year’s day. Despite a complete lack of evidence and the peaceful nature of the protests, Mr Huraini has been charged with obstructing the peace and assaulting an Israeli soldier.  

Mr Huraini is a leading human rights activist in the Masafer Yatta (South Hebron Hills) area. Residents of At Tuwani believe that his arrest is part of an effort to target him for his effectiveness as a community organizer and leadership of the nonviolent protests that have followed the January 1 shooting in nearby Al Rakeez. His arrest is an example of the widespread targeting of activists by the Israeli military courts. The Israeli practice of trying Palestinians in Israeli military courts results a conviction rate of over 99 percent and cannot be defended as just or democratic. 

We ask that you call on the Israeli government to drop the politically-motivated charges against Sami Huraini so that he can continue his work to protect human rights.

Sign this petition