Tuesday, March 27

Words on everyone's lips but Israel’s

Justice? Human Rights? Administrative Detention? Breaches of the Geneva Convention? Or two that embody all of these – Hana Shalabi.
From yesterday’s seminar delivered by a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Minister of Detainee Affairs at the Centre for Political and Development Studies on the topic of administrative detention, to the ‘occupation’ outside the International Red Cross, and another that has since sprung up in the park next to Al Katiba Mosque, the name of Hana Shalabi is never far from anyone’s lips, or thoughts.
After the Israeli military court yesterday rejected her appeal, her lawyer announced the case will now go to the High Court – and she will continue her hunger strike, now in its 41st day.
Some 30 other Palestinian prisoners have also joined the hunger strike, including Hamas Member of Parliament Ahmed al-Hajj Ali, who was arrested in June last year, and female prisoner Amani Khandakji, who has been held under administrative detention since March 20 in Askalan prison, and who, like Hana, has not eaten since her detention.
Minister for Detainee Affairs Dr Attallah Abu al-Sabah, who himself spent 12 years in Israeli prisons as an administrative detainee, told the seminar that 100,000 administrative detention orders have been issued since Palestine was occupied, many being against academics and politicians whose thoughts and opinions challenged the Israeli occupation and viewpoint.
He also highlighted the problem of collaborators, who in return for being released are forced to work for Israeli intelligence, and give them information about Palestinian factions. On the basis of such information, many leaders of all factions have been detained, even though the information provided by collaborators was lies, and provided by means of secret reports that detainees were not permitted to see, thus defend themselves against.
“All of the Palestinian factions are united to end administrative detention, to end Israeli occupation, and to end Israeli apartheid,” he concluded.
Dr Mohammad Shehad, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and of the Legal Committee, pointed out that administrative detention was used by South Africa, Rawanda and Israel. Although international law permits the use of administrative detention in certain specified cases, its use by Israel far exceeds these parameters, and violates the Geneva Convention.
He also holds Britain accountable. “Britain is not exempt because they are the ones who created Israel, they did not hand the mandate back to the indigenous people – instead they deprived the Palestinian people of their rights,” he said.
“The Khader Adnan hunger strike is the first step. We are calling on everyone to continue with events in solidarity with Hana Shalabi, and all of the hunger strikers, to bring an end to administrative detention.”

Dr Mohammad Shehad

Dr Attallah Abu al-Sabah

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Daily press conferences now take place outside the International Red Cross

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Mothers of prisoners keep a vigil

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