Hunger strikes end and celebrations begin in Gaza for #KhaderAdnan

IMEU, Feb 22, 2012

This post and the photos included are available for republication with credits.

While the people of Gaza have been undergoing an unprecedented electricity and fuel crisis that has significantly affected their living conditions and livelihoods, solidarity with administrative detainee Khader Adnan did not cease and a number of civilians began an open solidarity hunger strike on February 3rd at a tent they set up in front of the International Red Cross office in Gaza.

As they heard the news about a deal struck between Israel and Khader Adnan to end his 66-day long hunger strike, transfer him from administrative detention, and release him in April, strikers celebrated. In Gaza, they broke their hunger strike with sweets that they brought and distributed to everyone who was present at the tent, as well as those passing by, whether on foot or in their cars. Chants of victory and patriotic songs broke out inside and outside of the tent, as dozens of Palestinians and internationals were celebrating the news. Sa’d Al Helo, a solidarity hunger striker, chanted with joy overflowing on his face, “Today is a day of victory for the will of the Palestinians everywhere, and a blow to the Israeli injustice towards hundreds of Palestinian detainees.”

The mother of Palestinian prisoner Ibrahim Baroud, who has been in Israeli prison for almost 24 years now, also celebrated the news at the tent and expressed her contentment with the decision saying it was the best piece of news she had heard since the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. “I feel very happy for Khader Adnan and his family,” she said, “and I congratulate him on his defiance and victory.” An overwhelming sense of happiness overcame the children, the men, the women, the students, and also the internationals who expected Khader Adnan to pass away in his fight for a dignified trial. “He showed the entire world that the Palestinian man will give up anything but his dignity.” said Fahmi Kanaan, a Palestinian from Bethlehem who was deported to Gaza in 2002 after the siege of the Church of Nativity.

The joy over the news was only partial, however, to blogger Ebaa Rezeq, hunger striker Jamal Ferwana, and to many others in Gaza. “There are 310 other administrative detainees in Israeli prisons,” stressed Ebaa, who explained that her happiness won’t be complete until the cases of the rest of Palestinians held without charge or trial are looked into. “But Khader Adnan is our revolution, you know,” she continued, smiling.

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Interim Director for the Middle East and North Africa, criticized the deal in which Khader Adnan would not be released until April saying it was “insufficient when he needs urgent medical treatment to save his life now.” Nour Al Sousi, an UNRWA school teacher, emphasized that it is this sort of international pressure on Israel which will lead to change, and said the story of all other administrative detainees, some of whom spent years in Israeli prisons without charge or trial, should be brought forward. “Khader Adnan stands for many other Palestinian detainees who are denied their basic human right to a fair trial, and we will always be standing in solidarity with our detainees and prisoners because they are a central part of our cause as Palestinians.”

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For more photos from this collection, click here.



Related: We will not let you down Khader Adnan! ~ Photos & Action Alert
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