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Palestinian woman begins hunger strike in Israeli jail

Image of Randa Al-Shahateet [palinfo]
Image of Randa Al-Shahateet [palinfo]

A Palestinian woman being held prisoner by the Israelis has started a hunger strike in protest at her solitary confinement. The strike by Randa Al-Shahateet from the occupied West Bank city of Hebron is open-ended, Quds Press reported on Monday.

According to Shahateet’s husband, Yousef Abu Sabha, the Israeli occupation authorities arrested his wife last Friday at a military checkpoint in the south of Hebron. “The Israeli intelligence services interrogated her and moved her on Friday night to solitary confinement in HaSharon Prison,” he explained. She was detained, he said, under the pretext that she had violated the conditions of her release from prison last August, which included house arrest and a fine.

Abu Sabha pointed out that the Israeli military court in Ofer Prison held a hearing of his wife’s case and recognised that the previous court ruling against her, including the house arrest and the fine, were fulfilled. Nevertheless, he said, the judge decided to keep his wife in prison under pressure from the Israeli Public Prosecution Service which claimed that she had to complete the balance of her term in prison — another 17 months — which had been cancelled under the 2011 prisoner swap with Hamas.

The judge also rejected Shahateet’s request to be moved to the female prisoner section in HaSharon, so she started her open-ended hunger strike.

Rights groups say that 50 female Palestinian prisoners are currently inside Israeli prisons, including 38 in HaSharon; 13 of them are girls.

There are around 7,000 Palestinian prisoners being held by Israel, including 350 minors and 700 under the notorious administrative detention process, whereby they can be held indefinitely with neither charge nor trial.


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