Palestinian prisoner, Heba Al-Labadi is on the eighth day of hunger strike after being sentenced to administrative detention for five months without charge or trial.
Abducted by Israeli soldiers on 20 August, Al-Labadi, who holds Jordanian citizen, was arrested at the Allenby Bridge (King Hussein Bridge) that connects the occupied West Bank with Jordan, during her trip to the West Bank to attend a wedding in Nablus with her mother.
According to the Jerusalem-based non-profit organisation B’Tselem, at the end of August , 413 Palestinians – including two women and one minor – were held in administrative detention in Israeli prisons.
Despite having not been charged, 24-year-old Al-Labadi was reportedly subjected to physical torture which included shackling her hands and legs to a small chair and positioned her body to slant forward so that the detainee cannot sit in a stable position. This has left her deprived of sleep.
Moreover, she was subjected to an arduous investigation at the Israeli intelligence detention centre Petah Tikva, her brother Hatem confirmed.
It was also reported that the administration of the prison restricted the family from hiring a lawyer, and prevented the Red Cross and the human rights organisations from interfering.
In an interview Hatem said: “My sister was arrested for security reasons that were not disclosed by the occupation forces.”
“My sister holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and worked previously in the UAE and is currently detained in an Israeli prison.”
Jordanian and Palestinian activists have taken to social media to express their concerns about Al-Labadi to pressure the authorities to follow up on her situation.
The Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Affairs Ayman Hussein Abdullah Al-Safadi said the Jordanian embassy in Tel Aviv visited Al-Labadi to check on her and the conditions of her detention, and will continue to follow up with the Israeli authorities regarding her case.
Her family have been prevented from visiting her.
Earlier this year, a hunger strike organised by Palestinian prisoners in Israel lasted for 120 days until the Israel Prison Service agreed to remove signal jamming devices which were prisoners said were causing them nausea and headaches, and install landline phones inside prisons so that detainees can make supervised calls to their families.
A Twitter account believed to belong to Al-Labadi displays a tweet she posted before she was detained on the way to the West Bank in which she commented: “My feelings today as I’m on my way to Palestine cannot be described. My heart is racing. A revolutionary girl for whom the love of rifles has embedded her soul.”
She is currently the only woman among seven detainees who are parting in a hunger strike, in protest against being held under administrative detention.