Friday, December 15, 2017

Behind Bars

Following the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967 up until now, more than 700,000 Palestinian men, women, and children have been arrested by Israel. Subject to physical and psychological torture, with many spending years of their lives languishing in putrid cells for less than serious offenses, these prisoners in the eyes of mainstream media have ceased to become anything other than statistics or a monolith of “terrorists.”

Behind Bars seeks to put a name to these numbers and a face to the names by gathering information from various prisoners’ rights group and conducting interviews with the families of the prisoners, or in the case of their release, the prisoners themselves. It is an effort to humanize the Palestinian prisoners, who have always carried a special significance in the Palestinian consciousness and in the struggle against the Israeli occupation.



  • Palestinian prisoners launch open-ended hunger strike | April 18, 2017
    Around 1,600 Palestinian political prisoners in Israel initiated an open-ended hunger strike on Prisoners Day. Their demands include increased visitation rights and that Israel comply with international law in its treatment of Palestinian prisoners. The Israeli government has so far refused to negotiate. .....
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  • A story of every prisoner | February 22, 2017
    During the first intifada, Abed Dalbah was arrested a few months before his wedding with his now wife of 26 years, Bassma. The Red Cross would transfer postcard-like letters between prisoners and their loved ones, but these were restricted to 10 lines and moderated by the Israeli authorities. But there was a way to smuggle his love letters. .....
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  • 2017 opens with campaign of arrests | January 10, 2017
    The Palestinian Prisoner‘s Society (PSS) has reported that in the first five days of 2017, Israel carried out a campaign of arrests, detaining at least 100 Palestinians including 18 minors and three women. Additional arrests took place in the following days in the wake of a deadly attack in Jerusalem. .....
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  • Hunger Strikers Defiant as Administrative Detention Continues | September 20, 2016
    The condition of three Palestinian hunger strikers, held under Israel‘s administrative detention laws, has become critical, the Palestinian Detainees Affairs Commission has said. In a statement of September 17, reported by WAFA, the Commission‘s lawyers claimed that the three men had reached a “critical stage”. .....
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  • LOST CHILDHOOD Campaign | September 05, 2016
    As part of its Lost Childhood campaign, Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) is hosting a Fun Run for kids! This run, happening with the support of Right To Movement - Ramallah group, will take place on Friday, September 23rd in Al-Tireh neighborhood. It is open to children ages 5-14 years old.....
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  • Abu Sakha : Appeal Against Administrative Detention Rejected | August 31, 2016
    According to the Palestinian NGO Addameer, defending Abu Sakha, an appeal against the administrative detention order has been rejected on August 25. It was submitted by Addameer attorney to the military court of appeals in Ofer four days earlier. Abu Sakha was arrested at Zaatara checkpoint, south of the city of Nablus, while on his way to work .....
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  • Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Allan to be released | November 04, 2015
    Israel is set to release Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Allan, 31, Wednesday. Allan has been held in administrative detention for one year. During his imprisonment, Allan undertook a 66 day hunger strike to protest his arrest without trial. .....
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  • As prison protest escalates, troubling testimony from inside | June 08, 2014
    For families, activists and observers in Palestine, the passing of time has come to be loaded with a grave significance. Each 24 hours represents another day of hunger for hundreds of prisoners protesting administrative detention in Israeli jails: a new mark in an increasingly morbid tally that takes the situation of inmates closer to the brink. .....
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  • In Israeli jails, Palestinian hunger strikers remain steadfast | May 22, 2014
    Every Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jail is going hungry today, in a mass gesture of support for the ongoing hunger strike of 180 inmates. In a day-long protest, over 5,000 prisoners are refusing food, highlighting the plight of administrative detainees, held without charge or trial, who have been striking since April 24. .....
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  • Rasmea Odeh: Palestinian-American activist risks 10 years in American prison | November 16, 2013
    On Wednesday 13 October, Rasmea Odeh, associate director of the Arab American Action Network, appeared in court in Detroit on charges of immigration fraud. If convicted, the sixty-six years old Palestinian-American community activist faces a potential prison sentence of ten years and deportation. According to her lawyer, she pled not guilty. .....
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  • Palestinian hunger strikers secure move to prisons closer to home | July 02, 2013
    Eight Palestinian prisoners began a collective hunger strike, on Monday 17 June, in response to their transfer to prisons in southern Israel, away from their families. All of the men were put in solitary confinement after launching their strike. Last week Israeli authorities conceded to the hunger strikers demands, allowing the men..... .....
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  • Activist Sireen Khudiri Sawafteh detained and prosecuted for a Facebook page | June 30, 2013
    The 24 year-old human rights activist, Sireen Khudiri Sawafteh, is being detained in the Israeli prison of Eichel for having created a Facebook page that allegedly threatens the security of the State of Israel. On the afternoon of Tuesday 14 May, her car was stopped at a temporary checkpoint on the road between Nablus and her hometown, Tubas... .....
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  • Sameer Issawi ends his hunger strike on his own terms | April 23, 2013
    The long term hunger striking political prisoner Samer Issawi will be finally released by the Israeli authorities after he reached an agreement with the Israeli Prison Service overnight on Monday April 22. The deal as confirmed by Shireen Issawi, Samer’s sister and lawyer, is that he will spend 8 months in prison starting from April 23 and... .....
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  • Israeli corporation profits from high price of prisoners‘ food | April 20, 2013
    Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails often purchase items from the canteen, an alternative to the meals provided by the Israel Prison Service each day. But the high cost of the canteen provides ample profits to the private Israeli company Dadash, which holds the contract to supply food and other items to the canteens in all Israeli jails. .....
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  • Ayman Sharawneh ends hunger strike, exiled to Gaza by Israel | March 25, 2013
    After almost 8 months, former prisoner Ayman Sharawneh ended his hunger strike. On Sunday, March 17 he was transferred on a 10 year deportation deal to the Gaza Strip where he immediately received medical treatment at the Shifa Hospital. Deportation was the precondition for Sharawneh’s release. He faced just two possibilities: either to sign on... .....
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  • Israel kills prisoner, sparking anger throughout Palestine | February 25, 2013
    After two weeks of growing protests in support of hunger striker Samer Issawi, Palestinians were given a new cause for anger when prisoner Arafat Jaradat died in Israeli custody inside Megiddo prison. The Palestinian Authority stated Jaradat was tortured to death which was verified by Saber Aloul, the doctor who was present at Jaradat‘s autopsy... .....
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  • Muslim Odeh: arrested 14 times by Israel | February 23, 2013
    Muslim Odeh was born and raised in Silwan, a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood lying on the edge of East Jerusalem, just outside the old city. Currently, Silwan is estimated to have a population of around 56,000 inhabitants. Muslim Odeh’s story, although familiar to other Palestinian children living in Silwan who have been arrested by... .....
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  • The arrest of Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Saba‘aneh | February 21, 2013
    Mohammad Saba’aneh, 34 is the editorial cartoonist for Al Hayat al Jadeed, the official newspaper of the Palestinian Authority. He also works in Public Relations with the Arab American University of Amman. On Saturday February 18 he was arrested by the Israeli army in Jericho, near the Allenby Bridge while returning home from Amman. .....
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  • Two shot at Ofer prison as hunger strike demonstrations grow | February 16, 2013
    Israeli security forces responded with extreme violence to demonstrations held across the West Bank in solidarity with hunger strikers held in Israeli prisons without charge. The largest demonstration took place outside Ofer prison in Beitunia where Israeli soldiers shot two people with high-velocity bullets. The use of live ammunition against... .....
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  • Dirar Abu Sisi: Two years in confinement with no trial | February 05, 2013
    Nearly two years have passed since Dirar Abu Sisi was arrested in Ukraine by the Israeli intelligence forces, the Mossad. He was forcibly detained on a train to Kiev whilst attempting to meet his brother, and subsequently taken through a torturous journey until he arrived at Ashkelon prison in Israel. .....
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  • Youth activist Hassan Karajah arrested by Israel | January 31, 2013
    At 2:30 in the morning on January 23, 2013, twenty Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) soldiers burst into Hassan Karajah’s family home.  Hassan Karajah is the Youth Coordinator at Stop the Wall—an organization based in Ramallah, advocating against the construction of the Apartheid Wall and annexation of Palestinian land for Israeli settlements. .....
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  • Eleven men on hunger strike with prisoners | December 29, 2012
    As the plights of long term hunger strikers Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawneh became even more critical, on Thursday, December 20th a group of eleven young men began their own hunger strikes in a show of support. Held without any charge on administrative detention, Issawi and Sharawneh’s strikes have continued with little reaction on the ground... .....
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  • Starving in Palestine: the power of empty stomachs | October 17, 2012
    Ramallah — Presently being held in a prison clinic in Ramle, Samer al-Barq has launched his third hunger strike this year, demanding his immediate release from administrative detention. In September, Israeli and Egyptian negotiators agreed to release al-Barq into Egypt in exchange for ending his hunger strike, but Israel did not honor its end of... .....
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  • Israeli Authorities Breach Last Month’s Prisoner Agreement | June 24, 2012
    After undergoing 71 days without food, Palestinian prisoner Hasan Safadi is back on hunger strike protesting the renewal of his administrative detention, a breach of the agreement signed between the Israeli authorities and the Palestinian prisoners’ committee on May 14. Safadi’s administrative detention order was renewed Thursday 21 June 2012 .... .....
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  • Until Freedom or Martyrdom: Thaer Halahleh on 60 Days of Hunger Strike | April 28, 2012
    Kharas, occupied West Bank—Two year old Lamar Halahleh has never met her father outside of a prison cell. In fact, she wasn’t able to lay eyes upon him until she was nearly half a year old. Thaer Halahleh, Lamar’s father, has not only spent the last two years in the Israeli prison system, the 33 year-old has actually been detained for the........ .....
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