Palestinian Woman: Hunger Strike in Israeli jail

A Palestinian woman being held in prison by the Israelis has entered the fifteenth day of a hunger strike. Linan Abu Ghalma, 28, from Nablus in the occupied West Bank was abducted from her home by the Israeli occupation forces in July at the same time as her sister. It is reported that her health is deteriorating badly.

The High Supreme National Committee for the Support of Detainees has said that it holds the occupation authorities fully responsible for Linan’s life. Her detention, it claims, was part of a mass campaign against activists of the Popular Front in the city of Nablus.

In a written statement the Director of Media for the Committee, Riyadh Al-Ashkar, said: “After the Israelis subjected the two sisters to investigation, it placed them in administrative detention and separated them; Linan was put in Hasharon Prison whilst her sister Taghreed was sent to Damon Prison.” Linan, claims Mr. Al-Ashkar, has demanded to be imprisoned with her sister but the authorities have refused, prompting the start of a hunger strike. When the prison administration promised to end her suffering, she suspended her strike; she restarted 15 days ago when she realised that the Israelis had broken their promise. She has said that she will stay on hunger strike until her demand is met.

Mr. Al-Ashkar pointed out that Linan’s health “has deteriorated as a result of the hunger strike and there is a threat to her life because the prison administration has placed her in solitary confinement as a punishment”.

The Committee spokesman confirmed that Linan Abu Ghalma was arrested for the first time at the Hawara military checkpoint in 2004 when she was on her way to visit her brother Ahed Abu Ghalma, one of the Popular Front leaders sentenced to life imprisonment. Linan served 5 years of a 6-year sentence before being released as part of a deal to free 20 female prisoners in return for a two-minute video of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit being held in Gaza.

The High Supreme National Committee for the Support of Detainees appealed to international organizations working in the field of women’s rights and other human rights organizations “to intervene to bring an end to the suffering of Linan Abu Ghalma who is being held without charge under so-called administrative detention”.

Middle East Monitor

16 December 2010


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