Guest writer Steven Katsineris with an update on his earlier piece on a political prisoner on hunger strike in an Israeli jail. Steven Katsineris is
an Australian free-lance writer of articles on Palestine, Cyprus and
the rest of the Middle East region, political prisoners and human
rights, environmental and social issues. He has been actively involved
in the Palestine solidarity movement for over forty years. Steven lives with his family in Melbourne, Australia.
*****Jordanian hunger striking political prisoner Alaa Hammad, who has been on hunger strike since May 2, 2013, entered his eighth year in occupation prisons on November 24. He is nearing death after over 200 days of hunger strike in Israeli jails, human rights sources confirmed.
Waed Association for prisoners expressed deep concern over the serious health condition of hunger striker Alaa Hamdan without any national or international attention to his issue.
Israeli authorities have transferred the hunger striker more than once from one prison to another in an attempt to break his will and his hunger strike that was launched 7 months ago.
Waed condemned the PA’s passive position towards Hammad’s issue, calling to work for his release before it is too late. It also appealed to all the Palestinian people and factions to unite their ranks and overcome their differences in defense of prisoners’ issue particularly Hammad’s serious case.
He now suffers vision problems and severe pains throughout his body and he cannot walk, in addition to losing much of his weight.
Shireen Nafe, of Fedaa, the organization supporting Jordanian prisoners in Israeli jails, said that Alaa Hammad has pledged to continue his strike until his demands to be released and relieved of one-third of his imprisonment period in accordance with the laws of the Israeli prisons, where he spent more than two-thirds of his sentence, or to be deported to Jordan to complete his sentence there and for family visits are met. The Prison administration has refused to pledge in writing to date to either release him or deport him.
Alaa Hammad was born in Jerusalem, Palestine on October 20, 1978; he holds Jordanian citizenship and lived with his family in Amman, Jordan. He was arrested on November 24 and accused of resistance activities. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and during the first six years of his arrest he has been denied all contact with his family except through mailed letters, except for visits from his mother, who was able to visit every six months because she holds a Jerusalemite identity card. His wife and children were prohibited from visiting him.
On May 2, 2013, he launched, along with four other Jordanian prisoners, a hunger strike calling for action from the Jordanian government to move to release them or deport them to Jordan to complete their sentences, and to reveal the locations of missing or martyred Jordanians. Four of the prisoners ended their strike after 100 days and serious health deterioration; an agreement was concluded with the prison administration for family visitation and improvement in conditions of confinement, which has been violated since that time by occupation authorities.
Alaa Hammad chose to continue his hunger strike, demanding release or transfer as well as family visits. He was married in 1998 and has six children: Maryam (14 yrs), Maram (13 yrs), Rim (12 yrs), Yousef (10 yrs), Ibrahim (8 yrs) and Issa (7 yrs).
Take action below to demand freedom for Alaa Hammad. Please help to publicise the situation of Alaa Hammad through whatever means possible via letters, emails and Facebook. And please send letters to Israeli Embassies urging Israel to grant Alaa Hammad's demands and to Jordanian Embassies urging Jordan to do more to support Alaa Hammad and other Jordanian political prisoners held by Israel.
Source: Samidoun. For more information contact Samidoun, a Palestine prisoner solidarity network.