by Jessica Mansour
1 May 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank
4 people were injured today at a peaceful rally held near the Ofer military prison, in solidarity with hunger striking Palestinians within Israel’s Occupation prisons.
Injuries sustained were caused by rubber coated steel bullets, along with tear gas canisters, skunk water, and pepper spray. Taysir Arabsha was injured by a rubber coated steel bullet, while others sustained lighter injuries from these bullets.
A Palestinian woman’s iconic gesture of resistance echoed loudly across the world as she climbed atop a skunk water truck at the demonstration. Titled “Flag Woman” by fellow activists, she managed to avoid arrest, yet she and others suffered from direct pepper spray as they escaped Israel’s violent presence at the rally.
About two weeks ago on Prisoners Day, thousands of Palestinian prisoners within Israeli Occupation Prisons began hunger striking with those who had resisted nourishment by the Zionists for weeks on end prior. Today Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla entered their 63rd day of hunger strike. Reports have indicated that they have been transferred to hospitals as their declining health is becoming more fatal.
The hunger strikes come as resistance to Israel’s overall collective punishment of the Palestinian people, in illegally besieging them and occupying them in open air prisons, while arbitrarily arresting Palestinians and subjecting them to administrative detention, which can be extended for periods on end without any evidence or a formal court hearing.
Khader Adnan and Hana al Shalabi were released from prison following their hunger strikes, with Shalabi relocated to Gaza and separated from her family and loved ones.
About 4,000 Palestinians are currently held in Occupation prisons.
Jessica Mansour is a volunteer with International Solidarity Movement (name has been changed).