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Freedom or martyrdom … the mute prisoner between two stakes

Atef Douglas – Nablus

Only two weeks have passed since we met her at her home, the body was present before us and the mind was occupied with her husband, and today, despite her sitting near him in the Israeli “Kaplan” Hospital, the Palestinian Taghreed Al-Akhras (Umm Islam) lives in a more critical situation as she sees her captive husband Maher Al-Akhras wrestling with death And he is being beaten for the 79th consecutive day to refuse his administrative detention.

In a new decision, the Israeli Supreme Court refused to release al-Akhras, 49, on Monday despite his poor health. According to his lawyer, Ahlam Haddad, it was satisfied with issuing a “non-binding” recommendation to release him on the 26th of next month, which was rejected by al-Akhras and continued his strike until he received His freedom.

Haddad said in a statement that the court convened to review a petition that it submitted to release the silent prisoner, considered him a “patient and a hostage” and not a prisoner, until he stopped his strike, and raised a recommendation, not a decision, to release him.

A week ago, Umm Islam, after her husband’s health deteriorated, obtained a permit to visit him in the Israeli hospital, and upon her arrival she embarked on a hunger strike that lasted 5 days to put pressure on the occupation and support her other half and the head of her family.

The wife of the prisoner Maher al-Akhras holds his picture inside her home in a previous interview with Al-Jazeera Net (Al-Jazeera)

Ale mode
The affected wife tells Al-Jazeera Net, and the press flocked to her after the deterioration of her husband’s condition, that his health condition is getting worse every day than his predecessor, and he is complaining of “severe headaches and our patriot in the ears, and he cannot support himself or move from his place.”

He was also transferred from the room in which he is detained to another room after discovering the presence of a Coronavirus infection inside his room.

All of this happens and none of the doctors “moves a finger”, while she stands with her thin body exhausted with disc disease to heal and care for him, and when she tells them of his severe pain they respond indifferently, “Either he ends his strike or death.”

As she sits near him, the wife of the mute prisoner, as well as his family, feel that danger is already hanging over him, and despite that, the prisoner refuses to allow the Israelis to examine him and end his strike until after a firm decision to release him unconditionally.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, the refusal of the Occupation Supreme Court to release the mute prisoner and to recommend his release is a new attempt to circumvent his strike.

In its prisons, Israel arrests more than 4 thousand Palestinian prisoners, including 350 administrative prisoners (the indictment file is secret), bearing in mind that the decision to release the administrative prisoner and the detention and its extension is determined by the military governor (intelligence) and not by the court.

The director of Addameer Foundation for Prisoner Care, Sahar Francis, describes administrative detention as “arbitrary” and criminal according to international law, but Israel does not pay attention to that. Francis told Al-Jazeera Net that the prisoner’s hunger strike came as a refusal to be arrested administratively because of his “lack of hope” for any political solutions, and that the prisoners became aware that even if they succeeded in their strike by ending their current detention order, “this does not constitute immunity for not being arrested again.”

From a stand in solidarity with the prisoner Maher Al-Akhras in Nablus early this month (Al-Jazeera)

International correspondence
As a human rights institution, Al-Dameer addressed the Office of the High Commissioner and the Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Territories at the United Nations Human Rights Council on the issue of the Mute Prisoner, and requested a condemnation and international pressure to release him. And it called on the international community to “punish and hold” Israel to account for its crimes against the prisoners in general and administrative detention in particular.

And since 1989, Israel has arrested the prisoner Maher Al-Akhras 6 times, most of them administratively, and according to which he spent 5 years in the occupation prisons.

This legendary steadfastness of the mute prisoner pushed the Palestinian street out of its stage, forming a mass rally around it, and some interpreted its solidarity through supportive protests in the squares of the main cities, while freed prisoners, led by Sheikh Khader Adnan, preferred to sit-in inside the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Jenin and other cities In the West Bank, in solidarity with the captive.

Pictures of Sheikh Khader, who was known as the one who exploded the “Battle of Empty Gut” with his famous single-minded hunger strike in 2011 in refusal of administrative detention, was published. He is sitting on the ground at the headquarters of the Red Cross and carrying and other captives pictures of the mute prisoner, amid calls for the international organization to visit the prisoner and check on him and press for his release. .

The occupation is maneuvering
However, this pressure did not rise to the level of a “real danger” that makes the occupation feel that a great solidarity will lead to an explosion or an uprising that will shake its entity and move the street in anger, as described by the Palestinian researcher on prisoners’ affairs, Fuad Al-Khuffash.

Al-Khuffash says to Al-Jazeera Net that the occupation has long since raised the “ceiling” of starting negotiations with the hunger-striking prisoners in refusal of administrative detention, and that it is not negotiated with them except at a time when matters reach their climax and “dangerous and late stages” in which the prisoner has exhausted all his powers or established solidarity with him. And the occupation inflicted heavy losses.

In the end, the occupation will “comply” with the prisoner’s demands for his release, but here it wants to buy time and exhaust the captive even more, as it realizes that it places the prisoner under medical care, and wants to deplete him for the greatest possible time.

Al-Khuffash holds the official Palestinian authorities responsible, and demands action, saying that since 2011 they have been calling on the authority to go to international institutions to file a complaint against the occupation and its practice of administrative detention, pointing out that great international sympathy enjoyed the Palestinians at that time, “but the lack of political will of the Palestinian leadership and its lack of direction. International courts are what drives the occupation to continue its approach and arrest him. “

Umm Islam al-Akhras stands firmly to help her husband turn his body left and right, and derives from the gazes he watches during his awakening for a few seconds from his coma and his pain with a determination that makes her sure that victory is coming either as a “release or testimony”, a slogan raised by the captive since announcing the strike at the moment of his arrest in front of his family 79 days ago.

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