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Hana Shalabi: Day 19 and Counting

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Hana Shalabi: Day 19 and Counting


Israel doesn't care if she lives or dies.

by Stephen Lendman

Anyone who's fasted several days knows doing it isn't easy. Persisting for extended periods risks health, even death. 

Without food for 66 days, Khader Adnan nearly died. Again ingesting food, he's still very much at risk. Hana Shalabi reached day 19. It's taken a toll. Daily she grows weaker. 

The Palestinian Prisoners Ministry said she's exhausted, pale, and hardly able to speak, but won't succumb to injustice. She wants administrative detentions ended, and those arrested no longer subjected to brutal and humiliating treatment.

She's losing weight and can hardly stand. Her health's deteriorating. No matter. She won't compromise her rights or dignity. She'll persist until freed.

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Israel reduced her detention from six months to four. She responded saying she's committed to continue. Lawyer Fadi Qawasmi asked Ofer military court to let him call witnesses on her behalf. He wants those involved in her arrest and torture interrogated. The court refused. Its mandate excludes justice.

Allegations against Shalabi and thousands of other Palestinian prisoners are spurious. She's hunger striking for them and herself. Human rights groups condemn Israel's oppression. Shalabi's struggle highlights its gravity.

On March 2, Amnesty International (AI) issued an "URGENT ACTION: PALESTINIAN DETAINEE'S HEALTH AT RISK" alert on her behalf, saying:

Israeli authorities so far ignored her lawyer's request to hospitalize her for vital treatment. They don't care if she lives or dies. They only respond when world attention exposes their injustice. Even then, they yield little.

AI said she's "increasingly weak but in good spirits." Throughout most of her ordeal, she's been isolated in solitary confinement. Her condition increases its harshness. Her parents have been denied permission to see her.

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She's not charged with any crimes because she committed none. According to her lawyer, Israeli military authorities allege she's involved in activities threatening Israel's security, but nothing's presented to prove it. 

Secret evidence alone exists. Israel won't reveal it for security reasons. In fact, it's because it's fabricated. Without access, Hana's lawyers can't contest. They can only guess. Either way they face a process rigged to convict or its equivalent in cases of uncharged administrative detentions. They violate the letter and spirit of international law.

Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) affirms the following:

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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