Free Hanaa Shalabi & End Administrative Detention

By Mahmoud El-Yousseph

Today, this Palestinian writer, along with his 20 year-old twin sons, Bilal and Hilal, decided to quit smoking as long as Hanaa Shalabi is on a hunger strike. We also plan  to use the money that would have been spent buying cigarettes [$15 a day] to help defray the cost of Hanaa’s legal expenses. Hanaa is the same age as my only daughter, Nadia [28 years old] and incidently, has the same name as my wife.

Hanaa Shalabi is a Palestinian female political prisoner from the village of Burgin near Jenin.  She was kidnapped from her home on on Feb. 16, 2012 by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in the middle of the night. Her family was ordered outside the house, she was blindfolded and handcuffed. All cell phones and computers in the house were confiscated and a photograph of her brother hanging on the wall, who was killed by IOF in 2005, was torn up and stepped upon by one of the soldiers. Hanaa was also beaten and sexually harassed by the IOF.

 Her attorney stated, “She is  demanding the end of administrative detention and that the soldiers who beat her up and undressed her to carry out a body search be put on trial.”

Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret evidence without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.

Hanaa was ordered to serve administrative detention for six months in the HaSharon prison. As of this writing, Hanaa has entered her 13th day of an open-ended hunger strike and is currently being held in solitary confinement. Latest reports indicate that Israeli prison officials have moved her to a different prison to cut off any contact with the outside world.

Ironically, this young lady has been in administrative detention before, totaling 2 1/2 years starting in March, 2009 where she served for 6 consecutive terms.  Hanaa was among the freed Palestinian prisoners who were released in October 2011 under the prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel. However, this time Israel has reneged and rearrested her as it did in previous prisoner exchange deals.   In November 1983,  Palestinian prisoner Ziad Abu Ain was supposed to be part of  a prisoner release deal, but was taken off the bus containing those who were about to be released.

I’ll never never forgive Israel nor forget that prisoners exchange deal of Thanksgiving Day 1983. My younger brother Samih was among the freed prisoners, after spending 18 months in an Israeli concentration camp in south Lebanon. He was kidnapped by IOF while visiting our family with his German wife and 5 year-old daughter,Carmen. Throughout his captivity, neither our mother, his wife, Carmen or our oldest brother were permitted to visit him, even though he was being held merely 20 miles away.

While lobbying in the US to secure his release, Israeli officials first denied holding him, then they  admitted he was in Ansar prison camp, held on terrorism charges. When I refuted their false allegation, I was told he has committed a crime in Germany. However, after German officials denied this false claim, the Israeli Attorney General arrogantly stated on public record that under Israeli law, Israel can prosecute people for committing a crime in different countries.  This is clearly a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of Germany.

According  to Aldemeer, there are 25 members of the Palestine National Council, including the Speaker of the Parliament, who are among 5,000 Palestinians held captive in Israeli dungeons. This includes 6 women, 166 children and 320 “administrative detainees.” According to Palestinian prisoner solidarity sites, over 20,000 administrative detention orders were issued since 2000 by the Israeli occupation authority. On February 24, 2012, the 320 Palestinian administrative detainees held captive without charge or trial declared a boycott of Israeli military courts. This boycott is to start on March 1 in protest of these sham courts that are used by the Israeli occupation army and Israeli intelligence as a cover for illegal detention based on “secret” files and lack of indictment.

One week after Hanaa’s kidnapping, her 67 year-old parents started an open-ended hunger stirke in a tent set up in front of the family home in  support of their their daughter’s struggle for freedom and in protest of her illegal detention. Her father, Yahya Shalabi, promised that they will continue the hunger-strike until the release of their daughter and the abolishment of administrative detention.

Hanaa Shalabi and her parents put themselves against overwhelming odds. They have the moral courage to challenge Israel’s injustice no matter what. This is a dignified family with deep conviction who are standing firm and tall beyond anyone’s expectation. I know from experience that Israel does respond when its image and reputation is on the line. Therefore, I urge every one who reads this to help in anyway then can to expose Israeli injustice. if not by deeds, by praying in your heart that Hanaa Shalabi will be set free and for the end of Administrative Detention.

Mahmoud El-Yousseph

Retired USAF Veteran

  1. #1 by Jim Neville Sr. on 02/28/2012 - 9:34

    why do we continue to allow this?

  2. #2 by Ingrid B on 02/28/2012 - 9:34

    It never ceases to amaze me, the number of crimes, both international, and regional, that this sh1tty little parasitic entity, is allowed to get away with..

  3. #3 by Jim on 02/29/2012 - 9:34

    The Israeli zionists make the Nazis look like boy scouts.

  4. #4 by llyn24 on 02/29/2012 - 9:34

    It has become obvious that from the very beginning of the exchange of Shalit for the Palestinian Prisoners Israel had no intention of honouring the plan.
    First of all Shalit’s father said on the morning of the exchange “As far as I am concerned, the moment Gilad walks down the steps to our home that is the end of everything….it is over” (to me it meant that they could renege on the exchange and they tried with a number of Israelis going to court two days before the second group of Palestinians were released but the High Court ruled against them.
    Many of the Palestinians Prisoners released have been victims of harassment by Israelis, idf, settlers and mobs threatening to kill them and their families. It is not surprising to see this string of rearrests by Israel and no outcry from the US, UN or UK. Israel needs to be careful. they have over 1000 to deal with and if the Palestinians decide to hit back, they only need to go after one family.

  5. #5 by Flipper on 02/29/2012 - 9:34

    Palestinians, prisoner, Israeli jail (video)

    A protest rally was held in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross office in al-Bireh, central West Bank, in support of Hana Shalabi, who has been on a hunger strike for almost two weeks. She was released in a prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel in October last year, but was re-arrested by the Israeli forces on 16 February.

    According to a legal representative of Shalabi, Israeli prison service of Hasharon prison has placed Hana in a solitary confinement as a punishment for her hunger strike and has refused to give her any medical examinations since she began her strike.

    Hana was previously detained and placed for around 30 months in administrative detention. According to Israeli law, such prisoners can be held without charge indefinitely. She was released during the first phase of the Hamas-led prisoner swap deal, whereby 1027 Palestinian prisoners were freed from Israeli jails in exchange for a captured Israeli soldier.

    According to the Palestinian Prisoners Society 15 Palestinians who were freed in this prisoner swap have been re-arrested by Israeli forces.

    Hana Shalabi, who went on hunger strike just like another Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, is one of the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held indefinitely in Israeli jails without trial or charge.

  6. #6 by MJ on 02/29/2012 - 9:34

    Hana Shalabi, May she be free of their oppression.
    Palestine Is the True Holocaust!

  7. #7 by Flipper on 03/01/2012 - 9:34

  8. #8 by Mahmoud El-Yousseph on 03/05/2012 - 9:34

    Last December, my friend Sam Bahour wrote a heart wrenching piece titled, ” where is my friend?” It is about a Palestinina young man, named Walid Abu Rass, who was also like Hanaa Shalabi is being held for 6 month under Admminstative Detention. Here is what Sam wrote inpart,

    After reading Sam’s article, I did contact the office of the Israeli Prime Minister via email calling upon him to release Walid Abu Rass immediately. I did get a generic response, in which the office only acknowledged recieving my email.

    I thought these Israeli officials need to hear from you too. Please take action. Hanaa Shalabi, her parents and many other Palestinian prisoners are sending this message to Israel and the rest of the world: our deginity is more precious than food. Now it is your turn to speak out against injustice.

    Deputy Prime Minister &
    Minister of Defence
    Ehud Barak
    Ministry of Defence
    37 Kaplan Street
    Hakirya, Tel Aviv 61909
    Fax: +972.3.691.6940

    Judea and Samaria Region
    Office of the Legal Advisor
    P.O. Box
    5 Beit El, 90631
    via Israel
    Tel: +972-2-997-7071

    Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Defence Ehud Barak
    Ministry of Defence
    37 Kaplan Street
    Hakirya, Tel Aviv 61909 Israel
    Fax: +972.3.691.6940

    For more information on Administrative Detention see ADDAMEER (Arabic
    for conscience) Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association at

    Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business consultant from
    Youngstown living in the Palestinian city of Al-Bireh in the West
    Bank. He is co-author of “Homeland: Oral Histories of Palestine and
    Palestinians” (1994) and may be reached via> -by-sam.html

  9. #9 by Mahmoud El-Yousseph on 03/06/2012 - 9:34

    More update about Hanaa Shalabi hunger strike.

    Today marks the 19th consecutive day for Hanaa Shalabi open-ended hunger strike.
    For this courageous Palestinian woman, her dignity is more precious than food.

  10. #10 by Mahmoud El-Yousseph on 03/20/2012 - 9:34

    Here is the latest update on Hanaa Shalabi open-ended hunger strike.
    Hanaa rejected an Israeli deal for her freedom in return to agree that she will be expelled to GAZA.

    Hanaa is now being hospitalized and her health is deteriorating by the hour.

  11. #11 by Adam El-Yousseph on 03/30/2012 - 9:34

    Newsflash: Hanaa Shalabi will be free. She ends her hunger a strike in a deal reached yesterday. Hanaa wil be free in few days but intstead of going home to her family, she will be banished to Gaza for 3 years before she is allowed to return to her hometown and reunited with her family.

    Friday, March 30 2012|Haggai Matar
    Mixed reactions in Palestine over deal to release, deport Shalabi
    Shalabi ended her hunger strike and is supposed to be freed from prison within days – but banished to Gaza. While pleased with the release, many criticize the deportation, and some accuse Israel of foul play. A second hunger striker administrative detainee was released without conditions. Two more detainees have been hospitalized, having entered their second month of hunger strike.
    After 43 days of hunger strike, and while at imminent risk of death, administrative detainee Hana Shalabi started eating yesterday (Thursday) night in a deal has been struck for her release. Shalabi has reportedly agreed to be deported to the Gaza Strip and banned from her home in the West Bank village of Burqin for three years, committing not to be involved in terrorist activities – according to the IDF spokesperson. Israeli media was the first to air the news, followed shortly by Palestinian media, which had Shalabi’s lawyer Jawwad Boulous and former PA Minister of Prisoners Affairs Qadoura Fares confirming the existence of a deal.

    Hana Shalabi reunites with her father after her October 2011 release from prison (photo: Oren Ziv /
    While Fares, PA officials and human rights groups commended Shalabi’s release, they also protested her forced transfer to Gaza. The PA’s current Minister of Prisoner Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, who announced last week that the government in Ramallah refused a similar deal, told Ma’an news agency yesterday that he considers the deportation a war crime. In a joint statement by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and Palestinian human rights group Addameer, concerns were raised that the deal was struck under duress. The two NGOs have been following Shalabi’s condition closely, with PHR doctors checking up on the hospitalized detainee almost daily, and in the past week both published warnings that her body is nearing the point of no return in its deterioration. The groups’ statement from last night reads as follows:
    Addameer’s lawyers were deliberately denied access to Ms. Shalabi today and PHR-Israel’s doctor has been denied access to her tomorrow. Her family has also been denied permission to visit her.
    Addameer and PHR-Israel are first and foremost concerned about Ms. Shalabi’s health. Addameer and PHR-Israel are further concerned that her medical condition and the high danger on her life were used in order to threaten her to take the sole option of being deported.
    Addameer and PHR-Israel are against this form of forcible deportation, which is not only illegal under international law, as clearly stated in the Fourth Geneva Convention, but is also part of an Israeli policy that is not new; Israel has systematically made agreements in which Palestinians are deported from their homes and separated from their loved ones.
    In his statement to Ma’an, Fares concluded by saying, “We reject deportation, but this is her decision and her own life.”
    Shalabi, 29, was formally held for 25 months in administrative detention, was released last October in the Schalit prisoner swap, and re-arrested within four months of her release. Since her second arrest, Shalabi refused to eat in protest of her continued detention without charges or trial. The IDF claims it has intelligence indicating Shalabi might endanger regional security – however, nothing substantial enough to bring forward as evidence in a criminal court. Appeals filed to the military court and then to the military court of appeals against her detention were rejected, while a petition filed to the High Court of Justice was not yet even heard.
    Widening criticism on administrative detention
    Shalabi’s hunger strike and deteriorating health, which followed that of Khader Adnan, drew growing attention to the issue of administrative detention. In recent weeks, Shalabi was joined by more than 20 out of 309 administrative detainees, who also started a hunger strike, including one 72 year old. Two of the detainees, Bilal Diab and Tha’ir Khlekhle, were hospitalized this week in the Prison Service hospital-detention unit, entering their fifth week without food. A female detainee, who refused food since her arrest ten days ago, was released last night in a checkpoint remote from her home. She was met by family members and Israeli activists, who helped her get home.
    The detainee’s hunger strike led Amnesty International and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel to release statements against Israel’s widespread practice of administrative detention. It also led to protests throughout the West Bank and to demonstrations in university campuses in Israel and abroad. A quiet protest in Tel Aviv University, comprised of students sitting on the grass with their hands tied behind their backs and their eyes covered, was met with a counter demonstration by right wing group Im Tirtzu. Members of group posed for pictures as “triumphant” soldiers near the Palestinian detainees – perhaps unconsciously imitating the famous Eden Abergil.
    The growing discourse on these detentions without trials, and the growing use of hunger strikes as a tool in the hands of the detainees themselves – who have already compared themselves to the IRA members who went on strike in the 80s – is likely to cause Israel a serious headache, which in the long run might have to be solved by more than just individual deals struck with various inmates.

    Im Tirzu activist inserts himself into a student protest in TAU for the release of Hana Shalabi (Oren Ziv / Activestills)
    Read more Hana Shalabi and administrative detention:
    Human rights NGO: Hana Shalabi in danger of imminent death
    PA refuses Israeli offer to deport hunger striker to Gaza
    Palestinian detainee’s health in danger; hunger strike spreads
    International Women’s Day: Hana Shalabi’s hunger strike enters 4th week
    TAGSadministrative detention, Bilal Diab, hana shalabi, palestinian prisoners, Tha’ir KhlekhleFILE UNDERNEWS  Why we refuse to believe…Arab citizens excluded from

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