Reports state that Mahmoud al-Sarsak, the Palestinian national footballer player has ended his prolonged hunger strike.
Mahmoud al-Sarsak, 25, refused food for more than three months. He joined other Palestinians in the mass strike against the policy of administrative detention and for human rights. When the others ended their hunger strike, al-Sarsak continued in protest of being held in Israel – without charge or trial – for three years. He vowed to remain on strike until Israel released or charged and tried him.
As he neared death last week, he had agreed to take milk for a few days to allow Israel time to reconsider.
The Ma’an News Agency report that al-Sarsak agreed to start eating on Monday in a deal that will see him released on July 10, according to his lawyer.
Mohammad Jaberein, al-Sarsak’s lawyer, told Ma’an News that al-Sarsak signed the agreement during his visit to the prisoner on Monday. Ma’an goes on to say:
Under the deal al-Sarsak will visit a civilian hospital for treatment on Tuesday, but the same day will return to Ramle prison clinic until his release on July 10, the lawyer added.
The news service reports that Israeli prison authorities asked Sarsak to eat something in their presence to ratify the deal.
In response, al-Sarsak took and ate a piece of chocolate.
Thanks be! May the deal be honored.
See you along the Trail.
Check out this music video: Khader Adnan, Bobby Sands. Thanks to Sami Awad and Dottie Villesvik for calling it to my attention.
It addresses a situation – an event – a moment – a witness that weighs on me, in large part because I am so late : Khader Adnan has entered the 64th day of a hunger strike. Doctors say he is at immediate risk of death.
His hunger strike began in mid-December when he was arrested by Israeli forces at his West Bank home. The BBC notes that: “The 33-year-old baker is being held under what Israeli law calls administrative detention, meaning he can be held without trial or charges indefinitely if he is deemed to be a security threat. Israel says he is a security threat. Its high court of justice has scheduled a petitions hearing regarding the case for Thursday.” Reports are that he is member of Islamic Jihad, which Israel and others name as a terrorist group.
Khader Adnan’s situation and response call to mind the 1981 hunger strike in Northern Ireland. Bobby Sands started first and died after 66 days. Nine others followed.
The parallels haunt me. I struggle to understand and express my thoughts and feelings. This song does so far better than I am able to do at the moment:
Khader Adnan grew up near Jenin City
You could say he was a product of his time
Because you can’t break a man who won’t be broken
Like in Belfast not many years ago
See you along the Trail.