The Prisons Service on Wednesday denied reports that a female prisoner on hunger
strike since mid-February is on the verge of death, saying that she has received
treatment and is in stable condition.
Prisons Service spokeswoman Sivan
Weizman said that she was told by staff at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba that
Hana Shalabi, 30, is in no danger of dying. She also said that Shalabi has been
on a hunger strike for only 31 days, rather than the 35 claimed by Shalabi’s
Shalabi has been variously described as a supporter and a
member of Islamic Jihad.
Weizman added that there are around 23 prisoners
on hunger strike. Most of them have been on strike for around two weeks and are
doing so in solidarity with Shalabi, the spokeswoman said.
In a press
release issued on Tuesday, the groups Prisoner Support and Human Rights
Association – Addameer, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and Al-Haq expressed
“grave concern for the health of Hana Shalabi, who is at immediate risk of death
on her 34th day of hunger strike.”
They also said that they do not trust
the quality of medical care provided by the Prisons Service.
arrested at her home in Burkin near Jenin on February 16, and taken to Hasharon
Prison. She started her hunger strike the same day, according to PHR-Israel,
because of what she said was violent, degrading treatment she suffered during
On February 23, the army issued a six-month detention order
for Shalabi, an order that can be renewed. The military court later ruled that
she would sit on administrative detention for four months instead of
Before she was released in October as part of the deal with Hamas
for abducted IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, Shalabi had spent two years in
Shalabi said on February 27 that she would no
longer accept medical treatment from the Prisons Service and insisted on seeing
a doctor from PHR-Israel, a demand that was denied.
received permission to treat her, and its representatives visited Shalabi on
March 8, 9 and 12.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Association
for Civil Rights in Israel called on Defense Minister Ehud Barak to stop the
“shameful practice” of administrative detention, saying it “violates first and
foremost the right to liberty and dignity.
“The vast majority of evidence
on which the detentions are based is secret and hidden from the suspects and
their attorneys. Suspects are therefore denied their rights to defend themselves
and confront their accusers,” the statement added.
In February, Israel
reached a deal with Islamic Jihad member Khader Adnan, who went on a 66-day
hunger strike to protest his administrative detention, agreeing to release him
at the end of April.