Nabi Saleh Welcomes Released Prisoner Naji Tamimi, Stands in Solidarity with Hunger Striking Hana Shalabi

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 2 March 2012

This weeks’ protest in Nabi Saleh was held in solidarity with hunger-striking political prisoner Hanaa Shalabi. The village also celebrated the release of Naji Tamimi, member of the local popular committee released after a year in military prison.

Video by Israel Puterman

Naji Tamimi, member of the Nabi Saleh popular committee, was arrested by the Israeli army on March 6th 2011, and subsequently charged with “incitement”, “organizing unpermitted processions” and “solicitation to throw stones”, together with his cousin and fellow veteran activist, Bassem Tamimi. Returning to his village after a year in military prison, Naji Tamimi opened this week’s weekly demonstration in a speech held above the grave of Mustafa Tamimi who was shot dead by the Israeli army during a demonstration three months ago.
Picture Credit: Yotam Ronen/Activestills
Picture Credit: Yotam Ronen/Activestills

The demonstration then preceded towards the main road leading from the village to the nearby settlement of Halamish, built mainly on Nabi Saleh’s agricultural lands. Protesters carried signs and posters calling for the immediate release of Hana Shalabi, a woman administrative detainee who has gone on hunger strike. Israeli soldiers used tear-gas canisters, rubber coated bullets and the “skunk”, a water canon spraying foul smelling water, to disperse the demonstrators. Some clashes between the army and local youth took place in the outskirts of the village, following which the army invaded the village shooting large amounts of tear-gas canisters inside populated areas. One demonstrator was slightly injured by a rubber coated bullet shot at his arm from close range. He required medical treatment and was taken to the hospital.
Picture Credit: Oren Ziv/Activestills
Picture Credit: Oren Ziv/Activestills

Hana Yahya Shalabi (30) from the Burqin village near Jenin was released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, after being held in administrative detention for over two years (Sep. 2009 to Oct. 2011). During her arrest she was sexually harassed, put in solitary confinement and was denied trial. No allegations were brought against her by the Israeli security forces. On February 16th 2012 she was re-arrested and put under administrative detention for six month along with several other Palestinian prisoners released in the Gilad Shalit deal. Hana began a hunger strike, inspired by the hunger strike of Khader Adnan, to protest administrative detentions and abuse during interrogations and arrests. Hana Shalabi and over three hundred Palestinians are imprisoned for long periods without any charges and are never brought to trial. As a woman, Hana Shalabi faces a great risk of humiliation and sexual abuse, and has already been harassed in the past. Her strike calls attention to the physical and mental violence suffered by Palestinian women and men in Israeli jails.

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