“There’s a real transformation in the way the prisoners are working — this time, people are willing to die,” Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a recent interview. “Look, the Palestinians may be quiet for a while, but they may erupt. There’s a sinking-in of the idea that nonviolent resistance gets results.”
Hunger striking by Palestinian prisoners is not a new tactic. According to the Palestine Solidarity Project, the tactic was first used in the Nablus prison in 1968 and has been repeated at least 15 times since, with three men dying over the years. Qadura Fares, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, said that in 2004 virtually all of the Palestinians held in Israeli prisons took part in a two-week strike, and that the most ever was 11,000 prisoners, in 1992.
But social media have spread the siren this time, first on Khader Adnan, a member of Islamic Jihad who was released last month from administrative detention after a 66-day fast that left him in grave condition. Attention then shifted to Hana Shalabi, a female prisoner deported to Gaza after a 43-day strike, and is now focused on Mr. Halahleh and Mr. Diab, who also are members of Islamic Jihad, a radical and militant Palestinian faction.
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