Two Beit Ommar Residents Arrested on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day

18 April 2012

On Thursday, April 17th, 2012, Emad Ahmed Abu Hashem (age 22) and Mohamad Za’aqiq (age 19) were arrested at the entrance of Beit Ommar. Around 9am soldiers tried to arrest Emad, but did not succeed, and at 11am special forces arrived and took both men to an unknown destination. Charges are still unknown. These arrests are the 67th so far in Beit Ommar this year, and 24 of these are of children under 18. Emad (pictured below with his daughter) is a married man with two infants at home, and is the only source of income for his family.

The 17th of April marks Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, the day when Palestinians and solidarity activists show their support to the Palestinians imprisoned by the Israeli government. Different kinds of events have taken place all over the West Bank and internationally. Five British women, arrested when they arrived at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv as part of the “Welcome to Palestine” action, have gone on hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners and those under administrative detention. Welcome to Palestine reported yesterday:

Some 3,500 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel started a hunger strike today demanding rights to family visits and education, an end to isolation and an end to administrative detention, a procedure under which detainees are held without charge or trial. Khader Adnan, who ended his protest hunger strike in February after 67 days, is due to be released today. There are currently three Palestinian political prisoners who have been striking for more than 40 days.

According to Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, “As of 1 April 2012, there were 4,610 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including 322 administrative detainees, 6 women and 203 children.” For a break-down of the ages and types of prisoners, see the Addameer Monthly Detention Report.