Tampa activists call attention to plight of hunger striking Palestinian

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The health Palestinian Khader Adnan is in danger as he is hunger striking to protest being held in an Israeli jail.

About a dozen activists protested outside a human rights organization in Tampa Thursday afternoon to draw attention to the prisoner.

Local activists gathered outside the Tampa Red Cross building Thursday afternoon to show solidarity with Khader Adnan. Adnan is a Palestinian detainee in Israel, who has been on hunger strike for more than 50 days to protest his detention without charge or trial.

Dezeray Lyn is one of the two Tampa activists who are currently on a hunger strike. She hasn’t eaten anything for 10 days.

“I feel bad even commenting on it because it’s absolutely nothing compared to, cause I can eat anytime I want but Khader can’t. He’s fighting for his dignity and so he’s in this struggle. But for me hunger strikes are really uncomfortable. They’re really uncomfortable. I’m nowhere near his 53 days but it’s something that affects you emotionally, physically. It’s very tiring but it’s really absolutely nothing compared to what Palestinian prisoners are going through right now and they have to do this to fight for their liberation.”

The treatment Palestinian prisoners are receiving from Israeli officials is one of the reasons why Jimmy Dunson decided to participate in this movement.

“These Palestinian prisoners they are held without trial, without due process, without even charges held against them. And they are held for months, even years at a time. And so we’re just raising awareness about that. And people’s lives are on the line who are hunger striking to raise awareness about this, to protest this injustice.”

One of the participants, Bettejo Indelicato, shared her personal experience and described how tight the situation is in Palestine today. She has been to the West Bank seven times. Indelicato recently traveled to Palestine, but was denied entry. After being interrogated and detained for 11 hours, she was deported to the United States. She says she was denied entry because Israeli officials had evidence that she is a human rights monitor.

“Well, first of all, I would like to what Palestinians go through in interrogation processes. Let me make that clear. This is something I’ve been trained for. I was relatively prepared for the possible interrogations and you know, no physical harm done to me of course. Just kind of mental games that they try to play trying to get information. The only thing that I am guilty of is being a volunteer with International Women’s Peace service and we monitor human rights abuses against Palestinians.”

The local activists also stressed the importance of international support in order to put pressure on the Israeli government to either give Khader Adnan and other Palestinian prisoners fair trial or to set them free.

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