11/05/14: SFP Nablus visits the family of the youngest hunger striker, Ismail Okal

As Palestinian detainees are on their 18th day on hunger strike, SFP Nablus visited the family of the youngest hunger striker, 19 year old Ismail Okal. Ismail was kidnapped in February from the Old City of Nablus and joined the hunger strike of fellow administrative detainees on its first day, 24 April. SFP visited his mother, Um Rasme in the Old City (Casbah) and heard about Ismail’s story.

Ismail is being held without charge or trail (administrative detention) in Meggido prison by Apartheid Israel, in direct violation of international law. He joined the hunger strike against his illegal detention, with other detainees, on 24 April. He has been moved to solitary confinement and his family have had no contact, other than via a lawyer. Ismail, at the time of his kidnap, already had a stomach complaint for which he was on medication. He also suffers from poor eye sight in one eye, due to being beaten at the age of 6 years old by the Israeli Army.

Ismail has been constantly terrorised by the Army. He was first arrested as a 16 year old child and sentenced to 20 months in prison. He was released as part of the Shalit deal between the Hamas Government in Gaza and Apartheid Israel, only to be re-arrested 4 months later and sentenced to a further 20 months. He was released on 24 August 2013 and then kidnapped by the Israeli Army from his home in February this year.

The majority of Ismail’s teenage life has been spent in Israeli Apartheid prisons, as a result he has not been able to finish High School. His older brother, Rasme, was killed by the Israeli Army in 2003 during the invasion and siege on Nablus and the Casbah. Ismail is now held without any trial, or any access to the ‘evidence’ against him. 

Ismail, along with other detainees have undertaken a peaceful protest, through a hunger strike, against their internment by Apartheid Israel. Despite their peaceful resistance Apartheid Israel has decided to subject the detainees to further war crimes by moving them to solitary confinement, beatings and denying them access to salt, vital to maintain organ function during a prolonged hunger strike. Um Rasme is desperately worried about her son and has no knowledge of his current health condition, which no doubt is deteriorating as the days past. SFP committed to her and all the families of prisoners and detainees that they would continue the struggle until they are all home.

SFP kindly asks that people around the world join the Palestinian struggle for freedom by abiding by the Palestinians request for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Apartheid Israel. To find out how to boycott please click here. In addition, we particularly ask that activists work towards actions related to the British/Dutch firm G4S, which supplies much of the prison infrastructure used by Apartheid Israel, including in Meggido, where Ismail is being held. For more details on G4S and the Stop G4S campaign in the UK please click here.

For the latest on the hunger strikers and the terrorism they are suffering at the hands of Apartheid Israel please click here.

Um Rasme and SFP Nablus (Um Rasme holds a picture of Ismail/ left hand side picture of the martyr and brother of Ismail, Rasme)

Um Rasme holds picture of her son and detainee Ismail

The narrow entrance in the Old City, leading up to Um Rasme’s home

Ismail Okal, in administrative detention and the youngest hunger striker, 19 years old


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