Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Palestinian prisoner Maher Al-Akhras and his daughter after he was released by Israeli authorities on November 26, 2020. (Photo: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images)

Palestinian prisoner Maher Al-Akhras and his daughter arrive at their home in the occupied West Bank village of Seylat al-Dhahr, south of Jenin city, following his release by Israeli authorities on November 26, 2020. (Photo: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images) 

'We Have Won Over the Occupation': Israel Frees Maher Al-Akhras After 103-Day Hunger Strike

The Palestinian father of six was released after refusing all food and drink to protest Israel's administrative detention policy. 

Brett Wilkins

Israeli authorities on Thursday released a jailed Palestinian man weeks after he ended a 103-day hunger strike to protest his imprisonment without charge. 

Agence France-Presse reports Maher Al-Akhras, 49, was was transferred from a hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel to one in the illegally-occupied West Bank city of Nablus nearly three weeks after ending his hunger strike against Israeli administrative detention.

"My freedom is the freedom of my people, and we have won over the occupation with our will and determination," Al-Akhras declared upon his release, according to Middle East Eye. The father of six added that his health is "fine."

"I feel pain in my joints, but I will be fine, inshallah," he said, using the common Arabic expression meaning "God willing." 

Addameer, an advocacy group for Palestinian prisoners, says about 4,500 Palestinians were jailed by Israel as of last month, with around 370 of them held in administrative detention. According to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem: 

Administrative detention is incarceration without trial or charge, alleging that a person plans to commit a future offense. It has no time limit, and the evidence on which it is based is not disclosed. Israel employs this measure extensively and routinely, and has used it to hold thousands of Palestinians for lengthy periods of time. While detention orders are formally reviewed, this is merely a semblance of judicial oversight, as detainees cannot reasonably mount a defense against undisclosed allegations. Nevertheless, courts uphold the vast majority of orders.

The policy dates back to the period when Palestine—which includes all of what is today Israel—was ruled as a British colony and pro-independence Jewish militants carried out terrorist attacks against occupying forces and Palestinian Arabs. 

Al-Akhras refused to eat or drink since he was arrested on July 27. Shin Bet, Israel's internal intelligence agency, claims he is a member of the Palestinian resistance group Islamic Jihad. Al-Akhras, who denies the allegations, has been imprisoned at least five times for a total of more than five years since he turned 18.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

As Other States Try to Copy Texas, SCOTUS Asked to Find Abortion Ban Unconstitutional

The request from healthcare providers comes after a Florida Republican filed a copycat bill and advocacy groups called on Congress to affirm the right to abortion nationwide.

Jessica Corbett ·

As Bids to Slash Pentagon Budget Fail, US Military Spending Slammed as 'Height of Absurdity'

"Spending $780 billion on weapons and war while our communities starve, while the climate crisis worsens, while a pandemic that has killed millions and affected countless more rages on, is a national shame."

Brett Wilkins ·

'This Is Big': House Passes Amendment to Cut US Complicity in Saudi Bombing of Yemen

The vote, said Rep. Ro Khanna, "sent a clear message to the Saudis: end the bombing in Yemen and lift the blockade."

Andrea Germanos ·

Praised for 'Braving the Smears,' Tlaib Votes Against $1 Billion in Military Aid to Israel

One rights group thanked Tlaib "for speaking truth to power" while being attacked "for simply insisting that Palestinians are human beings who deserve safety, security, and freedom from Israeli apartheid."

Brett Wilkins ·

'A Choice Point for Humanity': Women Demand Visionary Shift at UN Climate Talks

"This is the time to unite together to build the healthy and just future we know is possible for each other and the Earth."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo