Palestinian Hunger-Striker Writes A Heartbreaking Letter To His Two Year Old Daughter

Palestinian hunger-striker writes a heartbreaking letter to his two year old daughter
14 May 2012

Yesterday (13 May), Palestinian political prisoner, Thaer Halahleh (who is on a hunger strike and faces imminent death) wrote a moving letter to his two-year old daughter. 
The letter reads:
“My Beloved Lamar, forgive me because the [Israeli] Occupation took me away from you, and took away from me the pleasure of witnessing my firstborn child that I have always prayed to God to see, to kiss, to be happy with. 

"Despite the fact that I was deprived from holding you and hearing your voice, from watching you grow up...and that I was deprived of my role as a human and a father with my daughter, your existence has given me all the power and hope, and when I saw your picture with your mother... I felt that you are with me, in my sentiment and inside my mind, as if you are a part of my heartbeats, steadfast and the blood that flows in my veins, opening all doors for me spreading clear skies around me, and unleashing your free childish voice after this long silence.”

“Lamar my love: I know that you are not to be blamed and that you don’t yet understand why your father is going through this battle of hunger strike for the 75th day, but when you grow up you will understand that the battle of freedom is the battle of going back to you, so that I can never be taken away from you again or to be deprived of your smile or seeing you, so that the occupier will never kidnap me again from you.”

“When you grow up you will understand how injustice was brought upon your father and upon thousands of Palestinians whom the [Israeli] Occupation has put in prisons and jail cells, shattering their lives and future for no reason other then their pursuit of freedom, dignity and independence. You will know that your father did not tolerate injustice and submission, and that he would never accept insult and compromise…"

“My beloved Lamar keep your head up always and be proud of your father, and thank everyone who supported me, who supported the prisoners in their struggle, and don’t be afraid for God is with us always, and God never lets down people who have faith and patience. We are righteous, and right will always prevail against injustice and wrong doers.”

“Lamar my love: that day will come, and I will make it up to you for everything, and tell you the whole story, and your days that will follow will be more beautiful, so let your days pass now and wear your prettiest clothes, run and then run again in the gardens of your long life, go forward and forward for nothing is behind you but the past, and this is your voice I hear all the time as a melody of freedom”.


Thaer Halahleh, together with thousands of other Palestinians are being held under Israel's notorious "Administrative Detention" (often compared to Apartheid South Africa's "Detention Without Trial"). In an extraordinary act of collective nonviolent resistance, more than 2000 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike last month on the 17 April 2012. 

The hunger-strike (dubbed, ‘the battle of empty stomachs’) is a protest against Israel's unjust arrest procedures, arbitrary detention, abusive interrogation and inhuman prison conditions. In response, Human Rights Watch  issued a statement, saying: “It shouldn't take the self-starvation of Palestinian prisoners for Israel to realize it is violating their due process rights." Amnesty International has said: "[We have] repeatedly urged Israel to end the practice of administrative detention because it violates the internationally recognized right to a fair trial".

The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, Professor Richard Falk, has commented that: “Israel’s wide use of 'administrative detention' flies in the face of international fair trial standards." Since 1967 it is estimated 750,000 Palestinians (including 23,000 women and 25,000 children) have gone through detention in Israeli jails. This constitutes 20 percent of the total Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territory and 40 percent of the total male Palestinian population. 

On the seventy-third day of his hunger-strike, it was reported that Thaer Halahleh, was vomiting blood and bleeding from his lips and gums, while his body had been reduced to 54 Kilograms. Halahleh is currently on the 75th day of his hunger-strike. According to the British Medical Association, death generally occurs between day 55 and 75 of a hunger strike. Several other prisoners face the immediate risk of death. 

South Africans have been asked to join the worldwide day of action (which includes a 24 hour fast) on Thursday the 17th of April to show their solidarity with the Palestinian political prisoners who are on their hunger-strike.

ISSUED BY BDS SOUTH AFRICA
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS in SOUTH AFRICA (BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
Office 915 | 9th Floor | Khotso House | 62 Marshall Street | Johannesburg 
PO Box 2318 | Houghton | 2041 | Johannesburg

BDS South Africa is a registered Non-Profit Organization. NPO NUMBER: 084 306 NPO
BDS South Africa is a registered Public Benefit Organisation with Section 18A status. PBO NUMBER: 930 037 446