Palestinian political prisoner held by PA starts hunger strike

Middle East Monitor  /  July 12, 2023

A Palestinian university student detained by the Palestinian Authority has started a hunger strike in protest against the harsh torture that he has faced and his ongoing detention, Lawyers for Justice revealed on Tuesday.

Omair Shalhoub is from the West Bank city of Nablus and was detained a couple of days before the Eid al-Adha holiday at the end of last month. He was not referred to the Public Prosecutor on the pretext that it was the Eid holiday.

Lawyers for Justice appealed for Shalhoub’s urgent release, and called on all human rights groups to work for an end to his torture in prison and for his release. The group blamed the deterioration of his health in detention on the PA, and asked the Public Prosecutor to intervene urgently for his release and probe the torture claims.

According to Shalhoub’s brother Obada, PA intelligence agents detained him as he took part in a reception for a prisoner freed from an Israeli jail. He said that his brother was held in Al-Junaid Prison until 10 July when he was released on bail of 1,000 Jordanian Dinars ($1,400). However, he did not arrive home. Instead, he was detained by the Protective Security Agency.

Shalhoub was charged at the Magistrates’ Court on Monday over allegations that he has received funds from abroad. He denied the charge, telling the judge that he had confessed under torture.

It is worth noting that Shalhoub was released from an Israeli jail on 25 April, after spending 10 months under administrative detention with neither charge nor trial.