How do prisoners fight the battle of empty intestines when they reach the edge of danger? .. A prisoner tells its details

Hebron – In a lengthy talk about a near-death experience, the Palestinian prisoner Kayed Phosphos elaborated on the details of the battle of his empty intestines that he fought with his Israeli captors.

The place is not enough to mention all the details of a battle that lasted 131 days, and ended with the victory of Kayed, but we will delve into the human captive and his feeling in the most delicate moments between life and death.

The released prisoner, Kayed Al-Fosfous, with his daughter Joan and his mother, Fawzia Al-Fosfous (Al-Jazeera)

With high spirits and a cheerful victorious face, Al-Fosfus, 32, received the correspondent of Al-Jazeera Net, in the same room crowded with his pictures and pictures of other prisoners, including the captive son of his town Hisham Abu Hawash, the striker for 140 days (until yesterday, Monday), in which his elderly mother, Fawzia Al-Fosfous, received us during his hunger strike.

In the arms of his child, Joan, who boosted confidence in himself whenever he saw her on the media, while he was being held in an Israeli hospital, and on his right was his fighter mother, who fought alongside him in the media for more than 4 months until her eyes were covered with him, and he was liberated and returned to her victoriously.

Phosphos was arrested in July 2020, and ended his strike on November 22/last november After an agreement to end his administrative detention.

difficult decision

Kayed brings us back to mid-July 2021, when he and a number of his brothers and fellow prisoners decided to fight “the battle of the empty intestines, no matter the cost, either release or martyrdom.”

What prompts a young man, who heads a family, who regularly practices bodybuilding, to make a risky decision?

Here, Kayed answers, “It is a cumulative experience. I was administratively detained for two years without charge or trial, and every appeal against the decision to the military court was rejected.”

An administrative detention order is issued without an indictment or trial – up to 6 months that can be extended without an upper limit – on the Israeli military commander in the West Bank, according to a secret file that prevents the prisoner or lawyers from accessing it.

Kayed says he and his five brothers have spent more than 50 years in Israeli prisons, including more than two decades in administrative detention.

Notice of strike

According to Phosphos, it is customary for a prisoner who intends to strike to inform his prison administration of his decision, which in turn tries to persuade him to abandon the strike, then hurries to punish him with solitary confinement when actually starting the strike, and confiscate the salt he takes with water.

“When I started the strike, I was in the Negev prison. They transferred me to a narrow cell resembling a tomb, in which there was nothing but special clothes to cover my body, given to the striking prisoners, and during the day they confiscated the bed and returned it in the evening, and so with all the prisoners,” says Al-Fosfus.

January 3, 2022 - The released prisoner, Kayed Phosphos, who went on hunger strike in the occupation prisons 131.The released prisoner, Kayed Phosphos, who went on hunger strike in the occupation prisons for 131 days (Al-Jazeera)

He adds that the prison authorities violently abused him several times during his strike, whether by storming his cell, abusing and beating him, or transferring him between prisons despite the state of fatigue experienced by every member of his body.

During the first 42 days of the strike, the phosphorous prisoner was not allowed, except for two meetings, one with his lawyer, and the other with the delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and here he says that “the most difficult thing that the prisoner is exposed to during the strike is complete isolation and withholding information from the outside world.”

He says that he learned that the strike of his two brothers, Akram and Mahmoud, who went on strike with him on the same day, had ended, more than two months after suspending their strike.

The released prisoner, Kayed al-Fosfus, who went on hunger strike in the occupation prisons 131, and next to him is a picture of the prisoner Hisham Abu al-Mudarab 140 days ago.The released prisoner Kayed Phosphorous describes the condition of the prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash (Al Jazeera)

Thinking about food

At a time when the prison administration is indifferent to the striking captive, food and drink dominate his mind throughout the first month of the strike, so he rushes to drink water to occupy himself and his stomach.

Throughout the strike, prison administrations’ negotiations with the striking prisoners continued, sometimes by intimidation and at other times by enticement.

Here, Kayed points out that the jailers talked before him about the types of food and grills and their smells, in an attempt to push him to suspend his strike.

fatigue onset

The prisoners who experience the hunger strike are keen not to move, and make every effort to preserve the safety of the body as long as possible, but the prolongation of the strike affects the functions of vital organs.

Kayed added, “In the beginning, the prisoner’s ability to move declines, then he suffers from severe pain throughout his body, especially the kidneys, and later he loses the ability to hear and see, and the heart rate declines and I have reached 30, and the endurance varies from one prisoner to another.”

The weight of phosphorous decreased from 97 kilograms at the beginning of the strike to 53 at the end of the strike.

January 3, 2022 - The released prisoner, Kayed Phosphos, who went on hunger strike in the occupation prisons 131.The girl Jana mediated by her father, the released captive, and her grandmother (Al-Jazeera)

strength and stability tools

The refusal of the medical examination is one of the most important cards of power owned by the striking prisoner, in addition to his strength of will to continue his strike, and “the longer the strike lasts, the more victory will be with the prisoner.”

According to phosphorous, a prisoner has the right, according to laws approved by the Israeli Knesset (Parliament), to eat 20 grams of sugar a day, 20 grams of salt, and food aid, without this being considered a break in the strike.

He says that he refused all of that “because accepting it would prolong the strike and the torment of the prisoner on strike.”

Phosphos stayed in the hospital from the 78th day of his strike until his release 10 days after suspending his strike on the fifth of last December.

Until he obtained a decision to freeze his detention on the fourth of last November, Phosphorous was kept handcuffed and feet bound in a bed at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon (center), and under the watch of the jailers.

Entering the dangerous stage

Phosphos says that he did not expect the strike to last for more than 4 months, but the prolongation of it made him more insistent on his demand for his release.

But when the prisoner enters the stage of danger and a defect occurs in the functions of his organs, he becomes indifferent to anything and dominates his thinking the moment his soul may be seized or he wins by the issuance of the release decision.

But is the refusal of administrative detention worth the sacrifice to the point of losing oneself? Here, Phosphos says that administrative detention is a slow killing of a person and his family and a destruction of his future. The prisoner is nothing more than a number with the occupation authorities.

Phosphos asserts, once again, that the weapon of the individual strike is “the prisoner himself, then himself, then himself”, despite his familiarity with the popular and official movements outside the prison, which the occupation imposes a severe blackout to prevent the prisoner’s knowledge of them.

He stresses here that the basis for the morale enjoyed by the battered captive is the relationship with God and that he is coming to him bound by the shackles of his enemy, so he does not care about anything from the religion. Nevertheless, he says, he was afraid that he would fall into a coma and be injected with supplements and vitamins without his consent.

He asserts that individual strikes, in addition to the confusion they constitute for the occupation authorities, are considered an important tool for reducing administrative detentions, “and this is clear with a number of prisoners who have gone through the experience, including Sheikh Khader Adnan.”

Regarding the stage after the suspension of the strike, Phosphos says that he needed two weeks to practice his normal life of food and drink, “and now, a month after my liberation, I still suffer from fatigue and terror, and I need to continue communicating with my doctors, to treat the functions of vital organs in the body, such as the liver and kidneys, which were damaged Partially due to the strike.

Hisham is exposed to a conspiracy

Regarding his perception of the condition of the prisoner Abu Hawash, who ended his 40th day after the 100th strike (yesterday), Phosphos says, “Now he has taken the decision; victory or martyrdom, and he cannot retreat, because the retreat will be considered a failure for him and a breaking of his will and for all the prisoners who rely on him to put an end policy of administrative detention.

The prisoner Abu Hawash lived with phosphorous at the beginning of his strike in Ramle prison, explaining that Hisham was suffering from constant vomiting from the 20th day of his strike, “I did not expect his strike to continue for this long.”

He said, “Hisham’s burden is heavy, and he is fighting for all the administrative prisoners.” He described what is happening with Hisham Abu Hawash as “an attempt to assassinate him. Hisham’s killing was for the idea of ​​an individual strike. Hisham was exposed to a big conspiracy, and they want him as a harsh lesson for the rest of the prisoners.”

Kayed believes that there is a “political decision under the extreme right-wing government to eliminate the individual strike, whatever the cost, and if Hisham breaks, the Palestinian people will break.”

And the prisoner Abu Hawash, 40, from the same town of Kayed, and the father of 5 children, is currently detained in the Israeli “Asaf Harofeh” hospital, in a critical health condition, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Club.

According to the club, the strike of detainee Abu Hawash witnessed “serious changes in the experience of the strike, which are related to the tools and policies of the occupation aimed at trying to break the experience.”

The number of administrative detainees in Israeli prisons is about 500, out of about 4,600 prisoners, according to the Prisoner Club.

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