Maher Al-Akhras says that nothing will stop his strike. It is either death or freedom from the Israeli jails.
This Palestinian detainee is on hunger strike for 3 months now. In an exclusive interview, Maher Al-Akhras says that nothing will stop his strike. He says that it will be either death or freedom from the Israeli jails.
During interview, he adds in a weak voice due to his grave health condition that Palestinian detainees feel disappointed from the international community in supporting our right. He adds, “We choose this way and risk our lives to end the Israeli illegal administrative detention.”
“It is not only about me. It is about the oppressed Palestinians who are subjected to all kind of degradation. They face discrimination and brutality by the Israeli occupation everyday,” he adds.
Who is Maher Al Akhras?
Maher Al Akhras, 49, a father of six children, a Palestinian resident of Silat al-Daher outside Jenin city in the West Bank owns one of the largest dairies in the West Bank.
Al-Akhras was arrested in on 27 July 2020 by Israeli occupation troops. He has been on a hunger strike for 84 consecutive days in protest of his administrative detention without charge or trial.
As she lies beside her husband’s hospital bed, Taghreed Al-Akhras says she “lives in pain and fear for his life.” Meanwhile, he only drinks water and refuses all medical treatment. Moreover, he insists on continuing his strike.
He is in immediate and fatal danger. He wishes to get his freedom and live in peace with his children. She told us that despite his desperate situation, he always said that if he died, “do not forget Al-Aqsa or the people of occupied Jerusalem.”
When we asked her about his health condition, she said that he barely could talk. Moreover, he always suffers from painful and constant headaches and spasms from time to time. Also, she said that he hears buzzing in the ears. He has lost half of his weight.
Taghreed expressed her anger against the Israeli nurses and doctors who, whenever she asked for their help, say let him stop his strike first.
Isreali arrests a single man for the fifth time
Maher is in detention for the fifth time by the Israeli forces from his home. The first time was in 1989; when he served seven months in prison. The second time in 2004; when he served a further two years. Then he was re-detained in 2009, and he remained in administrative detention for 16 months. In 2018 he was again detained for 11 months. Now, after his re-detaining in late July, the occupation authorities transferred him to administrative detention for four months.
According to his relatives, the Israeli court is trying to trick them and announce that he will be released next November and will not renew his detention. But Maher refuses that and says, “I will not suspend my strike until immediate freedom.”
“I can’t guarantee that the Israeli occupation soldiers will not come back and re-arrest me again,” he adds.
At the end, Maher thanked all the efforts taken by several local and international organizations. He also thanks the prisoners held in other cells who went on hunger strike in solidarity with Maher.
On her side, his wife said that we only heard that several international organizations condemned the Israeli detention of Maher and call for immediate release. But nothing happened here on the ground.
Maher Akhras is one of over 350 Palestinian detainees in arrest by the Israeli Occupation Authorities in administrative detention.