Mohammed Kana’aneh (Abu Assad) of the Abnaa el-Balad Movement in Occupied Palestine ’48 launched a hunger strike in Shatta prison on Tuesday, October 23, demanding his human rights and an end to the poor treatment of prisoners by the prison administration. Kana’aneh is refusing all food and drink, except for water. He stated that the hunger strike is the only weapon Palestinian prisoners possess to struggle for their rights.

He is currently imprisoned for 15 months for organizing in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights to comemmorate the Naksah on June 5, 2011. He was held in Tzalmon Prison since April; in October he was transferred to Shata prison, where he is being housed with criminal Israeli prisoners rather than with Palestinian political prisoners. Kana’aneh said that the prison administration deals with him as a ‘security prisoner’ when denying him the rights accorded to criminal prisoners, but houses him with criminal prisoners rather than other ‘security prisoners’.

Kana’aneh has served many years in Israeli jails and sees this treatment as deliberate retaliation for his political activity. The Abna’a el-Balad Movement stated that “we recognize that the inhumane practices and restrictions against Comrade Mohammed Kana’aneh come as part of the practice of political persecution by state institutions against him and members of the Abnaa el-Balad movement in particular, and against all of the political leaders and activists of the masses of our people. We demand an end to these practices and the achievement of Kana’aneh’s just and basic demands, and we call upon the leadership of our people to take the necessary steps to struggle to achieve those demands.”