Ramallah: Frustrated prisoner Samer Halmi Al Barq has gone on a fresh hunger strike because he has not been released and deported to Egypt, as was agreed in an earlier deal.
Samer had staged a 125-day hunger strike before Israeli authorities requested his family find a country to host him to secure his release. After some months, the Palestinian Minister of Detainees’ Affair Eisa Qaraqei announced that Egypt had agreed to host Samer and that once the legalities were finished, he would be deported.
The ministry’s lawyers and those of the Palestinian Prisoners Club persuaded Samer that his release was only a matter of time and convinced him to end his fast. In the original plan, from Egypt Samer intended to appl from Egypt to the Pakistani Embassy for an entry permit to unite with his Pakistani wife.
Israeli authorities are now demanding Samer’s family find another country to host him.
The issue lies with the Egyptian authorities, according to the prisoner’s father. “Egypt had not provided us with a concrete document to fight the Israelis for Samer’s release, ” said Helmi Al Barq.
“We have lost all hope of finding a country to host Samer,” he told Gulf News.
The Israeli pledge to release Samer was d officially registered in Israeli records, and Samer’s family and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) can sue Israel in the event that it reverses its documented promises.
Samer’s father, mother and brother visited Samer in Al Ramlah Prison hospital last Thursday where he revealed to them his intention to go on an indefinite hunger strike.
“Samer demands a return to his home village of Jayyous and does not want to leave his country Palestine,” said the father. “This is my son’s final decision.”
“We have failed to find a country to host Samer. Let the Israelis take responsibility for this. It is not our responsibility any more,” said the father.
Al Barq claims that Samer is depressed after the collapse of the deal for his release. “He cannot stand the administrative detention orders any more,” he said.
“Samer demands an immediate release from Israeli prison or for an official accusation to be made for which he is to stand trial,” the father said of his son’s indefinite detention.
“This fresh hunger strike will mean that the determined Samer, who has already fasted for 125 days, will not eat or drink anything,” the father said.
“As a father, I am extremely worried about my son’s health, but Samer has no choice but to go on a fresh hunger strike in order to force his case and the cases of other detainees on administrative detention orders to the attention of the entire world,” he said.