Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Swansea Women End Hunger Strike in Israeli Prison

Press Release: Swansea Women End Hunger Strike in Israeli Prison
July 12 2011

At 7am this morning, we had the first contact since Friday with the 2 women from Swansea who have been imprisoned in Israel. D Murphy and Fiona Williams were amongst 124 people from Europe who were arrested at Tel Aviv airport on Friday as part of a solidarity protest with the people of Palestine.

The 2 Swansea women ended their hunger strike at 7am GMT this morning after 48 hours when their demands to make a phone call were met.

They said they are both refusing to sign the Israeli papers to accept being deported.

Fiona Williams said she is resisting being deported and is prepared to stay in prison until at least the weekend.

Speaking from her cell Fiona said
'It is difficult for us here, but at least people in prison can get visitors.The people living in the West Bank can't get visitors because Israel holds the keys. We want to challenge that power.'

She continued to say
'There is no legal reason for our incarceration.The risk of us accepting deportation, is that it will be normalized and create a precedent by which the Israeli Authorities are permitted to decide on who has the right or not to come visit Palestine'

D Murphy said
'There are 27 women here in the prison and 5 in our cell. It is scruffy, dirty and very very basic and it is very hot and sweaty at night. But our spirits are still raised knowing that people are supporting us beyond these barbed wire and thick walls.'

She continued;
'In Israel, if you are prepared to lie constantly about your destination regarding Palestine, it is easier to survive here.I want to go to Bethlehem and support the people of Palestine and I am willing to keep resisting deportation until the 20nd of July, maybe longer.'

Phone calls from the prison maybe more frequent now after their hunger strike has opened up a channel of communication to the outside world.

For interviews with Fiona Williams partner John McClean or for photographs of the 2 women contact paulo@undercurrents.org

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

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