Israeli police crush a protest in an Arab city inside Israel held in support of a striking administrative detainee


Israeli police attacked and forcibly dispersed a protest held tonight in the Arab city of Umm al-Fahem in northern Israel in support of hunger-striking Palestinian administrative detainee Hisham Abu Hawwash. The protesters were demanding the release of Abu Hawwash, 40, from the southern West Bank town of Dura, who has been on hunger strike for 139 days today following reports of a serious deterioration in his health. Police attempted to disperse the protesters several times and when they refused to leave the area, the police attacked them, beating some and arresting several people, according to witnesses. Abu Hawwash's hunger strike and near-death situation, as confirmed by medics and human rights groups, has prompted solidarity demonstration in several cities and towns in the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and in Arab towns in Israel. Several attempts by Abu Hawwash's lawyers to have him released have failed as the Israeli courts insisted on keeping his administrative detention order in place even though it was frozen last week but not canceled, which is a demand by Hawwash to end his hunger strike.