Hunger Strike Activist Beaten in Israeli Jail
Thursday, 17 June 2004, 11:07 am
Press Release: P10K

Hunger Strike Activist Beaten in Israeli Jail

Irish Political Activist Ken O'Keefe suffered concussion and bruising at the hands of an Israeli prison guard Monday evening, five days into his hunger strike against detention and possible deportation. He was arrested last Thursday for attempting to enter Gaza to discuss the P10K plan with representatives from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

P10K – Palestine 10,000 - seeks to bring 10,000 western citizens to act as international observers in the Palestinian Territories in exchange for a cessation of offensive operations inside Israel. P10K is also calling on Israel to refrain from its attacks and to withdraw immediately from the Palestinian Occupied Territories – its obligation under international law.

O'Keefe said: "I was beaten and put in shackles and then had my head bashed into the wall which caused a concussion and brusing. I responded by saying to him, 'makes you feel big does it, little man?' He retaliated by pulling out his *****."

This latest story emerged through a phone call to a friend which O'Keefe made following a visit by an official from the Irish Embassy in Tel Aviv. After days in solitary confinement, O'Keefe has also been moved into a communal area of the prison.

Last year the former US Marine and Gulf War veteran returned to Iraq with more than 500 Human Shields. After entering Gaza via a settlement, he was detained by 10 Israeli soldiers whilst walking along the beach into the Palestinian area.

O'Keefe wished to strengthen his contact with Palestinian militant groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas, and personally discuss with leaders in Gaza his P10K plan to bring 10,000 western citizens to act as international observers in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

O'Keefe said: "My detention is a futile attempt to silence my charge that Palestinian Gaza is nothing less than a massive prison with Israeli control that denies entry to all it sees fit. There is no 'legal' channel permitting someone like myself to enter Gaza."

"If I am deported it is because I went to Gaza armed only with an "Agreement in Principle" that if agreed upon would bring a legitimate chance for Truth, Justice and Peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike."

"Based on two previous ceasefires (2001, 2003) it is my belief that Hamas and Islamic Jihad would agree to give the P10K ceasefire the opportunity to succeed in compelling the application of International Law, which demands an end to Israel’s illegal occupation."

"I am conducting a hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinians who have no freedom, no justice; it's food for the human soul."

In addition to seeking O'Keefe's release, P10K organizers are currently finalizing details of a summer tour schedule throughout Europe and Japan to register individuals to join the P10K FORCE.

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