On 17 December, 100 Palestinian political prisoners ended a solidarity hunger strike after the Israeli prison authorities agreed to stop holding Nahar al-Saadi in solitary confinement and to allow him contact with his family (he had been held in solitary for over 570 days).
The authorities also agreed to end the use of solitary confinement ‘without cause’ – a promise they made previously after the mass hunger strike of mid-2012 (PN 2547-2548).
In other news, after serving 10 consecutive sentences for draft resistance (amounting to 177 days in total) in Israel, 20-year-old ultra-orthodox Jew Uriel Ferrara was given draft exemption on 21 December, and given civilian service instead. Uriel said that he was happy his ordeal had ended but that he had acted on behalf of the Palestinian people to oppose the occupation.
Recent successes in the campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli occupation of Palestine include:
- On 14 November, Leicester city council in England resolved to boycott products made in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
- On 24 November, Durham, North Carolina, became the first US town to boycott a company because of its role in the occupation when it a cancelled a $1 million police contract with security firm G4S.
- On 3 December, the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul cancelled a major collaboration with Israeli military company Elbit Systems after protests over the firm’s role in oppression of Palestinians.