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This article conceptualises the techniques of resistance developed by Palestinian hunger strikers. Through the weaponization of the body they seek to disrupt the techniques of power exercised over their starving bodies by the Israel Prison Authorities (IPA), as well as the Israeli intelligence services responsible for administrative detention. It shows that hunger strike is a site of creativity of resistance and human agency. From the hunger strikers’ view, it demonstrates their ability to claim agency over their bodies and the power of life and death which rests in the hands of those who resist. This mode of resistance not only reflects the relationship between Palestinian political prisoners and the IPA but also illustrates the complexity of settler-colonialism and the dynamics of anti-colonial resistance.
The article approaches the techniques of power and resistance between the IPA and political prisoners chronologically, from the initial phase of the hunger, the peak of the struggle, and the advanced stage which is marked by negotiations between the prisoners and the IPA. The trajectory of hunger strikes varies according to the decomposition of the starving body, and at each stage the prison authorities change the emphasis of their techniques in order to break the hunger strike, whilst the prisoners invent new techniques to sustain the hunger strike. Subjectivity formation during the hunger strike arises from the protracted battle between the resistant subjects and colonial power.
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