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PRESS RELEASE: Princeton University Students Launch Hunger Strike in Solidarity with Gaza

PRINCETON, NJ, MAY 3—The Princeton Gaza Solidarity Encampment announces the initiation of a hunger strike in solidarity with the millions of Palestinians in Gaza suffering under the ongoing siege by the state of Israel.

The Israeli occupation has deliberately blocked access to basic necessities to engineer a dire famine for the two million residents of Gaza. Since the announcement on October 9th by the Israeli Defense Minister prohibiting the entry of food, fuel, and electricity into the Gaza strip, Israel has systematically obstructed and limited access to vital aid for Palestinians in Gaza, even intentionally destroying existing cropland. On March 18, the UN Secretary General declared that “This is the highest number of people facing catastrophic hunger ever recorded by the Integrated Food Security Classification system.” To make bread, Gazans have been forced to use animal feed as flour. To break their fasts in Ramadan, Gazans have been forced to prepare meals of grass. 97% of Gaza’s water has been deemed undrinkable since October 2021, and they have been forced to drink dirty saltwater to survive.

The consequences of this unprecedented famine, created and maintained by Israel, will devastate Gaza’s children for generations to come and cannot be tolerated any longer. We have begun our hunger strike to stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza. We are drawing from the tradition of Palestinian political prisoners going on saltwater-only hunger strikes in Israeli prisons since 1968.

Our hunger strike is a response to the administration’s refusal to engage with our
demands for dissociation and divestment from Israel. We refuse to be silenced by the University administration’s intimidation and repression tactics. We struggle together in solidarity with the people of Palestine. We commit our bodies to their liberation. Participants in the hunger strike will abstain from all food and drink (except water) until the following demands are met:

  1. Meet with students to discuss their demands for disclosure, divestment, and a full
    academic and cultural boycott of Israel.
  2. Grant complete amnesty from all criminal and disciplinary charges for
    participants of the peaceful sit-in. Reverse all campus bans and evictions of

The University and the world must recognize that we refuse to be complicit in genocide and will take every necessary action to change this reality. Our hunger strike, though small in comparison to the enduring suffering of the Palestinian people, symbolizes our unwavering commitment to justice and solidarity.

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