[Pnews] Palestinian prisoners mark 15th day of hunger strike on International Workers’ Day

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon May 1 10:27:20 EDT 2017


  Palestinian prisoners mark 15th day of hunger strike on International
  Workers’ Day

May 1, 2017

As the world marks the first of May, International Workers’ Day, 
Palestinian prisoners on Israeli jails are engaged in their 15th day of 
hunger strike, entering their third week without food. 1500 Palestinian 
launched the strike on 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 
to demand a series of basic rights: an end to the denial of family 
visits, appropriate medical care and treatment, the right to continue 
education, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative 
detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

The prisoners have been met with harsh repression 
including the denial of legal and family visits, isolation of strike 
leaders, confiscation of clothing, blankets and other personal items and 
frequent raids by repressive units, often late at night. Large numbers 
of hunger strikers have been transferred repeatedly from prison to 
prison. With only a few strikers in Ofer and Ashkelon prisons so far 
allowed legal visits 
tracking developments in the strikers’ health and daily conditions is 
highly difficult for Palestinian organizations.

The campaign of prison transfers continues; Asra Voice reported the 
transfer of45 prisoners from Ohli Kedar <http://asravoice.ps/post/6567> 
prison to Gilboa, Megiddo and Ofer prisons, while 10 prisoners were 
reportedly taken from Gilboa to the Negev desert prison and then 
returned to Gilboa only hours later.  The transfers, which are 
particularly physically exhausting to hunger strikers consuming only 
salt and water for 15 days, continued on Monday. 
<http://www.wattan.tv/news/203751.html> Bilal Ajamieh and Haithem Hamdan 
were tranferred from Ashkelon to Eshel prison, while strike leaders 
Nasser Abu Hmeid, Anas Jaradat and Mohammed al-Khalidi were transferred 
from Ayalon Ramle prison to Nitzan prison. meanwhile, Mohammed Abbas was 
transferred from Nitzan to Gilboa prison, and Musallam Thabet and Ahmad 
Waridat taken from Nitzan to an unknown location.

Abdel-Fattah Dawla, the head of the media committee for the strike, said 
that attempts on the part of the Israel Prison Service to create 
back-channel negotiations that exclude strike leaders like Marwan 
Barghouthi, named the exclusive spokesperson for the Fateh prisoners who 
launched the call for the hunger strike, have failed. Dawla said in 
Ma’an News <http://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=905599> that the 
prisoners have consensus on their leadership and will not accept the 
creation of an alternative leadership to negotiate on their demands. 
Dawla also said that Karim Younes 
another strike leader and the longest consecutively-held Palestinian 
prisoner, stated that he would not deal with the Israeli occupation 
authorities as a negotiator in the context of the exclusion of Barghouthi.

Following on Younes’ hearing yesterday in the Haifa district court, 
lawyers Yamen Zeidan and Suleiman Shaheen said that no clear response 
was given to their petition for a legal visit with Younes, who is a 
Palestinian citizen of Israel who has served over 34 years in Israeli 
prisons. The petition was partially accepted and partially rejected, and 
the prison administration was given until Thursday to respond 
<http://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=905588> in writing regarding a 
visit with Younes. According to Ma’an News, the lawyers emphasized that 
this means only further delay and attempts to isolate Younes and his 
fellow strikers.

Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Dalaysheh 
<http://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=905597>, from Jalazoun refugee 
camp near Ramallah, on his 15th day of hunger strike, lost his mother on 
Sunday, 30 April. Sentenced to 24 years in Israeli prison, he has 
completed 12 years of his sentence. As a Palestinian prisoner and a 
hunger striker, he is denied visits with his family or even a telephone 
call to his loved ones at his time of loss. Held in isolation in Saba 
prison and denied legal and family visits, Dalaysheh reportedly may not 
be informed <http://www.wattan.tv/news/203738.html> of his mother’s 
passing; he lost his father three years ago, also imprisoned and denied 
the comfort of his family.

Mass Palestinian support for the strikers continued, as did repression 
of support actions and arrests of organizers by the Israeli occupation. 
Sumoud Abu Khdeir <http://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=905603>, an 
active Palestinian youth organizer in Jerusalem, was seized by Israeli 
occupation forces on 1 May in Jerusalem after a group of young 
Palestinian men and women gathered at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, 
creating a cloth mural of support for the Palestinian prisoners and 
writing the names of the Palestinian prisoners with messages of 
solidarity for their hunger strike. The mural in support of the 
prisoners was also confiscated by Israeli occupation forces in 
Jerusalem.  The young Palestinians were forced from the area by 
occupation forces.

In Sebastia, northwest of Nablus, Israeli occupation forces fired a 
heavy barrage of tear gas 
<http://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=905558> on protesters 
supporting the prisoners’ strike on Sunday night, 30 April; the 
fusillade of tear gas caused the support tent for the prisoners to catch 
on fire and blaze.  A number of Palestinians suffered tear gas 
inhalation, but none were wounded by the fire.

Many events are taking place throughout occupied Palestine in support of 
the hunger strikers <http://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=905548>, 
including events in Ramallah and el-Bireh, Nablus, Gaza City, Qalqilya, 
Bethlehem, Nazareth and Arara; events for International Workers’ Day are 
highlighting imprisoned Palestinian workers and their struggle for freedom.

International events in support of the prisoners continued 
with wide participation in protests, festivals and demonstrations for 
International Workers’ Day. From within Israeli prisons, statements from 
Palestinian prisoners were issued directed to the international 
movements for justice and liberation, urging support for Palestine on 
International Workers’ Day.

Ahmad Sa’adat <http://freeahmadsaadat.org>, the imprisoned General 
Secretary of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, 
issued a statement to the international left on 1 May 
“Greetings to you from inside the prisons and cells of Zionism, and 
salutes to all those who celebrate today, who march and participate in 
this day, in the lighting of the flame of this immortal, human, day, the 
first of May, the day of workers, the people, and the struggling 
classes. This is the day in which we together renew our primary 
commitment to defend the rights and interests of the impoverished and 
struggling classes with a fundamental interest in progress and change, 
the classes that were and still are the front line of the revolution, 
standing against the savage forces of capitalism, occupation, 
colonialism and racism…One of our common tasks is to defend the rights 
of refugees everywhere and to defend migrants and the impoverished 
classes, especially those living in the midst of imperialist countries,” 
said Sa’adat.

Kamil Abu Hanish 
a leader of the hunger strike representing PFLP prisoners, also released 
a statement for the First of May 
“Today, we call upon you, the fighters for freedom and justice in the 
world, the workers’ movements, the strugglers for socialism, the 
movements of revolution, to escalate your support for our struggle, for 
the Palestinian people and for the Palestinian prisoners….We urge you to 
intensify and build the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions 
against the occupation state and the corporations like Hewlett-Packard 
and G4S that profit from its imprisonment, apartheid and colonialism. 
The workers’ movements, the movements of the popular classes, the 
movements of the oppressed, can and must take part in this battle around 
the world, as part and parcel of the struggle against racism, 
imperialism and capitalism,” wrote Abu Hanish.

On Sunday, 30 April, actions and events continued in support 
of the Palestinian prisoners, with gatherings in Padua, Milan, Malmo, 
Melbourne, Beirut, Washington, DC and elsewhere. On 1 May, international 
May First events will include advocacy for Palestine and Palestine 
contingents in cities around the world, including in Athens, Liege, 
Brussels, Copenhagen, Charleroi, Malmo, New York, Lille, Arras, Paris, 
Lyon, Metz, Montpellier, Lausanne, Albertville, Beziers, Saint-Etienne, 
Berlin, Cologne, London, Los Angeles, Oakland, North Bergen and more. In 
Athens, multiple contingents 
<http://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=905586>, organizations, trade 
unions and political parties carried banners and signs saluting the 
Palestinian prisoners and their struggle for justice and dignity.

The World Federation of Trade Unions 
issued a strong statement of support for Palestinian prisoners, which 
was joined also by the International Trade Union Confederation 
<http://www.ituc-csi.org/ituc-stands-in-solidarity-with>. Palestinian 
trade unionists issued a call for increased boycott activism on May Day 
including boycott of the Histadrut, the Israeli official labor body: “We 
also take this opportunity to call on trade unions yet to join the BDS 
movement to: implement boycotts of Israeli and international companies 
that are complicit with violations of Palestinian rights, divest trade 
union funds from companies and institutions complicit in Israel’s 
occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid, and apply pressure on 
governments to cut military and trade relations with Israel. We 
reiterate our call for a boycott of Histadrut, Israel’s general trade 
union, for its complicity with Israel’s violations of international law 
and its refusal to take a clear stand in support of comprehensive human 
rights for Palestinians.”

In Lebanon, Palestinian and Lebanese organizations are continuing 
activities to support the strikers; Palestinian refugees in Shatila camp 
organized support tents and the posting of banners and posters in 
support of the prisoners; in Mar Elias refugee camp, a candlelight event 
saluted the prisoners’ strike. In Beirut, Saida, Kharoub and elsewhere 
in Lebanon, protests and gatherings called for support for the 
prisoners; Samah Idriss of the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel 
<http://boycottcampaign.com/> in Lebanon urged materializing solidarity 
with the prisoners <http://ytcropper.com/cropped/fn590634c53cce9> 
through intensifying the boycott campaign.

The Parliamentary Association of the Mediterranean also declared support 
for the prisoners, reported Ma’an News 
<http://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=905591>. António Pedro Roque da 
Visitação Oliveira, the president of PAM and a member of the Parliament 
of Portugal, stated that the association would take action on the issue 
of striking prisoners and would be meeting urgently with the United 
Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the 
Palestinian People on the issue.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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