[Pnews] Victory, Towards Liberation: Salute to the Palestinian Prisoners and the Struggle for Freedom

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sat May 27 12:23:42 EDT 2017


  Victory, Towards Liberation: Salute to the Palestinian Prisoners and
  the Struggle for Freedom

May 27, 2017

On the occasion of the victory of the Strike of Freedom and Dignity 
the valiant battle of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails, 
confronting the occupier with their bodies and their lives, we salute 
the Palestinian prisoners on achieving their victory, not only for 
themselves and their families, but for the entire Palestinian people and 
global movement for justice and liberation. *We salute and congratulate 
the prisoners on their victory after 40 days of sacrifice, steadfastness 
and endless struggle. We also salute and congratulate all those who 
contributed to this victory, throughout Palestine, in the refugee camps, 
in Palestinian communities everywhere and among strugglers around the 
world for justice and liberation. We simultaneously take this moment as 
an inspiration to continue and elevate our action and organizing for 
freedom – for all Palestinian prisoners and for the land and people of 

On 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, 
1500 Palestinian prisoners 
out of nearly 6500 imprisoned in Israeli jails launched their strike for 
a series of demands. These demands were straightforward, focusing on the 
restoration of family visits, the right to education, access to media 
and health care. Among the accomplishments of the strike is the 
restoration of the second monthly family visit, cancelled last year by 
the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) 
under the pretext of budget cuts 
despite pledges from at least August 2016 to cover the costs of the 
second monthly visit for Palestinian prisoners.

It is appalling that it should take a 40-day mass hunger strike of 
Palestinian prisoners to restore family visits taken away by an 
international agency that should be motivated by the rights and 
well-being of the prisoners. *Far from a neutral bystander, the ICRC was 
in fact a party to this strike and a participant in the confiscation of 
the rights of Palestinian prisoners.* This raises once again sharp 
questions about what really provoked the cut in family visits for 
Palestinian prisoners and the level of Israeli involvement in what was 
claimed at the time to be a mere financial decision, despite Palestinian 
pledges to cover costs.

While further information about the agreement has not yet been released, 
news indicates that further achievements of the strike also center on 
the issue of family visits, including access to more relatives including 
grandparents and grandchildren; improved communication, especially 
between imprisoned children and women and their families, and the 
installation of public telephones; easing security prohibitions and the 
frequent bans on family visit imposed by the Israeli prison 
administration. Al-Mayadeen TV reported 
<http://www.almayadeen.net/news/politics/57846/> further aspects of the 

  * periodic entry of private external physicians to examine ill prisoners
  * allowing visits from family members of the “second class,” including
    grandparents and grandchildren
  * increasing the amount prisoners may have in their canteen (prison
    store, where nearly all necessities of life must be purchased from
    and Israeli corporation) accounts
  * adding 3 satellite channels to the prisoners’ TV access
  *   transferring the Ramla prison hospital to the old section which
    includes several rooms and a recreation area
  * installation of a public telephone for women prisoners, child
    prisoners and ill prisoners to communicate on a daily basis with
    their family members
  * family visits to be increased to 60 minutes from 45 minutes
  * photographs with parents once annually
  * increasing the quantities of meat, vegetables and fruits for prisoners
  * allowing the introduction of clothing such as trousers and bags
  * providing each prisoner with 1 liter olive oil, 1 kilo coffee, 1/2
    kilo baklava and 1/2 kilo za’atar.

The leaders participating in the strike included Fateh leader Marwan 
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Secretary Ahmad 
fellow PFLP leaders Kamil Abu Hanish 
and Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh 
longest-serving Palestinian prisoners Karim Younes 
and Nael Barghouthi 
Hamas leaders Abbas Sayyed and Hasan Salameh, Islamic Jihad leaders Zaid 
Bseiso and Anas Jaradat, DFLP leader Wajdi Jawdat, former long-term 
strikers Mohammed al-Qeeq 
and Samer Issawi <http://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=906461>, and 
hundreds more of the imprisoned leadership of the Palestinian people.

Throughout the strike, the prisoners faced harsh repression. They were 
denied legal visits, family visits, beset by repressive raids, their 
belongings confiscated – even the salt that they relied on with water to 
preserve their life and health. Through it all, their steadfastness was 
an example of commitment and dedication to carry through their struggle. 
They were not alone in their steadfastness. The mothers and the families 
of the prisoners 
filled the tents of solidarity and support in every city, town, village 
and refugee camp in Palestine. Many prisoners’ mothers 
launched their own hunger strikes; they struggled, suffered, resisted 
and led alongside their children. Martyrs fell on the streets of 
Palestine as they protested and struggled for the liberation of their 
beloved prisoners at the hands of the occupation forces.

*The Palestinian prisoners made clear through the Strike of Dignity and 
Freedom the power of Palestinian unity. The imprisoned leadership of all 
Palestinian trends stood together to confront the occupier, while that 
unity was felt in struggle, on the streets and inside prison walls – and 
the effects of that unity have been felt in the achievement of the 
prisoners’ victory.*

The hunger strikers demanded that the Israeli occupation speak with 
their chosen leadership and defeated all attempts to circumvent the 
prisoners’ direction, leadership and choices. *More than that, however, 
they demonstrated once again that the true, respected leadership of the 
Palestinian national liberation movement itself is found in the 
Palestinian prisoners’ movement. The Palestinian prisoners’ movement is 
at the core of the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people as a 
whole; far from a side issue of the movement, it represents the 
Palestinian people and their resistance.*

Fundamentally, the Palestinian prisoners’ movement is and remains a 
voice and a power of resistance that continues to confront the occupier 
on a daily basis. *This strike was not only about family visits, medical 
care and basic human rights; fundamentally, it was an assertion of 
Palestinian resistance, rejection of the occupier, and power to 
struggle, not only for specific demands, but for freedom, return and 

The strike came as U.S. President Donald Trump 
visited the region, in cahoots with the Zionist movement, the Israeli 
state and the most reactionary Arab regimes in order to peddle weaponry, 
death and a so-called “grand bargain” designed to liquidate the 
Palestinian people’s struggle after 100 years of colonization, 70 years 
of Nakba and 50 years of intensified occupation. *From within Israeli 
prisons, the strikers’ power and its reflection and resonance on 
Palestinian, Arab and international streets came to confront any and all 
such attempts to destroy Palestinian rights and push an apartheid 
“solution” of endless colonization.* It made clear where the Palestinian 
people stand – with the prisoners, with the resistance and their 
imprisoned leadership, and not with reactionary Arab regimes or even the 
Palestinian Authority, which continued its security coordination 
with the occupation even as the prisoners, their families and their 
movement demanded that it come to an end. 

Throughout Palestine, in the refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, 
everywhere around the world in exile and diaspora, it was clear that the 
Palestinian people were side by side with the prisoners’ movement in 
this strike. The prisoners’ struggle helped to build and energize 
Palestinian community organizing internationally to support the strike 
and demand freedom for the prisoners.

*Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes all of the 
Palestinian community organizers, international political parties, 
global labor organizations, Palestine solidarity movements, women’s 
organizations, and strugglers for justice who organized hundreds of 
events in cities in every continent 
of the world, demonstrating again and again, developing creative protest 
mechanisms <http://decolonizethisplace.org/dignitystrike>, taking the 
#SaltWaterChallenge <https://twitter.com/hashtag/saltwaterchallenge>, 
organizing one-day hunger strikes 
and building strength to support the Palestinian prisoners’ struggle. 
Historically the Palestinian prisoners have always emphasized the 
importance of international solidarity and support for their struggle 
for liberation. Every one of these groups and individuals who have taken 
action around the world has a part in this collective struggle and 
collective victory.*

Through their struggle, the Palestinian prisoners have escalated and 
developed growing support for the Palestinian struggle – in the labor 
movement, where major union confederations in Canada 
and Uruguay 
<http://samidoun.net/2017/05/uruguays-national-labor-confederation-stands-in-solidarity-with-palestinian-prisoners-hunger-strike/> joined 
social movements in Brazil 
issuing resolutions in support of the strike, and even among 
parliamentarians, as thePortuguese parliament 
the Pan-African Parliament 
<https://twitter.com/hisilow/status/864505726839832578>, many Members of 
European Parliament, Argentine and Chilean parliamentarians, Galician 
and Andalucian parliamentarians, and even Canadian NDP leadership 
candidateNiki Ashton 
and US Congressperson Danny Davis 
<https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1YcQ8ThsCDaeTVWZ1JINlh5ZUE/view?usp=sharing>– supported 
the prisoners.

Perhaps most movingly, the power of internationalist solidarity between 
liberation struggles was vividly illustrated in the solidarity of Irish 
and Turkish and Kurdish 
political prisoners and the hunger strike of Arab Communist struggler 
for Palestine, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah 
along with Basque and Arab comrades, in French prison in solidarity with 
the Palestinian prisoners’ strike, as well as the solidarity expressed 
from U.S. prisons 
Palestinian prisoners celebrated the news of Puerto Rican struggler 
Oscar Lopez Rivera’s 
release from U.S. colonial prisons and rejoiced in the scene of his 
homecoming alongside former Palestinian prisoner and community leader 
Rasmea Odeh <http://uspcn.org/2017/05/22/rasmeas-speech-for-oscar-lopez/>.

The Palestinian prisoners’ movement and their struggle also further 
empowered and inspired campaigns for boycott, divestment and sanctions – 
from the establishment of HP-free zones in labor unions 
<https://bdsmovement.net/boycott-hp/> and community institutions to the 
inspiration of local boycott campaigns and initiatives, focusing on G4S, 
HP, academic and cultural boycott and thefull boycott adopted by the LO 
labor union in Norway 
The power and clarity of the prisoners’ resistance must encourage all of 
us to center the demands and struggle of the prisoners in building the 
global campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions.

*On this occasion of the prisoners’ victory, we know that there is a 
long struggle to come, for liberation for the prisoners and liberation 
for Palestine. We urge all of the Palestinian communities, supporters of 
Palestine and social justice organizers who took to the streets, drank 
salt water, engaged in hunger strikes, expressed their solidarity and 
organized across borders and walls to celebrate the victory of the 
prisoners with events and actions on 4-6 June, in Celebrations of 
Dignity and Victory.*

*In these celebrations, we will recognize the power of the Palestinian 
people to defeat the occupier and the colonizer, honor the prisoners and 
their steadfastness, and emphasize the ongoing struggle. These 
celebrations are an occasion to escalate our demands for Palestinian 
freedom – for the liberation of Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian 
people, and the entire land of Palestine.*


*/Send your events and actions for the Celebrations of Dignity and 
Victory – Struggle for Palestinian Freedom to us at 
samidoun at samidoun.net <mailto:samidoun at samidoun.net>, on Facebook 
<https://www.facebook.com/SamidounPrisonerSolidarity/?fref=ts>, or use 
the form to tell us about your actions 
<https://goo.gl/forms/AAp4EXsPOM6xQ16p1>. We will be regularly updating 
this international list of events and actions. /*/*Building this strong 
list of actions around the world will help to underline the global 
support for Palestinian political prisoners in their struggle for 
freedom, and the struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation.*/

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