[Pnews] Israeli arrest raids target Palestinian women activists and leftist organizers: Free Khitam Saafin, Shatha Tawil and all Palestinian prisoners!

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Nov 2 10:23:35 EST 2020

arrest raids target Palestinian women activists and leftist organizers:
Free Khitam Saafin, Shatha Tawil and all Palestinian prisoners!November 2,

In the pre-dawn hours of 2 November 2020 – on the anniversary of the
colonial Balfour declaration and only days after the one-year anniversary
of the imprisonment of Palestinian feminist, leftist and
parliamentarian Khalida
– Israeli occupation forces stormed the homes
<https://hadfnews.ps/post/74264/> of women’s movement and student movement
leaders, former prisoners and leftist organizers throughout the occupied
West Bank of Palestine. They seized Khitam Saafin
the president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and student
leader Shatha al-Tawil, a Bir Zeit University student, after invading their
homes in al-Bireh.
*Photo from 2017: Joe Catron

The Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees denounced the arrest of Saafin
<https://hadfnews.ps/post/74276>, who has previously been subjected to
arbitrary administrative detention, noting that it comes amid an ongoing
attack on Palestinian women, especially women students. Shatha Tawil is now
among hundreds of Palestinian university students imprisoned by the Israeli
occupation, including a number of student leaders at Bir Zeit University
*Photo: Shatha Tawil*

The UPWC called on “all strugglers for freedom in Palestine and
internationally to carry out campaigns of solidarity with the Palestinian
prisoners and all of the strugglers of our people until their liberation.”
*Photo: Khitam Saafin*

At almost the same time, Israeli occupation forces seized former prisoner
and longtime trade union activist Mohammed Jawabreh
55, from Izbat al-Jarad southwest of Tulkarem, and prominent Palestinian
leftist Jamal Barham
60, from the village of Ramin, also near Tulkarem, ransacking their homes
and abducting these community leaders.
*Photo: Mohammed Jawabreh*

Jamal Barham has been detained in the past without charge or trial under
administrative detention and served as the head of the Arab Studies
Department in the Palestine Liberation Organization.
*Photo: Jamal Barham*

In Qalqilya, occupation forces invaded and ransacked the homes of and
seized Shaher al-Rai
50 and Ahmed Mohammed al-Rai, 65, longtime community leaders. Shaher al-Rai
is a former prisoner who has been detained on multiple occasions by Israeli
occupation forces, often under administrative detention, indefinite
imprisonment without charge or trial. He has been arrested seven times,
including three stints in administrative detention, and imprisoned for over
12 years in total.
*Photo: Shaher al-Rai*

Al-Rai is married to Palestinian activist Manal al-Rai and they have three
children, Jarrah, Wajla and Kanaan. Manal al-Rai spoke about the impact of
her husband’s earlier administrative detention on their young son in this
video from Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association:

Shaher Al-Rai was earlier imprisoned by Palestinian Authority security
forces for multiple years after he and his cousin were implicated in a
false affidavit given by a Palestinian prisoner under Israeli torture. The
confession was proven false by incontrovertible evidence and the
Palestinian who made the confession under torture released and later
compensated by Israeli intelligence, in an unusual case. Nevertheless,
al-Rai remained held in PA prison for years after the discrediting of the
confession, and released only after a widespread campaign.
*Photo: Ahmad al-Rai*

These latest attacks come amid several urgent situations threatening
Palestinian prisoners, including an announcement of an outbreak of the
novel coronavirus among at least 12 Palestinian prisoners detained in the
Israeli occupation’s Gilboa prison, where around 90 prisoners in total are
held. Palestinian prisoners in Gilboa, Ramon and Nafha prisons
<https://www.wattan.net/ar/news/323909.html> announced that they will
escalate their protests given the ongoing negligence and deliberate neglect
of Palestinian prisoners’ health by the Israeli prison administration.

Meanwhile, Palestinian detainee Maher al-Akhras
<https://samidoun.net/2020/10/sign-the-petition-free-maher-al-akhras/> is
entering his 99th day of hunger strike against his Israeli administrative
detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. His health condition has
weakened dramatically and he is no longer able to walk and can barely talk.
He has insisted on continuing his hunger strike until he wins his freedom
from unjust imprisonment. Al-Akhras’ case has spurred worldwide outrage,
including a statement from Irish trade unions, international lawyers and
multiple social media campaigns to demand his immediate release.

*Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and many organizations,
including Within Our Lifetime – United for Palestine, will campaign on
social media on Tuesday, 3 November, the 100th day of Maher’s hunger strike
for dignity, justice and freedom. We urge you to join us with tweets,
photos and videos – and protests and actions – to share your solidarity at
this critical moment. Follow @SamidounPP <https://twitter.com/SamidounPP/>
on Twitter to join the Twitterstorm at 10 am Pacific time, 1 pm Eastern
time, 7 pm in central Europe and 8 pm Palestine time.*

Samidoun Network in occupied Palestine, alongside the families of the
prisoners and the martyrs, will hold a protest in occupied Ramallah
Palestine, at 4:30 pm on Tuesday, 3 November, to march for liberation for
Maher al-Akhras and all Palestinian prisoners.

*Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces these latest
attacks on the Palestinian women’s movement, student movement and community
organizers. We urge women’s organizations, student organizations and people
of conscience everywhere to raise their voices and act in solidarity with
Khitam Saafin, Shatha al-Tawil and their fellow Palestinian prisoners
targeted by the Israeli occupation – including by building the movement for
the boycott of Israel, its institutions and complicit corporations like HP,
Puma and G4S. The Israeli occupation wants, on this anniversary of the
Balfour declaration, to continue its colonization of Palestine unchecked by
isolating and detaining the leaders of the Palestinian people’s movement.
Join us to act and urge their immediate release and the liberation of all
Palestinian prisoners, and of Palestine, from the river to the sea!*
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