Palestinian Youth: PA meetings with Israeli officials undermine the prisoners’ heroic struggle

The following is a statement released by youth organisation Palestinians for Dignity, 13.5.12 – Local and international news agencies informed us last night, 12 May, that the Palestinian political establishment met with the representative of the Israeli apartheid regime, Isaac Molkho, in Ramallah to deliver the latter’s response to a previous letter that was sent by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) on 17 April.

This visit coincides with the ongoing open-ended hunger strike waged by Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons for 27 consecutive days, in a crucial and strategic battle in which the role of the prisoners’ movement in the Palestinian national struggle is restored. This movement is raising fair demands to guarantee the treatment of political prisoners and detainees according to international humanitarian law, especially the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions.

Rather than boycott and isolate the Israeli apartheid regime for their unrelenting crimes against our people, and foremost against our prisoners, the Palestinian political establishment decided to receive and honor the representative of the Israeli apartheid regime, the same regime our prisoners are fighting against, as if the crimes committed against our prisoners are perpetrated by someone else.

Our political prisoners are waging an immense battle on their own, because they have no illusions that the “peace process” can set them free or guarantee their dignity. They are armed only with their willpower and unity. Neither we nor they expected the PLO to choose Palestinian Prisoners Day, 17 April, which also coincided with the day of the beginning of the hunger strike, to deliver a letter to the Israeli prime minister nor to receive a representative of the apartheid regime.

Molkho’s “visit” comes at a time when, Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, have gone for 76 days without food in protest of the Israeli administrative detention policy. Additionally, Hasan Al-Safadi has gone without food for 70 days, Omar Abu Shallal for 68 days, Mahmoud Al-Sarsak for 56 days, Mohammad Taj for 57 days, Jafar Ezzedine for 53 days, and Abdullah Al-Barghouthi for 32 days.

Our political prisoners have struggled for our dignity and have sacrificed their lives to make the PLO the sole representative of the Palestinian people, and they deserve that we stand honorably to support them. Therefore, we demand that the PLO:

· Stop all negotiations and meetings with the Israeli apartheid regime.

· Use its political, economical and moral weight in support of the prisoners’ strike and formulate a national strategy to liberate the prisoners.

· Respect and protect, at the next PLO Executive Committee, the free will of our political prisoners and the sovereignty of the prisoners’ movement in its decisions.

Palestinians for Dignity