On 29 December, Lina Khattab, first-year media studies student at Bir Zeit University and folkloric dancer with the El Funoun Popular Palestinian Dance Troupe, faced a hearing in an Israeli military court that was once again postponed to 5 January – as her hearing had been the week before. Click here to take action to demand freedom for Lina Khattab.
Lina, 18, was arrested on 13 December in Beitunia when she and other Bir Zeit students participated in a march towards Ofer military prison, protesting in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners. She is charged with “throwing stones” and “participating in an unauthorized demonstration,” charges commonly made against Palestinians participating in demonstrations for their rights by Israeli occupation forces.
On 28 December, the Progressive Student Action Front and the Palestinian Prisoners’ Committee held a sit-in calling for the freedom of Lina Khattab and all Palestinian political prisoners at the International Committee of the Red Cross building in Gaza City, coordinated with the Progressive Democratic Student Pole of Bir Zeit University.
At the sit-in, student Lina Abu Sharkh saluted her fellow student organizers at Bir Zeit University for their constant activity in defending the Palestinian cause and particularly the rights of Palestinian prisoners. “The Palestinian prisoners are the first line of defense confronting the occupation and its racist nature in Israeli jails, despite all the difficult conditions they face,” Abu Sharkh said.
She also denounced Israeli prison authorities for extending the ban on family visits for imprisoned Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat an additional three months; he has been denied family visits since September 2014. “These orders will not break the will of steadfastness and resistance, and such attempts to pressure and isolate Palestinian leaders inside Israeli jails are doomed to fail,” said Abu Sharkh.