Imprisoned Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat will join the collective open-ended hunger strike in support of Bilal Kayed‘s battle for freedom, announced the PFLP’s Prisoner Commission on 29 July. Sa’adat is the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian leftist party to which Kayed belongs; he is serving a 30-year sentence imposed upon him after he was captured by Israeli occupation forces in a violent attack and raid on Jericho prison, where he had previously been imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority under US and British guard.
Sa’adat will join the open hunger strike on Sunday, 31 July, said Allam Kaabi in an interview with Hadaf News. Kayed has been on hunger strike for 45 days, since an administrative detention order was imposed upon him following the expiration of his 14.5 year sentence in Israeli prison. He is currently suffering severe health deterioration; it is noted that the 45th day of hunger strike and those that follow are especially dangerous for long-term hunger strikers. Kayed, 34, is shackled hand and foot to his hospital bed in Barzilai Hospital. Dozens of Palestinian prisoners have joined the collective open-ended strike for his freedom, in a case that poses a threatening precedent for all Palestinian prisoners of indefinite detention following the end of their prison sentence. Hundreds more are engaged in a series of protest steps, including short-term hunger strikes, disobedience during roll call, and other protest actions.
This action is meant to expand and intensify the struggle within the prisons and underline the importance of Kayed’s battle for freedom, said Kaabi. Sa’adat will join the strike alongside a new group of PFLP prisoners, in a move that emphasizes the seriousness of Kayed’s health situation and the dedication of the prisoners to ensuring his freedom. Kaabi noted that the PFLP prison branch will release a statement on the next steps of struggle on Sunday.
The announcement came as marchers from Nablus and the Balata refugee camp confronted Israeli occupation soldiers at Huwwara checkpoint near Nablus on Friday afternoon, demanding an end to the occupation and freedom for Kayed and his fellow Palestinian prisoners.
Palestinian prisoner Tayseer Amuri was released today after 10 years in Israeli prisons. Before visiting his home, he traveled to the prisoner support tent and the home of Bilal Kayed’s family to greet his mother and express the support of all of the prisoners behind bars for Kayed and his battle for freedom.
Behind bars, Kayed has been a prominent leader among Palestinian prisoners, organizing hunger strikes, serving as a prisoners’ representative, and coordinating with prisoner leaders from other Palestinian political factions to develop united strategies for prisoner organizing and struggle. His hunger strike has won the united support of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Movement, as well as the support of over 150 Palestinian and international organizations collectively demanding his freedom. Protests and events are being organized throughout Palestine and internationally to demand his freedom.