Palestinian Prisoners’ Movement statement: All Palestinian prisoners are part of Bilal Kayed’s battle for freedom

bilal kayed graffitiThe Palestinian prisoners’ movement – comprising all the major Palestinian political parties and factions whose members are imprisoned in Israeli jails – issued a statement on Tuesday, 12 July, pledging full support to imprisoned Palestinian hunger striker Bilal Kayed, as he enters his 28th day of hunger strike. The statement is signed by the National and Islamic Forces in Israeli prisons – Fateh, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP and the DFLP.

Kayed, who has been slated for transfer for hospital, had a legal visit with Farah Bayadsi of Addameer yesterday, 11 July, as he is held in isolation in Ashkelon prison; his health continues to be precarious, he has lost large amounts of weight, and he suffers from dizziness, fatigue and insomnia. A hearing on the appeal of his administrative detention is scheduled for Thursday, 14 July.

The statement comes as repressive forces stormed sections of prisoners belonging to the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Kayed’s party, in Ramon prison on Tuesday, 12 June and began moving PFLP prisoners to unknown locations, as well as the imposition of sanctions on PFLP prisoners in all prisons.

Kayed has been on hunger strike since 15 June, demanding freedom from administrative detention without charge or trial. He completed a 14.5-year sentence in Israeli prison on 13 June – yet instead of being released, Kayed was instead ordered to six months administrative detention. Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable, issued on the basis of secret evidence. Kayed is among 750 Palestinians held without charge or trial, and 7000 total Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. International protests are taking place around the world this week demanding Kayed’s freedom and supporting his strike.

The full statement from the Palestinian Prisoners’ Movement follows below:

In the name of God, the most merciful

A statement issued by the prisoners in Israeli jails

Bilal Kayed and his comrades’ struggle – The prisoners’ movement will not stand by silently

To the valiant masses of the Palestinian people –

At this time when the battle of the captured struggler Bilal Kayed, on open-ended hunger strike, continues in order to obtain his freedom; amid pressure and abuse against the comrades in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine for their support for their comrade Bilal Kayed and actions of solidarity; as statements escalate by some Zionist leaders with incitement against the prisoners, calling for the stripping of their rights and achievements in order to appease the families of captured soldiers in the Gaza Strip and to advance the internal political calculations of Zionist leaders and outflank each other by pressing on what they believe to be the weakest link, the prisoners….

In this context, we as the national and Islamic factions in the arena of imprisonment, emphasize the following:

First, the Israeli Prison Service’s belief, alongside that of the security and political establishment of Zionism, that the prisoners’ movement is the weakest link in the equation of the conflict, is a complete misconception. They must review their accounts, as they are well aware that the history of the prisoners’ movement is full of accomplishments and sacrifices. All of our rights and achievements in the prisons did not come by the generosity of the enemy, but was extracted as a result of enormous sacrifices by the prisoners’ movement throughout its long history in defense of their rights, dignity and humanity.

Second, we salute the captive hero Bilal Kayed, the son of the prisoners’ movement and one of its leaders, who is engaged in the battle of an open-ended hunger strike for nearly one month. We express our full solidarity with him, and we stand by his side in his legitimate right to immediate freedom. We stand alongside our comrades and our brothers in the PFLP who are engaged in steps of solidarity with the struggling Bilal Kayed. We warn the Prison Service that this battle is the battle of the prisoners’ movement as a whole. We will not abandon Bilal and his comrades, and we will not accept the continuing pressure on him and his comrades, and will not stand idly by.

Third, we call on the masses of our people in struggle and prominent figures to continue in public events and media support for the prisoners and their rights in general, and in support of the battle of the prisoner Bilal Kayed in particular. This is a national issue and an exceptional issue, and we must all stop the schemes aimed at revenge against the prisoners, especially the leaders and their families through the renewal of their detention under security pretexts. There is a serious threat that this will become the rule and the policy practiced by the enemy against all the prisoners, which would be damaging to our rights to freedom and dignity.

Fourth, we call upon the Palestinian Authority and the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission, and all national, legal and human rights organizations to raise the issue of the Palestinian prisoners at the International Criminal Court, the UN Human Rights Council, and the United Nations, in order to prosecute the occupation, and to expose its practices and daily violations of the rights of prisoners in Israeli jails.

To the valiant masses of the Palestinian people –

From the heart of our suffering, from the squares and homes of our families, we send our greetings to you, we squeeze your hands and applaud your efforts and struggles and sacrifices. We join our voices and call for an end to division and the restoration of national unity as a necessary condition for defeating the occupation on our land and achieving our national goals.

Glory and eternity to the martyrs and freedom for our resisting people. Shame and defeat to occupation.

The brothers, comrades, and strugglers
Palestinian prisoners’ movement in Israeli jails
12 July 2016

Palestinian National Liberation Movement “Fateh”
Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas”
Islamic Jihad
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine