The Palestinian prisoners’ movement engaged in the Strike of Freedom and Dignity within Israeli prisons issued a new statement on 6 May, the 20th day of open hunger strike.
The strike was launched on 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, by 1500 Palestinian prisoners and has been joined by a series of prominent leaders of the prisoners’ movement and the Palestinian national movement. Marwan Barghouthi, member of the Fateh central committee, launched the strike; leaders from all Palestinian political movements, including Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat, PFLP leader Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Islamic Jihad leader Zaid Bseiso, Hamas leaders Hasan Salameh and Abbas al-Sayyed, DFLP leader Wajdi Jawdat, People’s Party leader Bassam Kandakji and many others, including the longest-held Palestinian prisoners Nael Barghouthi and Karim Younes.
The strikers have a series of demands, including an end to the denial of family visits, the right to appropriate health care, the right to education in prison and an end to solitary confinement and “administrative detention,” imprisonment without charge or trial.
The following statement was released today in Arabic by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Movement on behalf of the strikers and is translated into English below. We urge its widest distribution and the implementation of its calls to action, including the escalation of our international organizing and solidarity to build support around the world for the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and their just demands for dignity and freedom. (Click here for translation in Italian)
In the name of God, the most merciful
“Those to whom hypocrites said, ‘Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.’ But it merely increased them in faith, and they said, ‘God alone is sufficient for us and he is the best disposer of affairs.’” – the Holy Qur’an
Statement issued by the Palestinian Prisoners’ National Movement
Follow-Up Committee for the Hunger Strike
As the Dignity Strike of the prisoners’ movement enters its 20th day, it is the beginning of a stage of extreme danger to the lives of the prisoners on hunger strike. This day also marks a specific point in the context of the targeting of the strike by the fascist occupation government, which announced yesterday, led by Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan, that work is being done to recruit doctors from another country to carry out the crime of feeding the prisoners forcibly and that this heinous crime will take place in the Ramle prison clinic, which we have always experienced as a place of isolation and torture. We are also threatened with repression and murder by the al-Matsada repressive units, and informed of their permanent readiness for possible developments and confrontations inside prison.
This trend carries with it preparation for a targeted crime against the prisoners with the intention of murder. It is clear that we are in the next stage now, that of repression, abuse, and attempts to break the strike through threatening the lives of the prisoners. The ongoing preparations indicate that there is a decision taken against the prisoners to their deaths at the hands of a gang of fascists in Tel Aviv. This is what makes this confrontation an extraordinary moment. Dealing with it requires vision, programs and activities that rise to the level required. We emphasize that the government of the fascist murderers and security forces did not yet understand well our decision for 50 leading prisoners to join the strike, and that if this message has not yet reached the Zionist gangs, they will be well aware of it in the coming days.
In this context, we emphasize that any attempt to implement the crime of forced feeding against any prisoner on hunger strike will mean for us a project of the execution of the prisoners. We will deal with it on that basis and we will turn the prisons into sites of confrontation with our bare bodies, armed with our faith, our will, our determination and our confidence in our people, the Arab and Islamic nation and the forces of freedom and justice in the world to stand by our side. This is a battle of freedom in confrontation of injustice, persecution and oppression, a battle to preserve and fight for human values and concepts in the face of the barbarity and racism represented by the occupation and its agents.
We are aware of the seriousness of the current situation prepared by the fascists in the Tel Aviv government. In this context, we call for:
1) After 20 days of strike and the entry of the prisoners into a dangerous and fateful phase, we call today for a week of outrage shared by all sectors of the Palestinian people in the homeland and in exile, a week in which our people direct their lava, their volcanoes of anger to the sites of confrontation with the occupation. This also means the continuation of marches, protests and sit-ins, and marches to sit-in tents with the prisoners in Palestinian towns and villages, and besieging the embassies of the occupation throughout the world.
2) We demand the Palestinian Authority immediately end security coordination with the occupation. These are days of national confrontation and action.
3) We call for the launch of a wider international campaign by unions of Palestinian and Arab doctors, warning of the dangers of doctors agreeing to participate in the crime of forcibly feeding the prisoners.
4) We urge action to pursue and prosecute the criminals of the occupation prison administration and intelligence agencies, and the Minister of Internal Security, the terrorist Gilad Erdan, for judicial action everywhere in the world, with the announcement of a list of names, officials and ministers of the enemy to prosecute them as war criminals.
5) We call for the formation of a leading Palestinian national framework with the membership and participation of all of the national and Islamic forces and national Palestinian figures to lead and follow up the actions of struggle for the Palestinian prisoners on the Palestinian, Arab and international level. We emphasize the need for the follow-up committee in occupied Palestine to lead in forming this framework. The Palestinian people everywhere they are have a critical role to play in promoting the struggle of the prisoners. This confrontation deserves to be represented and supported by a national and unified framework.
6) We turn to the Palestinian young men and women, students, workers, the forces of revolutionary initiative who hold the title to the future, and we urge them to participate creatively in struggle and to play the role required of them. You have never disappointed the prisoners for one day, and you will continue to confront and struggle, and we rely on you always.
In conclusion, the coming days will carry new developments from us and as we confront the policy of occupation, we will confront this policy of execution approved by the occupation government against us, the prisoners of the armed resistance and the daily popular struggle.
“And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned.”
Glory to the martyrs and the revolution continues. We march in the footsteps of victory!
Your brothers, comrades and mujahideen
Palestinian Prisoners’ National Movement
6 May 2017
20th Day of the Strike of Freedom and Dignity