PFLP leaders transferred, isolated by Israeli prison administration after public political statements

Protester calls for freedom for all jailed Palestinians.

Leading Palestinian prisoners of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were suddenly transferred on Wednesday, 29 August on multiple occasions, while in Megiddo prison, tension rose between the Palestinian political prisoners and the Israeli occupation prison administration.

Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh was suddenly transferred from Hadarim prison to Ramon prison, while Wael Jaghoub was transferred to Gilboa prison. In addition, Mohammed Musa Abu Khdeir was transferred from Nafha prison to Ramon.

In addition, all of the PFLP prisoners in Megiddo were thrown into isolation cells after protests inside the prison against poor conditions and ongoing violations of their rights, according to the Handala Center for Prisoners And Former Prrisoners.

These actions could come in response to the visible political role of the prisoners of the Popular Front inside Israeli jails, including imprisoned General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat.

The PFLP prisoners recently released a widely distributed statement in solidarity with U.S. prisoners engaged in work-stoppages, boycotts and hunger strikes against forced prison labor, racism and exploitation inside U.S. jails. Some excerpts follow:

“The prison strike is a struggle of oppressed and exploited workers, first and foremost, confronting the unmasked brutality of capitalism behind bars. Around the world, prisoners have only protected their human rights and won victories through struggle. We know that you are demanding improved conditions, the right to fight in court for your rights and an end to excessive, lifelong sentences. You are also demanding an end to the new form of slavery found in U.S. prisons, where prison workers are paid pennies to produce goods and perform services for some of the country’s largest corporations.

We also salute your struggle against racism. U.S. settler colonialism and imperialism practices its vicious racism both internally and externally, and the prison system reflects that reality. Black communities, Latino communities, Arab communities are under attack, facing mass incarceration and a system that seeks to imprison and exploit rather than support and nurture youth and elders.

Today, prison workers are some of the most exploited workers in the United States, and the same ruling class that profits from the confiscation of Palestinian land and resources and from the bombing of children in Yemen also profits from the forced labor of prisoners. Your struggle is a workers’ struggle that is part of our global conflict against the vicious exploitation that our peoples face today. This struggle inside the prisons highlights the deep connections between racism and capitalism and how the struggle against them both can never be de-linked.

The boycott campaign that is part of your strike also emphasizes the critical role of boycott in confronting exploitation and oppression. While our circumstances and lives may vary greatly from one another in many ways, we too face economic exploitation through a “canteen” system that seeks to profit from our imprisonment as Palestinians. We know that prison profiteers in the United States also profit from prison canteens, phone calls and other purchases, and we salute your campaign of boycott. This is the same reason why we call on people around the world to join the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. We cannot and must not be the consumers of those who profit from our misery and oppression.”

The PFLP prisoners also issued a statement just two days ago in memory of assassinated PFLP General Secretary Abu Ali Mustafa, killed by Israeli occupation forces with a U.S.-made and -funded helicopter-fired missile on 27 August 2001. The statement harshly condemned U.S. imperialism as well as the role of the Palestinian Authority and right-wing Arab regimes. Some excerpts follow:

“His assassination was a great loss not only for the Palestinian and Arab cause but for the international struggle of all oppressed peoples and for progressive international liberation movements. His vision emanated from his understanding of the importance of the class struggle, and he always rooted his work in the oppressed peoples and popular classes. The comrade was committed to this vision, from his origins and through his practice. He was the son of a poor peasant family who lived a life as a refugee with his people in the struggle against the Zionist settler colonial project, which seeks to end Palestinian existence and eliminate our rights as a people.

On this anniversary of the martyrdom of Comrade Abu Ali, we are passing through a time of the darkest and most difficult political circumstances, with important international and regional changes and new alliances that must be confronted. At the international level, we see a number of important phenomena, such as the growth of the extreme chauvinistic right, particularly in Europe. Radical changes could direct the future of the European countries, including the rise of voices within the EU calling for separation, reconsideration of the alliance or reformulation of it to reduce the influence of some countries, especially Germany. This may be the most serious contradiction among capitalist European countries since World War II, but it is also a time of conflicts of interest between the EU and the United States of America. These contradictions are not merely the outcome of the election of Trump as president of the world’s leading imperialist power, but are a natural product of social contradictions under capitalism over economic power and political influence.

It is clear that there is nothing strange about the election of Trump in the United States, built on the genocide of the indigenous people of that land. His election in fact reflects the nature of conflicting forces in American society, including the most rapacious capitalist interests in alliance with right-wing Protestant groups and powerful lobbies, the arms lobby and the Zionist lobby. There is no doubt that this racist alliance seeks to expand the scope of the conflict with the peoples of the world on the basis of imposing imperial domination and control without rivalry.

The United States plans to challenge China, Russia and the European Union for economic and political influence. This comes at the same time as it escalates its blatant interference in Latin America, comes into conflict with long-time allies like Turkey, imposes economic sanctions and jointly imposes Israeli demands against Iran and Palestine. It returns to use the veto once again in the Security Council in favor of the colonial Israeli entity as it promotes its so-called “deal of the century,” which seeks to abolish the national, historical and human rights of the Palestinian people. This is a clear confirmation of the hostility of U.S. imperialism to the Palestinian people and its full partnership in the policies of ethnic cleansing and attacks on our rights.

Our dear comrades, what is happening in the Arab arena is also very concerning. First, the pace of normalization between the Arab reactionary regimes and the Zionist entity has increased in an unprecedented manner as the Saudi and Emirati (UAE) regimes escalate Arab contradictions in full participation in a project to dismantle and destroy the Arab world, as we see in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere.

It is clear that the enemy camp includes these treacherous reactionary forces, allied with the United States and the Zionist entity, who have made their role clear in the implementation of imperialist plans and projects, especially in regard to the Palestinian cause.

Dear comrades, the series of attacks that are being waged against our people requires the immediate completion of the reconciliation file and ending Palestinian division on the basis of true national partnership and the reconstruction of the Palestinian house, the shortest way to confront the “deal of the century,” The ongoing delay, procrastination and distortion around the issue of reconciliation does not serve our national interest and does serve the occupation and its attempts to quash our vision of return and self-determination.

In this context, we see a large gap between the statements by the Palestinian presidency purporting to call for a rejection of the “deal of the century” and the practice on the ground by the Palestinian Authority. What is the goal of disrupting reconciliation? Of imposing impossible, unacceptable conditions? Of imposing unfair sanctions on our people in Gaza? Or the convening of a divided ‘Palestinian National Council’ that does not reflect the Palestinian people? Is not that a deal with the “deal of the century”?

The relentless pursuit of the fragmentation of the Palestinian people and their resistance forces serves only to weaken our people, in harmony with the Zionist-imperialist projects in the region.

In this framework, the Return Marches in Gaza have upheld the honor of the Palestinian cause. They have made clear the will of the Palestinian masses, against all conspiracies against our people, in rejection of siege and humiliation, asserting our right to resist the occupation by all possible means.”