Georges Abdallah, the Arab communist struggler for Palestine who has imprisoned in French jails for over 34 years, announced on Thursday, 11 April that he is launching a three-day hunger strike in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike inside Israeli jails, the Battle of Dignity 2. He is joined on the strike by 20 of his fellow prisoners, including 12 Basque political prisoners standing actively in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners’ strike.
This is not the first time that Georges Abdallah has participated from afar in the collective hunger strikes of the Palestinian prisoners; he also joined in the strikes of 2014 and 2017 from Lannemezan prison, where he is held. He also refused meals for three days in 2016 in solidarity with the hunger strike of Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayed, fighting against his imprisonment without charge or trial under administrative detention.
Palestinian prisoners launched the Battle of Dignity (Karameh) 2 on Monday, 8 April in response to escalated repression inside the Israeli prisons directed by the minister of internal security Gilad Erdan (also directing international attacks against BDS organizing and Palestine solidarity and working to suppress freedom of expression around the world in his role as the Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs.) Their demands include the installation of public telephones for the prisoners, removal of cell-phone “jammer” devices, an end to sanctions and collective punishment imposed on the prisoners, restoration of family visits to all prisoners, access to appropriate medical care and treatment and ending isolation and solitary confinement.
Khaled Barakat, Palestinian writer and the international coordinator of the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat, said that “Georges Abdallah’s entry into the hunger strike and that of his Basque comrades and fellow prisoners provides a substantial, qualitative boost to the morale and the spirit of the comrades and brothers engaged in the Battle of Dignity 2 inside Israeli prisons. We know that this is not the first time that he has joined the prisoners on hunger strike, making clear once again that he is carrying on the struggle of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement inside French prisons.”
“The Palestinian prisoners invite other political prisoners around the world to join in this battle of dignity, not only in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle but to raise their own issues and demands for justice, dignity and freedom. The prisoners have expressed their solidarity with the political prisoners held all over the world, including those who are fighting now in jails in the Philippines, Turkey, Morocco, Greece, the United States and elsewhere,” Barakat continued.
“The Palestinian prisoners’ movement is on the front lines confronting Zionism, imperialism and reactionary regimes, and the political prisoners of the world are also on the front lines of this collective, international struggle. Georges Abdallah’s entrance into the hunger strike alongside that of his comrades inside French prison underlines the fact that there is an international dimension to the Palestinian prisoners’ movement that is united in struggling towards victory,” he said.
“Today, we also want to call for the immediate release of all Sudanese political prisoners, as we see the regime in Sudan is falling. The news that we see from Sudan and the development of the popular movements there is also a boost for the Palestinian prisoners’ struggle,” Barakat said. “It is also very important to link the struggle of Palestinian prisoners today to the boycott movement and Palestine solidarity internationally. Both are facing the attempts of Gilad Erdan and the Israeli state to repress these movements, and Erdan is calling on his allies in the imperialist powers to crack down on the movement outside, hand in hand with the attacks on Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails.”
“Every time the Israeli occupation attempts to confiscate the rights that have been obtained by the Palestinian prisoners’ movement through blood, sweat and sacrifice, they will face a movement that is determined to fight back with unbreakable will and strength. Georges Abdallah and his comrades are an integral part of that movement and of the victory that will be achieved through this collective struggle,” Barakat concluded.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its strongest support for the Palestinian prisoners’ movement as it launches this critical battle for dignity and justice. We urge people around the world to take action to support the prisoners’ strike and join their struggle. The Palestinian prisoners will not be isolated or left alone! International solidarity is critical to building support, attention and pressure to help them achieve their demands.
1) Organize or join an event or protest for the Palestinian prisoners. From today, organize demonstrations, actions and events and join in the Prisoners’ Week of Action from 17 to 24 April 2019! You can organize an info table, rally, solidarity hunger strike, protest or action to support the prisoners. If you are already holding an event about Palestine or social justice, include solidarity with the prisoners as part of your action. Send your events and reports to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Write letters and make phone calls to protest the violation of Palestinian prisoners’ rights. Demand your government take action to stop supporting Israeli occupation or to pressure the Israeli state to end the policies of repression of Palestinian political prisoners.
Call during your country’s regular office hours:
• Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne: + 61 2 6277 7500
• Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland: +1-613-992-5234
• European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
• New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters: +64 4 439 8000
• United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt: +44 20 7008 1500
• United States President Donald Trump: 1-202-456-1111
3) Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Join the BDS campaign to highlight the complicity of corporations like Hewlett-Packard and the continuing involvement of G4S in Israeli policing and prisons. Build a campaign to boycott Israeli goods, impose a military embargo on Israel, or organize around the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.