On Tuesday, 30 March, Israeli occupation forces stormed the home of Majd Barbar, former Palestinian political prisoner released after 20 years of detention one day earlier, kidnapping him and attacking people in his home in the Ras al-Amud neighbourhood of occupied Jerusalem.
The photos and videos of Barbar, who had been imprisoned by the Israeli occupation since 30 March 2001, reuniting with his wife, Fatima, his son, Montasser and his daughter, Zeina, were widely distributed online, as Palestinians shared in the exuberant joy, love and resilience of the family that came through so clearly in these images and videos.
Our eyes have teared for their incomparable happiness | Majd Barbar, a veteran #Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails, was released yesterday after 20 years in prison. He's warmly welcomed by his wife, family and friends in his hometown of occupied #Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/C3yoZWOhUx
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) March 30, 2021
Zeina, a young writer whose work has been published in Arabic on the Samidoun website, was only 15 days old when her father was seized by the Israeli occupation 20 years ago.
Upon his initial release on Monday, 29 March, Majd Barbar was taken to the infamous al-Moskobiyeh detention and interrogation center in Jerusalem as occupation forces further delayed his release before he was finally freed to return to his family. During his arrest in 2001, he and his comrades were interrogated and subjected to torture at al-Moskobiyeh, where they engaged in hunger strikes lasting 300 days.
The joyous, emotional scenes of his reunion with his wife, children and extended family were shared widely across social media platforms, as Palestinians and friends of Palestine rejoiced with the Barbar family.
Israeli forces released Palestinian presoner Majd Barbar, after spending 20 years in Israeli prisons. pic.twitter.com/rb98glvAOK
— Ahmed Shameya (@Ahmedwsh95) March 29, 2021
The images of Majd Barbar’s release depicted Palestinian love, joy, togetherness, celebration and commitment to freedom, the irrepressible spirit and will of the people that could not be crushed through 20 years of imprisonment or 72 years of occupation, colonization and apartheid.
It was precisely this reason – an attempt to stamp out the celebration of a family and the internationally magnified reflections of their love for each other and for Palestine – that Israeli occupation forces stormed the Barbar family home on 30 March, seizing Majd once again from his loved ones and firing tear gas inside and outside his home.
As he was kidnapped by armed occupation forces invading his home, only one day after his release following 20 years of imprisonment, he declared: “Whatever they do, we will not be defeated.”
No matter what the Israeli occupation forces do, they cannot and will not suppress the deep Palestinian and human love, joy, and commitment to liberation embodied by Majd Barbar, his family, and all Palestinians yearning for and struggling for freedom.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network demands the immediate release of Majd Barbar and all Palestinian prisoners. This outrageous attack on a freed Palestinian prisoner one day after his release, an act of official colonial state revenge for the joy, love and celebration of his family, friends and comrades, must inspire all who support the rights of the Palestinian people to action. Boycott Israel and the complicit corporations that continue to sustain the attack on Majd and his family, and stand with the Palestinian people and their resistance until return and liberation, from the river to the sea.
Whatever they do — Palestine will not be defeated; Palestine will be victorious!