In the early morning hours of 19 September, Israeli occupation forces seized the self-liberated Palestinian prisoners, Ayham Kamamji and Munadil Naf’at, after the occupation forces besieged a home in Jenin. Youth in Jenin confronted the occupation forces and resisted their invasion of the city; the occupation forces also seized two disabled residents of Jenin as well as another young Palestinian man, according to Palestinian media.
The invading occupation forces also injured a young Palestinian man, shooting him in the leg as they invaded the city of Jenin from several points. Earlier in the day, Palestinians in Jenin organized multiple marches and demonstrations in support of the two self-liberated prisoners and their four comrades, Mahmoud al-Ardah, Mohammed al-Ardah, Zakaria Zubaidi, and Yaqoub Qadri, who were re-arrested by the Israeli occupation one week prior.
We have every reason to believe that Ayham Kamamji and Munadil Naf’at will be subjected to severe torture and abuse by Israeli interrogators, especially given the beatings endured by Mohammed and Mahmoud al-Ardah, Qadri and Zubaidi, with Zubaidi suffering from a fractured jaw and broken ribs. Meanwhile, Palestinian prisoners continue to resist heavy penalties imposed upon them following the escape of their brothers, including denial of family visits, denial of “canteen” (prison store) access, and isolation and solitary confinement.
It is critical to continue to organize, demonstrate and protest to defend and demand the immediate liberation of the six heroes of the Freedom Tunnel and all 4,650 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.
The heroism of the six Palestinian prisoners, who dug their Freedom Tunnel over nine months using any tools at hand to achieve their freedom, made clear that despite the technological and military advantages enjoyed by the Zionist occupation, it is anything but invincible. The Palestinian will toward freedom and indominable spirit was able to use makeshift tools to pry a way out from Gilboa prison, previously renowned as an impenetrable fortress.
In their interviews with their lawyers, Mahmoud and Mohammed al-Ardah, Yaqoub Qadri and Zakaria Zubaidi made it clear that they would never give up on freedom and that their self-liberation operation was worth their suffering. They made clear to the occupation forces themselves, to the Palestinian and Arab people and to the world that the military might of the occupier can be overwhelmed by the creativity of Palestinian humanity.
Building on the experiences of Palestinian prisoners who liberated themselves in the past, they exposed the crumbling edifices of the Israeli occupation and forced them to waste tens of millions of dollars in their massive manhunt. Their bravery and commitment to freedom is celebrated throughout Palestine, from the river to the sea, and everywhere around the world. Spoons – symbols of the rusty kitchen tools they used to dig their way to liberation – have come to represent the irrepressible drive to freedom. Their capture by the Israeli occupation does nothing to dim the light of their heroism and the inspiration they provide for the future of the liberation struggle.
Mahmoud, Mohammed, Zakaria, Yaqoub, Ayham and Munadil will not be forgotten behind bars; indeed, the Palestinian resistance has already made clear that the heroes of the Freedom Tunnel will be included in all future prisoner exchanges between the resistance and the occupation, committing to ensure their freedom.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network emphasizes and amplifies the call of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement to stand with the Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian people today to demand justice and liberation for Palestine, from the river to the sea.
The Freedom Tunnel and the six heroes of the self-liberation operation represent the irrepressible hope of freedom and commitment to liberation that no amount of militarized repression and Zionist colonization has suppressed, for over 73 years. The actions of this “Freedom Brigade” are not only a symbol of hope for Palestinians but also for everyone in the world who seeks justice and freedom.
The rearrest of the six self-liberated prisoners has done nothing to dim the light of liberation that they represent for humanity or to lessen the blow they have dealt to the mirage of Israeli invincibility and security control. They reflect the unbreakable Palestinian will to live, struggle and thrive in the most seemingly impossible circumstances.
Western imperialist governments are part and parcel of the ongoing attacks against Palestinian prisoners and the colonization of Palestine. From the U.S.’ over $3.8 billion annually in weaponry provided to the Israeli regime to the ongoing economic, political and diplomatic support provided by the European Union, Canada, the United Kingdom and others, all of these states are directly involved in the ongoing crimes perpetuated against the Palestinian people.
Everywhere in the world, we can and must act now to stand with the heroes of the Freedom tunnel and all Palestinian prisoners struggling for justice, and for the liberation of Palestine!
Join these protests and actions or organize your own:
Sunday, September 19
- Ottawa – Sunday, 19 September, 1 pm, Surprise demonstration at Byward Market, meet at Human Rights Monument and depart towards Byward at 2pm, Ottawa. Info: https://www.instagram.com/p/CTze3Nfr-jk/
- Toronto – Sunday, 19 September, 1 pm, Community picnic and BBQ, Richard Memorial Park, Mississauga. Info: https://www.instagram.com/p/CT5DsZ7Jr4k/
- Copenhagen – Sunday, 19 September, 11 am to 1 pm, Zionist embassy, Lundevangsvej 4, 2900 Hellerup, Danmark, Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/135172383855831
- Palermo – Sunday, 19 September, 5 pm, Piazza Verdi, Palermo, Sicily. Info: https://www.instagram.com/p/CT4qYnQMKMk/
- Boston – Sunday, 19 November, 4 pm, Israeli Consulate, 20 Park Plaza, Boston. Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/395545545300299/
- Dallas – Sunday, 19 September, 1 pm, Belo Garden, 1014 Main Street, Dallas, TX. Protest for Palestinian prisoners. Info: https://www.instagram.com/p/CT4r2ASg_aW/
Monday, September 20
- Brussels – Monday, 20 September, 3 pm, Schuman Roundabout, 1040 Brussels, Solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/955225408671737/
- Boston – Monday, 20 September, 12 PM, Rally and Press Conference demanding an end to US support for apartheid Israel, JFK Federal Building, Boston. Info: https://www.instagram.com/p/CTzbwD1sSqZ/
Tuesday, September 21
- Sheffield – Tuesday, 21 September, 12 pm, Students’ Union Concourse, University of Sheffield. Stand against university complicity in apartheid. Info: https://www.instagram.com/p/CT7CeQHshfv/
Wednesday, September 22
- Den Haag – Wednesday, 22 September, 2 pm, Binnenhof 2513 AA, Den Haag, Netherlands. Support Palestinian prisoners!
Thursday, September 23
- Den Haag – Thursday, 23 September, 11 am, Gerechtshof, Den Haag, Support the Ziada Family. Info: https://www.instagram.com/p/CT7WiyWIZnf/