The Palestinian prisoners’ movement announced a new victory on Thursday, 1 September 2022, in which the occupation prison administration retreated from its new repressive measures imposed upon the prisoners. In light of this achievement, the united prisoners’ movement announced that they would not head into a collective mass hunger strike, saluting the prisoners, the Palestinian people and all forces of support and solidarity who had pledged to stand with them in their escalating battle with the occupier.
Specifically, the Israeli occupation prison administration retracted its announcement that prisoners with life sentences and lengthy sentences would be transferred from one prison to another every six months. This repressive policy, along with a series of raids and invasions of the prisoners’ rooms, was launched by the prison administration after the 2021 Freedom Tunnel, in which six Palestinian prisoners liberated themselves from Gilboa prison, highlighting both Palestinians’ dedication to achieve freedom in the most difficult circumstances and the failure of the Israeli occupation’s much-heralded “high-security” system.
In March of 2022, the prisoners’ movement once again came close to launching a mass hunger strike against these repressive policies, but the occupation retreated in advance of the strike’s planned launch. However, they once again announced that they would implement this policy of transfer, with the heaviest impact on those prisoners with lengthy sentences, continually disrupting their lives. In the lead-up to the announced strike, prisoners from all Palestinian political parties and factions returned meals on several days, dissolved their official representative bodies and closed their sections as the protest grew among the prisoners.
If the demands of the prisoners’ movement had not been met, 1,200 prisoners had planned to launch an open hunger strike on 1 September, to be followed by future batches of strikers. The prisoners’ movement declared in a statement (below) that “We decided to stop the open hunger strike after the prison administration retracted its order to periodically arbitrarily transfer prisoners with life sentences.”
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the prisoners’ movement on this important achievement, coming one day after the victory of Khalil Awawdeh after 182 days of hunger strike.
The Palestinian prisoners are engaged in a daily confrontation with the jailer and the occupier and are leaders of the Palestinian resistance movement, reflecting a true unity without compromise or corruption. The steadfastness of the prisoners themselves, their united front, and the strong support of the Palestinian resistance all made it clear that this was a confrontation in which the occupier had no route forward and was forced to retreat by the unbreakable will of the prisoners’ movement.
This moment must also be an occasion for all supporters of justice and liberation for Palestine and the Palestinian people to build on this accomplishment to escalate the campaign for the liberation of all of the nearly 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, part and parcel of the liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.
Statement No. 6
Issued by the Higher National Emergency Committee of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Movement
Dear people of our great nation…
Greetings of victory and loyalty to you and to all the free people of the world…
God Almighty has honored us with a new victory, that is accomplished for the principled people of the cause, the people of steadfastness and pride in confronting the forces of aggression and violation of agreements.
The Zionist enemy and its prison management agents realized that the prisoners are ready to pay the highest price for their dignity and rights. And that, behind them, is a people and a resistance willing to pay the highest price in order to support their fighters in the prisons of the Zionist occupation. This is why the enemy decided to retract its unjust decisions and arbitrary measures against your imprisoned sons and daughters, and to give in to their demands.
In this regard, we are sending you the following messages from behind bars, from the arenas of confrontation in the dungeons of imprisonment:
First: We decided to stop the open hunger strike after the prison administration retracted its order to periodically arbitrarily transfer prisoners with life sentences.
Second: We extend our heartfelt thanks to all of our people and to all the free people of the world who supported us in these steps, and our thanks are also extended to our factions for their high level of willingness to support our struggle.
Third: If the enemy retreats from its measures, if this indicates anything, it is that this enemy does not retreat from its aggression except when it sees our steadfastness and unity that is continually embodied within the dungeons of imprisonment, and we hope that this unity will be extended and realized in all arenas of the homeland in confrontation of the occupation.
Fourth: We salute the prisoners for their patient steadfastness and constant readiness to confront aggression, who have shown the highest degree of willingness to sacrifice in order to preserve their dignity and rights.
Glory and mercy to the martyrs, freedom to the prisoners
Victory for our people and their just cause
It is jihad, victory or martyrdom
It is a revolution until victory
Higher National Emergency Committee of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement
Thursday evening, 1 September 2022