Statement: Hands off Mohammed Khatib! Stand with Palestine!

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands together with our Europe Coordinator, Mohammed Khatib, and urges the broadest expressions of solidarity and support against the targeting and repression he is facing. We note that this is not only an attempt to target Mohammed as an individual and Samidoun as an organization. It is primarily an attempt to silence the growing, massive voice of the people standing together with Palestine against genocide. It aims specifically to silence the movement to liberate Palestinian prisoners and to uphold the legitimacy and justice of the Palestinian resistance, especially the armed resistance, as part of the international, Arab and Palestinian global intifada. 

On 15 April 2024, Nicole De Moor, Belgium’s Secretary for Asylum and Migration, announced in a public statement that she was calling on the Belgian immigration agencies to withdraw the refugee status of Mohammed Khatib. Mohammed, born in Ain el-Helweh refugee camp in Lebanon, has been a refugee his entire life, denied his right to return to his home and homeland in Palestine, from which his family was forcibly displaced in the Zionist conquest of the Nakba in 1947-1948. De Moor’s statement is, in essence, an attempt to once again displace a Palestinian refugee who has already been displaced multiple times due to colonialism, imperialism, war and exploitation.

The Growing Movement for Palestinian Liberation

De Moor labeled Mohammed a “hate preacher,” in the latest example of the utter inversion of reality practiced by European, US and Canadian officials. There is currently a genocide being carried out by the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian people in Gaza, a genocide that is sparking intense global outrage against the Zionist regime, leading to protests that have taken the streets in Belgium for over six months involving tens and hundreds of thousands of people; direct actions targeting banks and arms manufacturers; a burgeoning student movement for Palestine paralleling that seen on US campuses like Columbia, Rutgers, Yale, the University of Michigan,and elsewhere; and wide-scale mobilization among the Palestinian population in Belgium. 

As the global movement in support of Palestine, the Palestinian people, and their Resistance has grown across borders and continents, bringing millions to mobilize in the heart of the imperial core, it has been faced with severe repression from the same states that are arming and funding the Zionist genocide in Gaza. This is not the only attack in Belgium; demonstrations organized by Samidoun in Brussels have been canceled and banned by the police. ZINTV, an independent collective, hosted an event organized by Samidoun on repression in Europe targeting Palestine in October 2023; since that time, they have been threatened by the local government and then, months later, in March 2024, subject to a sudden police raid and investigation into “terrorism financing” as retaliation for hosting this public political event. 

Repression Targeting Palestinian Organizing in Europe 

In Germany, perhaps the most extreme example, Palestinian organizations, including Samidoun, have been banned. Activists like Zaid Abdulnasser and Musaab Abu Atta have been subjected to political bans – followed shortly thereafter by prominent international figures, including Salman Abu Sitta, Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah, and Yanis Varoufakis. Demonstrations and conferences have been forcibly shut down and dispersed by German police, who have beaten demonstrators on the streets of cities throughout the country. Hundreds of people have been arrested. Police raids have swept into the homes of Palestinian and Palestine solidarity activists amid government-backed media smear campaigns. Dozens of Palestinians are facing procedures to withdraw their residency, block their citizenship applications and deport them from the country. Organizations, including Jewish organizations, that stand against the genocide, have had their bank accounts shut down. The extreme level of repression in Germany comes at the same time that the German government has upped its arms exports to the Israeli regime 10x since 7 October 2023. 

While Germany is likely the most extreme example of repression in Europe, it is not alone. In France, which has already sought to dissolve or ban Palestine solidarity organizations like the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and the Comité Action Palestine, over 628 cases have been opened by prosecutors seeking to investigate or prosecute people for making statements in support of the Palestinian resistance, while officials and extreme right wing politicians and media threaten to dissolve Samidoun Paris Banlieue, CAPJPO EuroPalestine, Urgence Palestine and other mass movements. Demonstrations are now taking place across France, but this was only possible after mass participation pushed back the attempt to ban demonstrations for Palestine across the country in October and November 2023. In Spain, the Netherlands, and other European countries, related attacks on organizers for Palestine are continuing. Of course, some of the most extreme examples are the political prisoners for Palestine in European jails, including Georges Abdallah, jailed for nearly 40 years in France; Amin Abu Rashed, jailed for over 300 days in the Netherlands; and emerging cases in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and other states.

In the Netherlands and Switzerland, particularly, multiple attempts have been made by the Israeli embassy and Zionist organizations to shut down events where Mohammed is speaking. These attempts have failed – largely because Mohammed is already a Belgian resident. The Israeli ambassador to Belgium has repeatedly issued demands to ban Samidoun and silence our events. It is difficult to see these latest attacks as anything other than an attempt to placate the same Zionist regime currently killing over 40,000 Palestinians in Gaza and bombing hospitals, schools, mosques, churches, residential buildings and refugee camps.

The Attack on Mohammed Khatib is an Attack on All of Us

The attack on Mohammed Khatib and the threat against his refugee status are part and parcel of this repression. It is meant as a threat to every other Palestinian and every other recognized refugee in Belgium that if they speak out – especially if they speak out loudly and clearly on Palestinian liberation and resistance – they will be targeted with the loss of their residency and their livelihood. The minister does not even attempt to allege that Mohammed and Samidoun have done anything other than organize demonstrations, protests, mass mobilizations and political education events for Palestine in Belgium – thus, the “threat level 3 out of 4” identified by unspecified “security agencies” is related to the “threat” posed of the growing movement for Palestinian liberation in Belgium. All of this is made even more outrageous by the note by Belgian public broadcaster VRT in an interview with Mohammed Khatib that “the security services mainly estimate that the organization [Samidoun] can damage Belgian international relations with Israel.”

Repression Targeting the Prisoners and the Resistance

The attack on Mohammed and on Samidoun is specifically intended to silence support for Palestinian prisoners. There are currently over 9,500 Palestinian prisoners inside the Israeli occupation jails. Thousands of additional Palestinians from Gaza have been kidnapped by the Zionist regime, especially health care workers and civilians in areas targeted for invasions by the Israeli occupation army. These Palestinian prisoners are being subjected to severe torture, starvation and abuse by the Israeli prison system. At the same time, the Palestinian prisoners are leaders of the Palestinian cause, targeted for their role in resisting occupation, from organizing students and workers to leading the armed struggle. The liberation of the Palestinian prisoners is precious to the Palestinian people and a whole and to their resistance. The Israeli regime wants to isolate them from their people and from our international movement – and this is the key reason why they attack Samidoun and label us “terrorists.” We are committed to amplifying ever more loudly and broadly the demand to liberate all Palestinian prisoners. 

Further, it is also an attack on the Palestinian Resistance. Increasingly, people everywhere in the world have made it clear that they recognize the illegitimacy and racism of Zionism, the need for a free Palestine from the river to the sea, and the legitimacy of the Palestinian resistance, particularly the armed struggle. Despite all of the attempts to smear and criminalize Palestinian resistance organizations, including listing them as “terrorist organizations” in the United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada, the people of the world – and even the imperial core – recognize that it is the Palestinian resistance (and their allied resistance forces in Yemen, Lebanon and throughout the region) who are defending humanity from genocide. Not only is the Palestinian right to resist by all means enshrined in international law, it is a fundamental and natural right of any people subjected to occupation and colonization. These attacks are, once again, not only aimed at Mohammed and at Samidoun but are an attempt to criminalize and repress the burgeoning support for the resistance in all of its forms, especially the armed resistance, in Palestine.

Anti-Palestinian Racism, Imperialism and the Right to Remain and Return

We also must emphasize that this attack comes as part and parcel of the ongoing structural racism against migrants in Belgium, particularly against Black, African, Arab and other migrants of colour. Right-wing politicians like Theo Francken engage in electoral campaigns that primarily traffic in Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism, while he holds up photos of Mohammed in the Belgian parliament and declares that the streets of Brussels demonstrating for Palestine “resemble Beirut or Gaza,” in what he considers a sign of “danger” and an insult to its residents. Palestinian children have been stripped of their Belgian nationality, while policing energies and violence are repeatedly targeted at communities of colour.

Of course, migration to Belgium is itself driven by colonialism and imperialism making life difficult to impossible around the world and imposing a form of forced migration upon the people of the global south while pursuing ever more wars, regime change, intervention and economic exploitation of the peoples of the south, their wealth and their resources. For Palestinians denied their right to return home for the past 76 years, they have lived through forced migration through forced migration, while being confronted with regimes of ongoing persecution, marginalization and exclusion, fighting simultaneously for the right to remain and the right to return to their homes and lands in Palestine. The struggle to defend Mohammed is a struggle against racism and repression in all of their forms. 

Stand with Mohammed. Stand with Samidoun. Stand with Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian resistance, and the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea. 


  1. The most important thing to do is to continue and escalate mobilizations, direct actions, encampments and all forms of organizing to bring an end to the genocide in Gaza and liberation for Palestine. Within that context, take a stand against repression and speak about this and other cases in your area. 
  2. Sign on to the campaign in support of Mohammed. Click here or use the form below to add your support!
  3. Issue a statement of solidarity. Organizations like Charleroi Pour La Palestine, LABO, UPJB, Bruxelles Pantheres, ABP,  have done so already. Issue your own statement and make it clear that Nicole de Moor does not speak for the people. 
  4. Invite Mohammed to speak. Whether this is a local event in Belgium or elsewhere in  Europe or a virtual event, Mohammed can speak about his case and the broader struggle for liberation. Email us at to plan an event.
  5. Speak about the Palestinian prisoners and about the Resistance. Highlight the cases of Palestinian prisoners and their ongoing struggle for freedom and liberation. Emphasize the demands of the Palestinian people and their resistance for the liberation of Palestinian prisoners in a real prisoner exchange. Emphasize the legitimacy of the Palestinian resistance in your demonstrations and actions. 
  6. Demand to delist Palestinian, Lebanese resistance organizations from “terrorist lists” in the United States, European Union, Canada, Britain and other countries. These organizations represent the will and commitment of the Palestinian people to liberate their land from an illegitimate Zionist occupation. These listings are used not only to justify the ongoing Zionist genocide and imperialist funding and support but also to target Palestinian and solidarity activists and organizations.


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