Ahmad Sa’adat: Prisons, the Black Liberation movement and the struggle for Palestine

Huey Newton (l) | Ahmad Sa’adat (r)

The following article, by imprisoned Palestinian national liberation movement leader Ahmad Sa’adat – the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – was originally published in French as the preface to the new French-language edition of “Revolutionary Suicide” by Huey Newton.

On 15 October – the anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party – we salute the profound legacy and ongoing struggle of the Black Liberation Movement, on the front lines of confrontation against U.S. racism, imperialism and capitalism. Sa’adat’s article, published in English for the first time here, elucidates the common struggles and revolutionary alliances of the Palestinian and Black movements. It focuses particularly on the struggle against racist and colonial imprisonment:

It is an honor to write an introduction to this book by a great leader of the Black liberation struggle in the United States, Huey P. Newton. From inside the occupier’s Ramon prison, on behalf of myself, my comrades and the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, we extend our clenched fists of solidarity and salute and arms of embrace to our Black comrades whose struggle for liberation in the belly of the beast continues today against fierce repression.

From Ansar to Attica to Lannemezan, the prison is not only a physical space of confinement but a site of struggle of the oppressed confronting the oppressor. Whether the name is Mumia Abu-Jamal, Walid Daqqa or Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, political prisoners behind bars can and must be a priority for our movements. These names illustrate the continuity of struggle against our collective enemy – their legacies of organizing that reach back to the anti-colonial, liberation movements of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s to today. Political prisoners are not simply individuals; they are leaders of struggle and organizing within prison walls that help to break down and dismantle the bars, walls, and chains that act to divide us from our peoples and communities in struggle. They face repeated isolation, solitary confinement, cruel tortures of the occupier and jailer that seek to break the will of the prisoner and their deep connection to their people.

So when we witness the escalation against our movement as we see today in the Philippines, as we see the murderous and orchestrated attacks on our Palestinian resistance, as we see the criminalization of Black people and movements, it is clear that we are still facing the situation that Huey Newton identified and confronted. We are still seeking to defend our peoples from the relentless assaults of capitalism, Zionism and imperialism and their police and military forces. We have not yet been able to realize our dreams and transform the prisons into museums of liberation. Revolutionaries across the world struggle and dream for this future, in every movement of oppressed people. Indeed, when we speak of the prisoners’ movement, we are in essence speaking of Resistance.

Prisons exist for a reason, for the needs and interests of those with power. And when there are prisons to lock up the people, when there is occupation, colonialism, oppression; where there is occupation and colonization, there will be prisons and all of the laws and legal frameworks erected to legitimize exploitation, oppression and injustice and criminalize resistance and liberation. From the Fugitive Slave Acts of the 1800s to the “terrorist lists” that seek to criminalize and isolate the resistance movements of the peoples of the world, these are reflections of a war on the people. We salute sister Assata Shakur, still struggling and free in Cuba, while facing renewed threats and “terrorist” labeling to justify hunting down this global symbol of freedom.

This also illustrates clearly that the struggle, the cause, and the movement of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Movement are not a closed file. It is an open file, an ongoing struggle and a continuing movement for justice and liberation. As I write today, the revolutionary Palestinian Left, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is marking its 50th year of struggle, a time for both celebration and review of this legacy in order to sharpen and strengthen our march toward revolutionary victory. Similarly, we have just passed the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party, whose vision for revolutionary change continues to be just as relevant today.

This is a legacy that is carried on both with ideas and with people themselves whose histories of struggle continue to animate and inspire their communities. You could pass by the first prisoner of the PFLP somewhere on the streets of Berlin, still organizing Palestinians. You could feel the legacy of the Black Panther Party and the continuing Black struggle on the streets of Chicago, Oakland and Harlem. There are people who carry within them the legacies of struggle as a human treasure. The experiences of the elders of our movement, especially those who have come through prison, stand alongside the ideas passed down through writing, books and literature in carrying on, from one generation to another, the trajectory and path of struggle toward a future in which youth are coming forward to lead Black and Palestinian revolutionary struggles for liberation.

Every political prisoner, whether they are currently in prison or not in prison, carries within them the dream and reality of liberation and what it can and must mean in practice. Today, when we look at the Black Liberation movement or the Indigenous and Native struggle in the United States and Canada, we are talking about the same camp of enemy that we confront in occupied Palestine. The bullets that assassinated Malcolm X or Fred Hampton could have been used to kill Ghassan Kanafani or Khaled Nazzal or Mahmoud Hamshari, and today we see the same tear gas and bullets shipped around the world for use against the people. We see corporations like G4S profiting from the attacks on our movements and the mass imprisonments of our people and U.S., European and Israeli police forces exchanging training with one another to escalate racism, “counter-insurgency” and repression on the streets of our cities, camps and villages.

In our circles here in prisons, we always hope and wish to communicate to movements elsewhere and political prisoners everywhere. We want to share our experiences with one another to strengthen all of our movements for liberation and the movement to free our prisoners. The political prisoners have a firsthand experience of confrontation, and the experience of the prison can be a transformative one for a political prisoner. It is not an individual experience but a collective one; the heroism of a prisoner is not simply to be in prison but to understand that they carry with them the leadership of a movement and a continuing struggle in a new location that continues to have international reverberations. Georges Ibrahim Abdallah today is struggling in Lannemezan prison just as Mumia Abu-Jamal is struggling in Mahanoy. The heroism also does not come simply in that one has spent years in prison and now has been released; but in being a veteran of struggle who continues to carry the message of liberation for those who remain.

The political prisoner is not weak and is not broken, despite all of their best efforts. The responsibility of the political prisoner is to safeguard the flame. This is not a role that we have sought out or worked for. But now that we are in this position we must hold our position to set an example, not to our people, who are rooted and steadfast, but to the enemy, to show that imprisonment will not work to defeat us or our people. We carry a cause, not simply an individual search for freedom. Israel or France or the U.S. would free us, or Georges Abdallah, or Mumia Abu-Jamal, if we were willing to become tools of the system or betray our people. But instead, the prisons have generated striking examples of a culture of resistance, from art, to literature to political ideas.

Today, our movements and the revolutionary movements around the world are facing very difficult times. However, these difficult times can also hold value if we look more closely; we are paving the way for new generations of revolutionaries around the world who can still carry the demand for socialism, for people’s democracy, for an alternative world. In the era in which Newton wrote, movements and prisoners shared experiences and communicated through letters, books and art, often smuggled out of or into prisons, past censors and iron walls. Today, with all of the great revolutions in technology, political prisoners are struggling to have their words heard at all, denied access to even telephones to speak with our families and loved ones.

Why do we still consider and read and reprint the writings of Huey Newton today? Fundamentally, because his analysis and that of the Black Panther Party was right and continues to be right, valid and essential. Today, when we see the ravages of U.S. imperialism, the threats of Trump against the world and the shooting down of Black people on U.S. streets by cops, then the fundamental correctness and necessity of the Black Panthers’ work is underlined. Today, when popular movements are under attack and liberation struggles labeled as “terrorist” and criminalized, we see a massive coercive attack on our peoples. Prisons are only one form of coercion in the hands of the occupier, colonizer, capitalist and imperialist; stripping the knowledge of the people and imposing new forms of isolation are yet more forms of coercion.

The imposition of consumerism, the stripping of peoples from their humanity, the isolation of peoples are all forms of coercion alongside the prisons that act to undermine our movements, our peoples and our visions of liberation. They want to see all of our movements isolated from one another, through the terror of the “terrorist list” and the silence of solitary confinement. Capitalist and imperialist media blankets the world, so even here in Israeli prison we hear about the latest technologies in the U.S. while the repression of Black people is rendered invisible. But the reality today is that every day, a little Huey or Assata or Khalida or Ishaq is being born that can carry forward the vision of their people.

Huey Newton and the Black Panthers stood for socialism, for social justice, against racism, imperialism and war, from the streets of Oakland to the refugee camps of Lebanon. Huey Newton said, “We support the Palestinians’ just struggle for liberation one hundred percent. We will go on doing this, and we would like for all of the progressive people of the world to join our ranks in order to make a world in which all people can live.”

Of course, I cannot speak as an expert about incarceration in the United States today. But just looking at the numbers is a stunning illustration of what is deeply wrong with the system. As Palestinians, we also face an experience of negation, of attack on our existence, as being treated as lesser or non-humans for our designated racial identity. We understand through our own experiences how occupation and capitalism are all about profit and the example that U.S. prisons are creating for the world, where prisons are seen as a source of cheap and coerced free labor and a profit for capitalism. We see how incarceration is used to control, divide and threaten communities and peoples under attack. Incarceration means a lot of money for corporations at the same time that it means a direct threat to Black children and their futures. And this is the “security solution” that Trump and U.S. imperialism is marketing to the world as a solution to the crisis of capitalism, a solution built on bloody and brutal exploitation.

Here in our cells, we can feel the reverberations of these attacks and the physical impact of them in the invasions and inspections of the special repressive units of the occupier. We also see the potential and indeed, the necessity, for movements to rise inside prisons together with those on the outside. We see thousands of people sentenced to massive sentences of 20, 30, 40 years in prison and even more, stripping people’s freedom and taking people’s lives. Resistance is critical and it must have a real impact on people’s lives. Our sacrifice in prison has meaning when it can lead to fruits for the poor and liberation for our peoples. Our struggle must impact people’s lives in a material way.

From Ireland to the United States to France to Palestine, political prisoners continue to be leaders in movements fighting racism, imperialism and colonialism. We also see the prisoners of the Palestinian movement facing political imprisonment around the world in the jails of the enemy – from the heroic Rasmea Odeh forced from the United States to the Five prisoners for Palestine, called the Holy Land Five, held in extreme solitary confinement alongside Black strugglers, for engaging in charity work for our people, to our dear comrade Georges Abdallah who has suffered for 34 years in French prisons.

The prisons and the political prisoners are also an example of the power and necessity of “breaking the law.” The law – the law of the imperialist and the colonizer – is used to steal the rights and resources of our people and also to justify our imprisonment and repression and criminalization. Through the collective “breaking” of the law and its power to define justice and injustice – when people, collectively, confront and “break” the law, not merely as individuals but as a collective power, it loses its claim to legitimacy. Breaking of the law must become the norm, and not the exception – the law of capitalism, imperialism and exploitation.

Political prisoners are jailed because they fear our actions and they fear our ideas, our power to mobilize our peoples in a revolutionary way against their exploitation and colonization. They fear our communication and they fear the powers of our people. They fear that if we come together that we will build an international front for the liberation of oppressed peoples. They know, and deeply fear, that we can truly build an alternative world. For them, this is the terror of defeat, but for us, and for our peoples, this is the hope of freedom and the promise of victory.

Ahmad Sa’adat

Ramon Prison

November 2017

(Source / 16.10.2018)

New audio and transcript: Georges Abdallah speaks to Gaza – and the world

As the Week of Action for Georges Ibrahim Abdallah kicks off, Georges Abdallah recorded a message for people in Gaza – and throughout Palestine, the Arab world, and internationally from his French prison in Lannemezan. As he enters his 35th year of imprisonment, his spirit remains unbroken and his political vision clear. Listen to his statement and read the English translation (and Arabic full text) below:

English translation:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings of steadfastness and constant struggle.

Our salutes and appreciation to the strugglers and heroes of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege

Once again, the masses of Gaza stand in the front lines, confronting the Zionist imperialist onslaught, their lives and health on the line to defend their great cause. First, they realized the historical moment – that the Palestinian cause, in all of its dimensions, is threatened with actual liquidation. Despite their suffering under a criminal siege, facing starvation, murder and intimidation, they did not hesitate to mobilize all of their energies to meet the calls of the national committee for the March of Return and Breaking the Siege.

The masses of our people and their militant activists know for certain that this is the main obstacle to the criminal “deal of the century,” because it is precisely the embodiment of the collective collective will, with the rifle of the resistance which has disrupted the maze-like process of the Oslo Accords and the forces that grew from it, organized in the institutions of the Authority and its reactionary agencies.

In spite of everything these policies of social and national neglect have caused, and the cracks and distortions of the Palestinian collective consciousness, the masses of Gaza and their militant strugglers continue to steadfastly confront all blackmail maneuvers and push for an end to the devastating division, for the healing of internal conflict and to warn of the decline of some opportunistic forces to positions complicit with the aggression against Palestine and with the so-called “deal of the century.”

There is no rational person who can accept the further imposition of further sanctions on the masses of Gaza as anything other than a way to advance the policies of Trump and Netanyahu. There is no rational person who can rely on the support of the reactionary regimes of the region to support the struggle of the Palestinian masses.

Since the beginning of the movement, the criminal occupation forces have been confronted with confidence and steadfastness. The fighters and activists of the revolutionary forces are demanding more than others to push for an escalation of the struggle in all its dimensions, being careful not to allow Gaza to be singled out or left alone.

The revolutionary forces, including the fighters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, have not and will never abandon the masses with their advanced positions. They have not hesitated since the beginning of the marches, their blood has been shed as a symbol of loyalty to the masses of our people. Among these heroic strugglers is the fighter Ahmad Ashraf Abu Hussein, a son of Jabaliya, who marched with his comrades and whose blood was shed on the sands of Gaza on 13 April 2018. We also salute the heroic fighter Ahmad Abdullah al-Adaini, the son of Deir al-Balah, shot in the head as he marched for return. It was not more than two months before the heroic fighters Ahmed Abu Tayour from Rafah and Ataf Mohammed Musleh Saleh from Jabalya refugee camp were killed. One week later, Ayman Nafez al-Najjar and Muhannad Jamal Hanoudeh from Jabalya were martyred on 16 July 2018. Two days later, the heroic struggler Mohammed Abu Naji, from the Tal al-Zaatar refugee camp in Gaza, was killed.

The strugglers of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine also recognize that the continuation and escalation of the Great Marches of Return is also conditioned on the development of the activities of mass struggle throughout the rest of Palestine and in effective communication with the population of the refugee camps in neighboring countries. More than ever, the Arab revolutionary left, especially in neighboring countries, has a responsibility to strengthen its confrontation of the imperialist onslaught on the region, in direct response to Arab reactionary forces’ collusion, and its confrontation of all forms of normalization with the Zionist entity by all available means.

It is not reasonable that the refugee camps in the countries around Palestine remain outside the framework of struggle by virtue of the positions of the bourgeois regimes, who pay lip service to solidarity in some cases and are practically complicit in the situation in all cases. It is not reasonable to encircle or besiege refugee camps in neighboring countries and then express verbal solidarity with the heroes of Gaza.

The stage which the Palestinian cause is confronting today and the stormy crisis in all of the states and entities of the region impel all revolutionary forces to work hard to form frameworks for joint movement and communication with all other fronts of struggle in the region and the world.

Together, only together comrades, we can move forward to confront the imperialist onslaught. Of course, it is not enough for the militants in Beirut, Damascus and Amman to celebrate solidarity with Gaza.

It is urgent and necessary for all to bear their responsibilities in the refugee camps in the immediate neighboring countries, because the cause – not only the revolution – is being targeted, but the cause; indeed, escaping from the maze of Oslo requires that, the release of the prisoners requires that, ending security coordination requires that, ending the scandalous division requires that.

True solidarity with the Great Return March, in honor of the glory and immortality of the martyrs, for the victory of the masses and the struggling peoples and the shame of the traitors and those who surrender, is to overthrow imperialism and its agents – the Zionists and the Arab reactionaries.

My sincere greetings to all of you.

Your comrade, Georges Abdallah.

Arabic original:

الأخوات والأخوة أيها الرفاق الأعزاء

تحية الصمود والنضال المستمر

تحية نضال وتقدير لأبطال مسيرات العودة وكسر الحصار

مرة أخرى تقف جماهير غزة في الطليعة بمواجهة الهجمة الامبريالية الصهيونية، تهب بشيبها وشبابها دفاعاً عن قدسية القضية، قبل غيرها أدركت بحسها التاريخي أن القضية الفلسطينية بكامل أبعادها مهددة بالتصفية الفعلية، وها هي بالرغم مما تعانيه من حصار مجرم وتجويع وقتل وترويع لا تتردد في حشد كل الطاقات لتلبية نداءات الهيئة الوطنية العليا لمسيرة العودة وكسر الحصار.

جماهير شعبنا وطلائعها المناضلة تعلم حق اليقين أنها هي بالضبط العقبة الفعلية الأساسية أمام صفقة القرن المجرمة، لأنها هي – وبالضبط هي- تجسد الإرادة الجمعية المقاومة المتمثلة بالبندقية المقاومة التي عصت على متاهات اتفاقات أوسلو والقوى التي نمت، وانتظمت في مؤسسات سلطتها وأجهزتها الرجعية.

وبرغم كل ما أحدثته سياسات التفريط بالمسلمات الوطنية من شروخ وتشويه للوعي الجمعي الفلسطيني، لا تزال جماهير غزة وطلائعها المناضلة تتصدى بثبات لمناورات الابتزاز وتدفع باتجاه العمل على إنهاء الانقسام الجريمة ورأب الصراع والتحذير من مغبة انزلاق بعض القوى الانتهازية إلى مواقع القوى المتواطئة مع العدوان ومع صفقته التصفوية.

ما من عاقل يقبل أن يرى في فرض المزيد من العقوبات على جماهير غزة مدخلاً للتصدي لسياسات ” ترامب” و”نتنياهو” ما من عاقلٍ أيضاً يمكن أن يراهن على دعم الأنظمة الرجعية في المنطقة لنضال جماهير شعبنا.

جماهير غزة منذ بداية الحراك تواجه القوى المجرمة بثقة وثبات، مناضلو ومناضلات القوى الثورية مطالبون أكثر من غيرهم بالدفع باتجاه تصعيد النضال بكل أبعاده، والحرص كل الحرص على عدم السماح بالاستفراد بغزة.

القوى الثورية وفي الطليعة منها مناضلات ومناضلو الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين وكتائب الشهيد أبوعلي مصطفى، لم ولن يخذلوا الجماهير يوماً في المواقع المتقدمة لم يترددوا منذ بداية المسيرات في بذل الدماء الزكية عربون وفاء لجماهير شعبنا ورايات تحرره فها هو المناضل البطل أحمد أشرف أبو حسين ابن جباليا البار يسبق رفاقه ويروي من دمه تراب غزة الأبية بتاريخ 13 نيسان 2018، لم يتأخر عنه كثيراً المناضل البطل أحمد عبدالله العديني ابن دير البلح البار حيث أصيب بجرح في الرأس، ولم يمضِ أقل من شهرين حتى استشهد كل من المناضل البطل أحمد أبو طيور من رفح، وعطاف محمد مصلح صالح من مخيم جباليا، وبعد أسبوع استشهد البطلان أيمن نافذ النجار ومهند جمال حمودة من جباليا بتاريخ 16 تموز 2018، وبعد يومين استشهد المناضل البطل محمد أبو ناجي من مخيم تل الزعتر بغزة.

ليس بخافٍ على مناضلات ومناضلي الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين أن استمرار وتصاعد مسيرات العودة الكبرى مشروطاً أيضاً بتطوير فعاليات النضال الجماهيري في باقي أرجاء فلسطين، وفي التواصل الفاعل مع تجمعات اللجوء في بلدان الجوار القريب، أكثر من أيِ وقتٍ مضى تقع على عاتق اليسار الثوري العربي لاسيما في بلدان الجوار القريب مسئولية تعزيز فعاليات مواجهة الهجمة الامبريالية في المنطقة، والتصدي المباشر للقوى الرجعية العربية المتواطئة ومناهضة كافة أشكال التطبيع مع الكيان الصهيوني بالوسائل المتاحة.

ليس من المعقول أن تبقى مخيمات اللجوء في الجوار القريب خارج إطار المواجهة بحكم موقف الأنظمة البرجوازية المتضامنة لفظياً في بعض الحالات، والمتواطئة عملياً في جميع الحالات، ليس من المعقول أن تحاط مخيمات اللجوء في بلدان الجوار ويدّعون بعد ذلك بالوقوف مع أبطال غزة.

إن المرحلة التي تمر بها قضية فلسطين والأزمة العاصفة بكل كيانات المنطقة تدفع بكل الطاقات الثورية للعمل حثيثاً لتشكيل الأطر المؤاتية للتحرك والتواصل مع كافة جبهات النضال الأخرى في الإقليم والعالم.

معاً أيها الرفاق فقط … معاً يمكننا التقدم إلى الأمام في مواجهة الهجمة الامبريالية، طبعاً لا يكفي أن يقف المناضلون في بيروت ودمشق وعمان ويحتفلوا بالتضامن مع غزة، بات من الملح والضروري أن يتحّمل الجميع قسطه من المسئولية في مخيمات اللجوء وفي بلدان الجوار القريب، فالقضية لا الثورة فحسب هي المستهدفة بشكل مباشر، الخروج من متاهات أوسلو يستلزم ذلك، تحرير الأسرى يستلزم ذلك، وقف التنسيق الأمني يستلزم ذلك، إنهاء الانقسام الفضيحة يستلزم ذلك.

التضامن كل التضامن الفعلي مع فعاليات مسيرات العودة الكبرى، المجد والخلود لشهدائنا الأبرار، النصر للجماهير والشعوب المناضلة، العار للخونة وسائر المستسلمين، لتسقط الامبريالية وكلاب حراستها الصهاينة والرجعيون العرب.

مع خالص تحياتي لكم جميعاً

رفيقكم جورج عبدالله.

(Source / 14.10.2018)

September 2018 report: 378 Palestinians arrested as Khader Adnan, Omran al-Khatib continue hunger strikes

In September 2018, Israeli occupation forces arrested 378 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, according to a monthly report by Palestinian prisoners’ associations. The arrests included 52 children and 10 women. The following translation was produced by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

Palestinian prisoners’ associations, including Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission and Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, issued the report on Tuesday, 9 October. During September, Israeli occupation forces seized 104 Palestinians from Jerusalem, 56 from Ramallah and el-Bireh, 73 from al-Khalil, 30 from Nablus, 29 from Bethlehem, 19 from Jenin, 13 from Tulkarem, 23 from Qalqilya, five from Tubas, seven from Salfit, three from Jericho and 16 from the Gaza Strip.

These arrests bring the number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on 30 September 2018 to approximately 6,000. Of these, 52 were women, including a minor girl. The number of children held in Israeli jails reached around 200. In the context of the policy of administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial – the occupation authorities issued 38 administrative detention orders, including 24 new orders, bringing the total number of administrative detainees to approximately 430.

Abuse and execution of Palestinians during their detention

The prisoners’ institutions documented the testimonies of hundreds of Palestinian detainees who were beaten during their arrest. They were most frequently beaten with guns on different parts of the body, including detainees suffering from diseases and ill health.

Many of these testimonies were taken from detainees in the initial detention centers such as Etzion and Huwarra centers, where dozens of detainees confirmed during the visits shortly following their arrests that they had been severely beaten and abused. These testimonies were received from all prisoners, including children, elderly people, wounded and sick detainees. Since the beginning of 2018, human rights organizations documented the deaths of two detainees during the arrest process and due to shooting, beatings and torture, including Yassin Saradih from Jericho, killed during his arrest on 22 February 2018. He was severely beaten during his arrest, and the autopsy revealed that he was killed by a bullet in his lower abdomen fired from a point-blank distance. On 18 September 2018, Mohammed al-Rimawi of Ramallah was killed after being beaten by special forces of the occupation army during an arrest raid on his home.

It is the view of the institutions that the abuse, torture and killing of Palestinian detainees by the occupation army and its special forces during arrest and detention is clearly an excessive use of force that indicates that the occupation’s policy of the extrajudicial execution of Palestinians is continuing. This is being given full cover by the political, security and judicial institutions of the occupation state. Further, they note that the excessive use of force during the detention of Palestinians who do not pose a direct threat to the occupying force violates the rules of international human rights law, which prohibits the use of lethal force against civilians when they do not constitute a real and direct threat or danger. The use of lethal force in this manner is extrajudicial execution outside the scope of the law, especially as Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories are protected persons under international humanitarian law.

Detainees in detention centers face unsanitary conditions

According to monitoring and documentation, detainees held by the Israeli occupation in interrogation and initial detention centers complain continuously of the unhealthy and unsanitary conditions in which they are held by the occupation authorities, especially in the detention centers of Eisayoun, Jalameh and Huwwara.

A large number of prisoners are held in these centers without hygienic or healthy conditions. The rooms are narrow, dirty and have high humidity and little to no ventilation. The detainees receive dirty or contaminated water, and the rooms have a continuous stench and are infested with insects. It is a clear, systematic policy of abuse of detainees that creates a breeding ground for disease and contagion, and is mirrored by the lack of proper healthcare in prisons and detention centers.

Palestinian prisoner Khair Abu Rujaila, 41, from Atara village north of Ramallah, who was recently transferred to Ofer prison, said that during his interrogation at the Jalameh detention center several months ago, the administration intentionally provided the detainees with unhealthy and contaminated water. This resulted in pain in his side, specifically in the kidney area, but the prison administration did not pay attention to the detainees’ suffering and did not provide healthcare.

Adnan and al-Khatib continue their hunger strikes

Omran al-Khatib, 60, from Gaza, and Khader Adnan, 40, from Jenin, continued their hunger strike in Israeli prisons in September 2018.

Al-Khatib, sentenced to 45 years in prison, began his strike on 5 August to see his early release after 21 years in detention. The occupaiton authorities deliberately transferred him from one prison to another as a means of pressure. He has since been transferred to the Israeli hospital, Barzilai, after the deterioration of his health.

Palestinian prisoner Adnan began his hunger strike on 2 September, rejecting his arbitrary arrest on 11 December 2017. During his strike, he has been transferred repeatedly, most recently to the Jalameh detention center, and the prison administration continues to prevent him from seeing his lawyers, saying that his health does not permit him to have a legal visit.

It should be noted that this is the third long-term hunger strike carried out by Adnan since 2012, noting that his previous strikes were against his administrative detention. The first was in 2012 and the second in 2015.

During the month of September, a number of prisoners carried out hunger strikes, including Jamal Alqam, Jawad Jawarish, Ismil Alayan and Salah Jawarish.

Women prisoners protest surveillance cameras, refuse recreation

Palestinian women prisoners at HaSharon prison have refused to go to the recreation yard in protest of the surveillance cameras installed by the prison administration since 5 September. As of the publication of this report, they continue to refuse to go to the yard. Originally, the cameras were covered several years ago after the protest of the prisoners at the time, but the prison administration reactivated them after the visit of the committee designed to withdraw the achievements and rights of the prisoners chaired by Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan. This followed the first repressive action of confiscating thousands of books from the prisoners. It should be noted that the prisoners have taken measures to protest against this violation of privacy, and the women prisoners are negotiating in order to achieve their demands. 34 women prisoners are held in HaSharon prison, while 20 more Palestinian women are jailed in Damon prison.

(Source / 11.10.2018)

Palestinian women prisoners protest surveillance cameras for 34 days

Palestinian women prisoners in HaSharon prison have launched a series of protests against their conditions of confinement. For 34 days, they have remained inside their rooms, refusing to go to recreation time in the prison yard since surveillance cameras were installed there in early September, in an attack on prisoners’ previous accomplishments inside Israeli prisons. The cameras have also been installed in the corridors leading to their rooms where they wash, cook and pray. Palestinian male prisoners elsewhere have also joined their campaign in solidarity with the women prisoners’ protest.

The women prisoners have closed their sections since 5 September in protest of the surveillance cameras and other repressive tactics of the prison administration. They have refused to return to recreation until the cameras are removed completely and refused a proposal to cover the cameras for two hours a day. They noted that the cameras affect their personal privacy and freedom and that their presence denies the women access to air, sun and exercise. In addition, the yard includes not only the recreation area but also the kitchen, canteen (prison store) and washing machine.

The mothers of the young women prisonersShorouq Dwayyat and Malak Salman, said that their daughters are suffering from bad conditions inside HaSharon and have not left their room for 33 days. In addition to being prevented from accessing the canteen, they have experienced continuous electricity cuts inside their rooms. They also said that other mothers of the women prisoners have been severely traumatized by seeing their children’s experience inside the prison.

The cameras were previously removed several years ago after a protest by the women prisoners, but they were reinstalled in early September, sparking the protest. 34 of the 54 women prisoners are held in HaSharon prison; they others are held in Damon prison. In either case, transportation to and from the prison to the military courts is particularly arduous, requiring travel of up to 12 hours at a time in harsh, uncomfortable conditions in the so-called “bosta.” In addition, the prison administration has threatened to transfer the prisoners collectively if they will not stop their protest.

Male prisoners in Ramon prison affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad and Hamas have refused to go out for recreation time in support of the women prisoners in HaSharon. After the solidarity action in Ramon prison, the prison administration ordered all sections closed. The prisoners in Ramon are also struggling against intensified repression, especially after a new director was appointed, issuing threats of escalation against the leadership of the prisoners’ movement. This director has also pledged to “restore the conditions of the prison to 2008,” meaning an attempt to roll back important achievements of the prisoners’ struggle.

(Source / 10.10.2018)

Events in Denmark highlight Palestinian prisoners and the struggle for liberation

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network participated in a series of events in Denmark in early October, organized by the Internationalt Forum and Boykot IsraelCharlotte Kates, Samidoun’s international coordinator, joined Palestinian leftist writer and organizer Khaled Barakat for several speaking events discussing the Palestinian situation today and how international solidarity can help to support the Palestinian liberation struggle.

On 4 October, Barakat and Kates presented at an event organized by Internationalt Forum Nordsjælland at the smelters’ union hall in Helsingør. There, Kates focused on the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners inside Israeli jails. After presenting key statistics about the number of prisoners, their conditions of confinement and the colonial system they face, she discussed the importance of international solidarity with Palestinian prisoners.

In particular, she noted that Palestinian prisoners represent a real Palestinian leadership – unlike the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing security coordination with Israel – that the occupation desperately seeks to isolate not only from the Palestinian people but from international movements for justice. She also noted several important cases of imprisoned Palestinians, including Ahmad Sa’adat – the jailed General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, first jailed by the PA under British and U.S. guard – Khalida Jarrar and Khader Adnan.

 

Barakat provided a thorough and wide-ranging overview of the Palestinian liberation movement, emphasizing that the struggle of the Palestinian people is an anti-colonial struggle that confronts an array of enemies and repressive forces that are joined together by common interests. He noted that Israel, the United States and Arab reactionary regimes come together to impose the ongoing colonial project in Palestine. He also emphasized the importance of the Palestinian popular classes in the liberation struggle and the role of the Palestinian Authority in serving only the interest of the wealthiest capitalists, while further marginalizing the majority of the Palestinian people.

He also focused on the importance of the right of return to the liberation project, especially as the U.S. is currently working to attempt to liquidate this fundamental right. Over half of the Palestinian population are refugees, Barakat noted, and their right to return has been denied them on the basis that their existence is a threat to the ongoing racist domination of Zionism. He encouraged Palestinians and solidarity activists to envision a future for Palestine “beyond Israel,” including the establishment of a democratic Palestine.

On Friday, 5 October, Barakat and Kates joined several Internationalt Forum organizers, including Irene Clausen, the author of the new book “PFLP and Palestine,” for a meeting with Christian Juhl, a member of the Danish Parliament representing the Red-Green Alliance. They discussed important issues facing Palestinians today, including the Great March of Return in Gaza and the need for international support to break the siege and support Palestinian refugees’ right to return. Kates discussed several cases of Palestinian political prisoners, including that of Mustapha Awad, a Belgian citizen jailed by the Israeli occupation, and Raja Eghbarieh, a Palestinian leader in occupied Palestine ’48 whose case further exposes the lie of “Israeli democracy.”

 

Barakat also was interviewed by Arbejderen, the daily newspaper of the Communist Party of Denmark, about a range of issues facing the Palestinian people today. “Zionist Israel, the imperialists in the United States and other Western countries, as well as the reactionary Arab regimes, spoken by Saudi Arabian king Bin Salman, have collapsed to break the Palestinian cause. They want the question completely off the table, so the focus is shifting to the fight against Iran,” Barakat said. He also addressed the devastating effects of the Oslo agreement as well as the need for more action to boycott Israel. “Israel is a racist and colonialist state that is doomed to dissolve. I believe that at one point Israel is going to become a burden for imperialism, as we have seen elsewhere in world history, such as in South Africa,” he said.

 

That evening, they presented at the Internationalt Forum’s Solidarity Boutique in Copenhagen. Kates again reviewed the situation of Palestinian political prisoners, noting the inadequacy of statistics in conveying how deeply imprisonment affects the Palestinian society and its political movement. She noted that the Palestinian prisoners represent the Palestinian resistance in all of its forms, also making it politically critical for the solidarity movement to emphasize its support for their freedom struggle. In addition, she also talked about how the Israeli occupation denies Palestinians’ right to education – through the imprisonment of children who lose years in school as well as the attacks on university students and professors. She urged the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, including study abroad programs, in protest of the violation of Palestinians’ right to education.

 

Barakat provided a thorough analysis of the Palestinian political situation, highlighting how the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian capitalist class have hijacked the liberation movement and emphasizing the need to focus on the struggle rooted in the refugee camps and among the popular classes. He noted that the Great Marches of Return in Gaza since 30 March have once again drawn the eyes of the world to Gaza, as Palestinians show immense creativity in their resistance and have resisted the silencing and liquidation of their cause.

He also discussed the situation in the Arab world and how it is affecting Palestinians today, especially as Arab reactionary regimes – particularly Saudi Arabia – are key partners of Zionism and imperialism in the attack on the Palestinian people. Without Egypt’s military government that imprisons thousands on political charges, the siege on Gaza would not hold, he noted. In addition, he discussed the imperialist attacks on Syria and Libya, noting that the role of NATO, the EU and the United States was clearly not to support Arab peoples’ rights to self determination and liberation but to further divide, impoverish and subjugate people.

 

On Saturday, 6 October, they joined Boykot Israel – DK, one of the oldest boycott organizations in Europe, having been founded in 2002, for a flyering and public awareness action near Norreport station in the center of Copenhagen. Participants carried a large orange banner reading “Boykot Israel” and distributed over 1,000 flyers to passers-by in the area. In addition, activists marked Israeli dates in nearby supermarkets as products of apartheid. Boykot Israel does these public information events on the first Saturday of every month in Copenhagen.

 

(Source / 10.10.2018) 

Two months of detention for Belgian Mustapha Awad: committee calls for action

The Free Mustapha Committee issued the following press release on 19 September, the two-month anniversary of the detention of Belgian-Palestinian artist and metalworker Mustapha Awad. Samidoun joins the Committee in reiterating its demand for the immediate, unconditional release of Mustapha Awad and for action on the part of the Belgian government to defend its citizen subjected to arbitrary detention, torture and political imprisonment. To sign on to the call to action, visit the campaign form. We urge all to attend the protest next Wednesday in Brussels to demand Mustapha’s freedom! 

Press release, Wednesday, 19 September

Today marks two months since our dear friend Mustapha Awad, a Belgian citizen of Palestinian origin, was arbitrarily detained by the Israeli authorities.

Mustapha is an artist and co-founder of the Raj’een Dabkeh Group, a human rights defender, a metalworker and a resident of Aalst. This summer, he decided to visit Palestine, the land of his grandparents.

His arbitrary arrest and detention is very disturbing. Mustapha has been subjected to inhuman treatment, amounting to torture, while under interrogation. During these two months of detention, Mustapha has been denied even the opportunity to call his family. On October 2, he will appear for the third time before an Israeli court.

Friends of Mustapha, fellow members of his dance troupe and representatives of organizations defending Palestinian rights have come together to form the Free Mustapha Committee.

This committee has collected 2,668 signatures in one month for a petition calling for Mustapha’s release. 177 organizations have signed this petition, including 84 Belgian organizations (see list below).

More than 300 people participated in a photo campaign, including prominent figures such as:: Alain Platel, founder of Ballets C de la B; Anya Topolski, founder of EAJS, Een Andere Joodse Stem (Another Jewish Voice); Robert Vertenueil, President of the FGTB-ABVV; Fatiha Dahmani, union secretary of LBC-NVK; Anne Morelli, retired professor at the Free University of Brussels and Belgian historian; Eyal Sivan, Israeli filmmaker and writer; Josy Dubié, former journalist and senator; Dominique Surleau, General Secretary of Présence et Action Culturelles (PAC) …

The signatories of the petition call on Belgium to assume its responsibilities and protect its citizens.

The Free Mustafa Committee praises the work of the administration and the consul, who met Mustapha several times. The Committee expects that Minister Reynders must address Prime Minister Netanyahu rapidly and that Mustapha, who has been detained for 62 days, must be released as soon as possible.

In the meantime, the Free Mustapha Committee is calling for a demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy, ​​Avenue de l’Observatoire 40, 1180 Uccle, on Wednesday, 26 September, from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

The Free Mustapha Committee

(Source / 23.09.2018)

Israeli occupation bans Palestinian student from his university campus

Yousef Dweikat and the order barring him from his university

Palestinian student Yousef Dweikat was banned from entering the campus of his university, An-Najah National University in occupied Nablus, on Tuesday, 28 August 2018. Dweikat, 20, a student at the Faculty of Engineering at the university and an activist with the Islamic Bloc student organization, was summoned to meet with Israeli occupation intelligence in the Salem military base.

When he presented himself, he was presented with an order barring him from his own university campus for the next six months. A Palestinian refugee who lives in Balata refugee camp, Dweikat, an electrical engineering student, is a former prisoner; he was arrested by Israeli occupation forces in March 2017 and jailed for six months for his involvement in student activities.

In an interview with Quds News, Dweikat called upon the university “to create solutions and alternatives so that this type of decision does not affect a larger number of university students.” He noted that the Israeli occupation had used a similar policy against university students in the 1980s and is now returning to those practices. Dweikat also said that his education was already delayed because of his previous detention and that he had already registered for the new year, paid his university fees and prepared to start the new semester. “My family and I are tense and frustrated. We do not know what we can do next to confront this unjust decision,” he said.

This is only the latest violation of the Palestinian right to education by the Israeli occupation. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Education, there are over 300 Palestinian university students imprisoned in Israeli jails. Each year, especially around the time of student council elections, universities face invasions and attacks on active students. Student leaders like Omar Kiswani, president of the Bir Zeit University student council, have been seized from campus in violent raids.

In addition, as the Palestinian Right to Enter campaign notes, international academics – including Palestinians born in exile with foreign passports – are routinely denied entry to Palestine by Israeli occupation forces at colonially controlled borders.  By denying entry to scholars invited to teach, lecture or study at Palestinian universities, the Israeli occupation seeks to isolate Palestinian educators, scholars and students from their international peers.

These routine violations of Palestinian academic freedom – along with the racial exclusion of international students, particularly those identified as Arabs, Muslims or Palestinians – have added impetus to the ongoing call for academic boycott of Israeli institutions. The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is urging universities, students and faculty to take a pledge to boycott “study abroad” programs run by Israeli institutions, “We Will not Study in Israel Until Palestinians Can Return: Boycott Study Abroad in Israel!” Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is one of the endorsers of this call.

As many students head back to university around the world, solidarity with Palestinian students and scholars is particularly critical. These arrests and bans are an attempt to dismantle Palestinian students’ ability to learn, organize and uphold their identity, existence and struggle on campus. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges supporters of Palestine on campuses around the world to join the campaign to boycott Study Abroad, support the academic boycott of Israel and hold events and activities to highlight the violation of Palestinian rights to education, particularly the imprisonment of Palestinian students.

(Source / 29.08.2018)

Israeli military reimposes sentence on former prisoner from occupied Palestine ’48

Mohammed Zayed

Palestinian former prisoners continue to face harsh persecution, as former prisoner Mohammed Zayed, released in the 2011 Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange agreement (the so-called “Shalit deal”), became the latest person to have his former sentence reimposed, seven years after his liberation. Zayed, 58, is a leader of the Abnaa el-Balad movement in occupied Palestine ’48. While he is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, his treatment makes clear the status of Palestinians in ’48 – colonized, occupied and subjected to a racist system.

When Zayed was released in 2011, he had already spent 19 years of his 35-year sentence in Israeli jails. Like his fellow released prisoners, he was forced to sign terms of release. On Monday, 27 August, he was ordered to spend the remaining 16 years of his sentence behind bars. Louay Khatib, an Abnaa el-Balad representative, told Quds News that Zayed was arrested a short time ago on an unrelated matter not considered a “security” or political issue. He was sentenced to eight months in prison for this unrelated case, not referred to in the conditions of his release.

Khatib said that because he was sentenced to more than six months in prison, the Israeli military system re-imposed his former sentence, saying that the court’s decision in the other case “did not specify the nature of the matter.” Khatib also said that Zayed is appealing his case to the Central Military Court and the Supreme Court, despite the fact that his lawyer requires a fee of 100,000 NIS ($27,537 USD) to proceed.

He denounced this latest reimposed sentence against a Palestinian prisoner, demanding that “the Egyptian guarantor of the agreement must stand up to its responsibilities in this case. It is not reasonable that any conviction requires the reimposition of the former sentence.” Khatib also said that Zayed was told that he would not be housed with his fellow Palestinian prisoners but with criminal prisoners. Zayed, from the occupied city of Lyd in Palestine ’48, has a number of chronic diseases including diabetes and dyskinesia as well as suffering from a “difficult” psychological and social situation, according to Quds News.

Allam Kaabi, a former prisoner released in the Wafa al-Ahrar exchange and a leader of the prisoners’ committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told Hadf News that “once again, occupation courts prove that they are criminal tools of repression of the Palestinian people.” He noted that around 55 freed prisoners had been re-arrested and their former sentences imposed as a form of pressure against the Palestinian resistance in any forthcoming prisoner exchange agreement. Kaabi also noted that more such arrests may be forthcoming in an attempt to escalate that pressure.

Palestinian resistance organizations have emphasized that the re-arrested prisoners of the Wafa al-Ahrar exchange must be released unconditionally before a prisoner exchange. Kaabi said that it is essential to ensure that these freed prisoners are not once again subject to re-arrest.

(Source / 29.08.2018)

Seven detained Palestinian women activists from al-Khalil face Israeli persecution

Seven Palestinian women from al-Khalil have been jailed by the Israeli occupation, with many held in intense, torturous interrogation for many weeks. The Israeli Shin Bet intelligence agency is now attempting to market these arrests in the media as an attack on “Hamas infrastructure” in al-Khalil in an attempt to justify the ongoing large-scale arrests targeting active Palestinian women in the city.

In addition to the main arrests targeting seven women, a number of other women were summoned to hours of interrogation before being released. Riyad al-Ashqar of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said that all of the women work in social services, public activities, media work or at home with their families and that none are involved in Hamas’ political or military work. He said that the Shin Bet’s claims are an attempt to create a state of fear and terror to suppress Palestinian women’s participation in activities against the crimes of the occupation or supporting the Palestinian resistance.

The campaign against Palestinian women in al-Khalil began with the arrest of City Council member Suzan Abdel-Karim Owawi, 40, on 5 June. She was subjected to extensive, harsh interrogation that was extended repeatedly during that time. In addition to her public service as an elected official, she is a social activist who works to support Palestinian prisoners; she is married and the mother of four children.

Safa Abu Hussein, 36, was arrested next after Israeli occupation forces invaded her home and took her to interrogation. Her detention has been extended four times.

Rawda Mohammed Abu Aisha, 53, was next to be seized by occupation forces; she was seized when she drove to a checkpoint in Bethlehem and taken to interrogation.

The occupation forces also arrested Dima Said al-Karmi, 38, the widow of Nashat al-Karmi, a Hamas activist killed by Israeli occupation forces and the mother of an 8-year-old daughter. She was taken to Ashkelondetention center and interrogated harshly and extensively and deprived of sleep. During her interrogation, she fainted on multiple occasions. Her detention has also been repeatedly extended.

Lama Khater, 42, is a Palestinian writer who was seized on 24 July by Israeli occupation forces after they invaded her family home. She was deprived of sleep, insulted and threatened by Israeli interrogators at the Ashkelon detention center. The mother of five children – the youngest only 2 – she is a political analyst and writer whose work is widely published on newspapers and websites.

Saida Badr, 55, is the wife of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Mohammed Badr, 61, who has spent many years in Israeli prison including a recent sentence in administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

Finally, Sonia Hamouri, 40, a university lecturer, was seized from her family home in al-Khalil on 14 August. A number of other women were also detained for several hours and interrogated.

The Israeli occupation is accusing the women of communicating information from Palestinians in exile to those inside occupied Palestine, especially activists in Hamas. They were also accused of doing social and charitable work in support of the movement by providing aid to the prisoners’ families.

Palestinian political parties and movements are labeled “illegal organizations” by the Israeli occupation, and thousands of Palestinians are jailed for allegedly supporting or belonging to these liberation movements. One of the most common charges against Palestinian prisoners is “membership in an illegal organization,” as participation in most major Palestinian political movements is criminalized by the colonial occupation.

These seven women are among a total of approximately 63 Palestinian women prisoners, including several held without charge or trial under administrative detention, such as parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar and student Fidaa Akhalil.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands in solidarity with these women and all Palestinian prisoners and demands their immediate release. The Israeli occupation military uses media releases and sensationalism in an attempt to justify their targeting and criminalization of the Palestinian people and their political movements.

(Source / 29.08.2018)

PFLP leaders transferred, isolated by Israeli prison administration after public political statements

Protester calls for freedom for all jailed Palestinians.

Leading Palestinian prisoners of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were suddenly transferredon Wednesday, 29 August on multiple occasions, while in Megiddo prison, tension rose between the Palestinian political prisoners and the Israeli occupation prison administration.

Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh was suddenly transferred from Hadarim prison to Ramon prison, while Wael Jaghoubwas transferred to Gilboa prison. In addition, Mohammed Musa Abu Khdeir was transferred from Nafha prison to Ramon.

In addition, all of the PFLP prisoners in Megiddo were thrown into isolation cells after protests inside the prison against poor conditions and ongoing violations of their rights, according to the Handala Center for Prisoners And Former Prrisoners.

These actions could come in response to the visible political role of the prisoners of the Popular Front inside Israeli jails, including imprisoned General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat.

The PFLP prisoners recently released a widely distributed statement in solidarity with U.S. prisoners engaged in work-stoppages, boycotts and hunger strikes against forced prison labor, racism and exploitation inside U.S. jails. Some excerpts follow:

“The prison strike is a struggle of oppressed and exploited workers, first and foremost, confronting the unmasked brutality of capitalism behind bars. Around the world, prisoners have only protected their human rights and won victories through struggle. We know that you are demanding improved conditions, the right to fight in court for your rights and an end to excessive, lifelong sentences. You are also demanding an end to the new form of slavery found in U.S. prisons, where prison workers are paid pennies to produce goods and perform services for some of the country’s largest corporations.

We also salute your struggle against racism. U.S. settler colonialism and imperialism practices its vicious racism both internally and externally, and the prison system reflects that reality. Black communities, Latino communities, Arab communities are under attack, facing mass incarceration and a system that seeks to imprison and exploit rather than support and nurture youth and elders.

Today, prison workers are some of the most exploited workers in the United States, and the same ruling class that profits from the confiscation of Palestinian land and resources and from the bombing of children in Yemen also profits from the forced labor of prisoners. Your struggle is a workers’ struggle that is part of our global conflict against the vicious exploitation that our peoples face today. This struggle inside the prisons highlights the deep connections between racism and capitalism and how the struggle against them both can never be de-linked.

The boycott campaign that is part of your strike also emphasizes the critical role of boycott in confronting exploitation and oppression. While our circumstances and lives may vary greatly from one another in many ways, we too face economic exploitation through a “canteen” system that seeks to profit from our imprisonment as Palestinians. We know that prison profiteers in the United States also profit from prison canteens, phone calls and other purchases, and we salute your campaign of boycott. This is the same reason why we call on people around the world to join the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. We cannot and must not be the consumers of those who profit from our misery and oppression.”

The PFLP prisoners also issued a statement just two days ago in memory of assassinated PFLP General Secretary Abu Ali Mustafa, killed by Israeli occupation forces with a U.S.-made and -funded helicopter-fired missile on 27 August 2001. The statement harshly condemned U.S. imperialism as well as the role of the Palestinian Authority and right-wing Arab regimes. Some excerpts follow:

“His assassination was a great loss not only for the Palestinian and Arab cause but for the international struggle of all oppressed peoples and for progressive international liberation movements. His vision emanated from his understanding of the importance of the class struggle, and he always rooted his work in the oppressed peoples and popular classes. The comrade was committed to this vision, from his origins and through his practice. He was the son of a poor peasant family who lived a life as a refugee with his people in the struggle against the Zionist settler colonial project, which seeks to end Palestinian existence and eliminate our rights as a people.

On this anniversary of the martyrdom of Comrade Abu Ali, we are passing through a time of the darkest and most difficult political circumstances, with important international and regional changes and new alliances that must be confronted. At the international level, we see a number of important phenomena, such as the growth of the extreme chauvinistic right, particularly in Europe. Radical changes could direct the future of the European countries, including the rise of voices within the EU calling for separation, reconsideration of the alliance or reformulation of it to reduce the influence of some countries, especially Germany. This may be the most serious contradiction among capitalist European countries since World War II, but it is also a time of conflicts of interest between the EU and the United States of America. These contradictions are not merely the outcome of the election of Trump as president of the world’s leading imperialist power, but are a natural product of social contradictions under capitalism over economic power and political influence.

It is clear that there is nothing strange about the election of Trump in the United States, built on the genocide of the indigenous people of that land. His election in fact reflects the nature of conflicting forces in American society, including the most rapacious capitalist interests in alliance with right-wing Protestant groups and powerful lobbies, the arms lobby and the Zionist lobby. There is no doubt that this racist alliance seeks to expand the scope of the conflict with the peoples of the world on the basis of imposing imperial domination and control without rivalry.

The United States plans to challenge China, Russia and the European Union for economic and political influence. This comes at the same time as it escalates its blatant interference in Latin America, comes into conflict with long-time allies like Turkey, imposes economic sanctions and jointly imposes Israeli demands against Iran and Palestine. It returns to use the veto once again in the Security Council in favor of the colonial Israeli entity as it promotes its so-called “deal of the century,” which seeks to abolish the national, historical and human rights of the Palestinian people. This is a clear confirmation of the hostility of U.S. imperialism to the Palestinian people and its full partnership in the policies of ethnic cleansing and attacks on our rights.

Our dear comrades, what is happening in the Arab arena is also very concerning. First, the pace of normalization between the Arab reactionary regimes and the Zionist entity has increased in an unprecedented manner as the Saudi and Emirati (UAE) regimes escalate Arab contradictions in full participation in a project to dismantle and destroy the Arab world, as we see in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere.

It is clear that the enemy camp includes these treacherous reactionary forces, allied with the United States and the Zionist entity, who have made their role clear in the implementation of imperialist plans and projects, especially in regard to the Palestinian cause.

Dear comrades, the series of attacks that are being waged against our people requires the immediate completion of the reconciliation file and ending Palestinian division on the basis of true national partnership and the reconstruction of the Palestinian house, the shortest way to confront the “deal of the century,” The ongoing delay, procrastination and distortion around the issue of reconciliation does not serve our national interest and does serve the occupation and its attempts to quash our vision of return and self-determination.

In this context, we see a large gap between the statements by the Palestinian presidency purporting to call for a rejection of the “deal of the century” and the practice on the ground by the Palestinian Authority. What is the goal of disrupting reconciliation? Of imposing impossible, unacceptable conditions? Of imposing unfair sanctions on our people in Gaza? Or the convening of a divided ‘Palestinian National Council’ that does not reflect the Palestinian people? Is not that a deal with the “deal of the century”?

The relentless pursuit of the fragmentation of the Palestinian people and their resistance forces serves only to weaken our people, in harmony with the Zionist-imperialist projects in the region.

In this framework, the Return Marches in Gaza have upheld the honor of the Palestinian cause. They have made clear the will of the Palestinian masses, against all conspiracies against our people, in rejection of siege and humiliation, asserting our right to resist the occupation by all possible means.”

(Source / 29.08.2018)