Georges Ibrahim Abdallah issued the following statement on the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2019. The imprisoned Arab Communist struggler for Palestine has been jailed in French prisons for 34 years, despite being eligible for release since 1999. The U.S. government has repeatedly intervened in an attempt to prevent his release from prison, while a growing movement in Lebanon, France and internationally demands his liberation.
The conditions of detention of the Palestinian Resistance strugglers in Zionist jails have been worsening in recent times.
Since the beginning of the year, Gilad Erdan, the Israeli Minister of Internal Security, seeks to impose a “new reality” upon our fellow prisoners with the aim of reversing or simply extinguishing the rights that they have acquired through multople, courageous struggles in past years. Raids, searches and other forms of repression are escalating in the various Israeli prisons. The special units, heavily armed for repression, are engaged in the worst excesses during these various invasions. There were over 120 prisoners wounded in Ketziot in the repression of protests since February, as well as in Ofer, the Negev prison and elsewhere in the other detention centers….
All of this is meant to intimidate and to multiply the difficulties of our comrades as they are unable to break them: confiscation of personal items, isolation, cancellation of family visits, transfers. And many comrades are beaten during each invasion of these repressive units. This is not to mention the “bosta” and all the suffering of our female comrades, especially during transfers…
Following this situation, our comrades announced the launch of a collective hunger strike in Israeli jails. Key leaders of the prisoners’ movement and the national liberation movement as a whole joined the strike, and hundreds planned to join the strike in the coming days. It was expected that the strike would escalate just today, 17 April, in Palestine and internationally, on Palestinian prisoners’ day. However, the Zionist authorities found it useful to back down for the moment in face of the growing movement and its potential, especially in light of the latest developments in the Arab wold, namely the promising movements in Algeria and Sudan. As you see comrades, the revolutionary strugglers, often in particularly difficult circumstances, seek by all means to defeat the policies of destruction they are subjected to in the enemy’s jails. However, the outcome of this confrontation, the outcome of these hard battles, is always a function of the solidarity of the masses and the unwavering commitment of the vanguard in the field of ongoing struggle.
In 1974, the Palestinian National Conference declared 17 April to be Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. This was not only meant to denounce on this occasion the barbarism of the Zionist occupier nor was it only intended to honor the captive resistance by reminding the masses of their sacrifices and their unwavering willingness to stand up against the Zionist military forces. The commemoration of this Palestinian Prisoners’ Day is intended, above all else, to affirm loudly and strongly the determination to tear our comrades from the claws of their criminal jailers. Indeed, on several occasions, the vanguards of the Palestinian revolutionary struggle took on this task with great courage and self-sacrifice, forcing the enemy to release thousands of imprisoned comrades without any concessions on their part.
Today, comrades, here we are gathered again, in different countries of the world, to commemorate Palestinian Prisoners’ Day and especially to express our unwavering solidarity with the resistance in the Zionist jails and our complete confidence in the determination of the Palestinian revolutionary vanguards and their firm resolve to do what is necessary to tear our resisting comrades from the clutches of the Zionist criminal jailers.
May a thousand solidarity initiatives blossom in support of our flowers and cubs imprisoned in the Zionist prisons!
May a thousand solidarity initiatives blossom in favor of the strugglers of the right of return initiatives!
Solidarity, all solidarity with the resistance in Zionist jails and isolation cells in Morocco, Turkey, the Philippines and everywhere around the world!
Solidarity, all solidarity with the resisting revolutionary comrades in the jails in Greece!
May a thousand solidarity initiatives blossom in support of the Algerian, Sudanese and Yemeni masses!
Solidarity, all solidarity, with the young proletarians of the working-class neighborhoods!
Capitalism is nothing but barbarism. Honor to all those who oppose it in the diversity of their expressions!
Together, comrades, and only together, we will win!
To all of you, comrades and friends, my warmest revolutionary greetings.
“We made it clear that no continuous understandings can be reached unless the issue of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails is resolved,” Haniyeh said regarding mediation talks between the movement and Israel which are being mediated by Egypt.
“We asked Egypt to tell the occupation to end all sanctions imposed by the Israeli Prison Service, remove the jamming devices, offer good living conditions to the prisoners, allow their families to visit them and install landlines inside prisons.”
Palestinian prisoners have reached an agreement with the Israeli prison administration to achieve their demands and suspend their hunger strike, the Battle of Dignity 2, on Monday, 15 April. The agreement came as hundreds of Palestinian prisoners were engaged in their eighth day of a collective hunger strike.
According to the leadership of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, the agreement includes the installation of public telephones in the prison sections, which prisoners would be allowed to use three times a week for 15-minute calls, as well as stopping the installation of cell-phone jamming devices. In addition, the repressive measures and sanctions imposed in the past year upon the prisoners will also be lifted, while fines imposed on prisoners in recent struggles inside the prisons would be reduced. Hundreds more prisoners have been set to join the hunger strike in the coming days, especially 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said that the agreement also included provisions to transfer the women prisoners from Damon prison to another detention center; the prisoners have repeatedly cited harsh, difficult conditions unsuitable for human life in the Damon prison. In addition, sick prisoners would be returned to the previous section in the Ramleh prison clinic, an area that was considered better than their current location.
The National and Islamic Forces held a press conference in Gaza City to highlight the prisoners’ final statement. “The battle is not over; the hardest phase of this struggle is to implement what has been agreed upon,” the prisoners wrote, noting that previous agreements have been repeatedly broken by the Israeli prison administration.
They saluted the prisoners in section 4 of the Negev desert prison and section 1 in Ramon prison who were attacked by Israeli repressive forces, noting that “their great sacrifices underline that freedom and dignity are…human rights that cannot be denied.” They saluted Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, occupied Palestine ’48 and exile and diaspora, as well as supporters of freedom around the world, journalists and prisoners’ centers, that stood with the prisoners in their struggle. The statement particularly saluted “the people and leadership in Gaza,” noting their unity in commitment to the struggle.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its strongest salutes and greetings to all of the Palestinian prisoners on this occasion of victory. These achievements follow on many historical accomplishments of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, on the front lines of the Palestinian liberation struggle, extracting their victories through great sacrifice, with their bodies and lives on the line. As Palestinian Prisoners Day approaches, we emphasize our continuing dedication to work for the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners and the freedom of Palestine from the river to the sea.
In addition, we urge people around the world to continue their solidarity activities to support the Palestinian prisoners, throughout the coming days, months and years, until their freedom is achieved. In particular, we emphasize the cases of three Palestinian prisoners who remain on hunger strike: Hussam al-Ruzza (61), Mohammed Tabanja (40) and Khaled Farraj (31). Al-Ruzza has been on hunger strike since 19 March – nearly one month – while Tabanja and Farraj have been on hunger strike since 25 March. All are held without charge or trial under administrative detention orders, and their detention has been repeatedly and arbitrarily renewed.
They are among nearly 500 Palestinians out of approximately 5,500 Palestinian prisoners jailed with no charges and no trial for indefinitely renewable periods under administrative detention. The end of administrative detention is a long-time demand of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and supporters of justice and liberation around the world. Join the call to free Hussam al-Ruzza, Mohammed Tabanja, Khaled Farraj and all Palestinian prisoners!
04/16/19 | International Solidarity Movement | al-Khalil Team
This week marks the 8th anniversary of the death of Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian journalist and activist working with the International Solidarity Movement, in Gaza.
On April 16th, 2011, when Arrigoni was 36 years old, his body was found in Gaza city, only a few hours after “The Brigade of the Gallant Companion of the Prophet Mohammad bin Muslima”, a Salafist group operating in Gaza, released the video where he was blindfolded and wounded. His alleged murderers were arrested and sentenced to 15 years after appealing their sentences.
Vittorio Arrigoni spent three years inside Gaza, working with peoples whose lives were affected by the blockade of the area. He witnessed and documented the effects of the Israeli blockade and the continuous human rights abuse, in the area. He was a committed ISM activist which also made him a target for arrest and harassment by Israeli forces, as it led him to a number of different demonstrations and protests around Gaza.
After breaking the blockade in 2008, Arrigoni described that moment as being one of the happiest of his life, as “It became clear, not only to the world, but Palestinians also, that there are people who are willing to spend their lives to come and hug their brothers here in Gaza.”.
On the 8th anniversary of his passing, when Gaza remains besieged by the occupation, we still remember Vittorio through his words and actions, and hope to continue our work through the example that he set for us.
“We must remain human, even in the most difficult times …Because, despite everything, there must always be humanity within us. We have to bring it to others.”
Palestinian amputees this weekend held the first football championship for those who have lost a limb living in the Gaza Strip.
Secretary-General of the World Federation of Disabled Persons in the World, Simon Baker, launched the initiative at the Stadium of Palestine.
Baker, who lost his right leg in a workplace accident in 2004 and uses an artificial limb, was invited by the Red Cross to prepare for the tournament.
The championship kicked off in the Palestine Stadium, which was restored by FIFA after being targeted in the 2014 war. It is being held under the auspices of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Eighty players are taking part in the tournament, 20 of them lost their limbs while taking part in the Great March of Return along the Gaza-Israel fence, while others were injured during previous wars and incidents.
Suhair Zaqout, spokesperson for the ICRC in Gaza, said her organisation is sponsoring people with disabilities caused by military conflicts and is attempting to integrate them into the society via psychological and physical rehabilitation.
“People with special needs can represent their countries in regional and international sports competitions,” she told Xinhua.
According to official statistics, the Gaza Strip has over 25,000 injured people in the last ten years, hundreds of whom suffer from amputations.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported, Monday, that the Israeli Prison Authority is still rejecting the legitimate demands of the Palestinian detainees, as nearly 400 detainees are ongoing with the hunger strike, and dozens more are expected to join soon.
The PPS stated that the detainees negotiated with the administration in Ramon Israeli prison, but their demands remained ignored and denied, and added that another round of talks is expected later Monday.
It also said that the outcome of the new round of talks will be the determining factor of whether the detainees expand their strike to include all prisons and detention camps.
The detainees started the hunger strike eight days ago and were met with a series of punitive measures by the Israeli prison authority, which continues to deny their demands.
There are currently nearly 400 detainees who are holding the hunger strike, dubbed as Dignity Strike 2, and are indirectly holding talks with the prison authority.
The detainees are in the Negev Detention Camp, Ramon Prison, Eshil, Ofar, Galboa’ and Majeddo, and the strike will likely expand to include all prisons.
The PPS said the Egypt is involved in the talks to prevent further escalation; however, Israel has already started transferring and shuffling the detainees between its prisons and detention camps in an attempt to end their strike without listening to their demands.
The detainees are demanding the Israeli Prison Authority to remove dozens of detainees from solitary confinement, in addition to refusing to remove signal jammers, refraining from providing an answer to the demands regarding installing public phones, and continues to deny Gaza Strip detainees the right to family visits.
The detainees are complaining that the signal jammers are making them sick, as more detainees started facing health issues after their installation.
The Palestinian government had to be sworn in again because there was a typo in the swearing-in text
The 18th newly formed Palestinian government of Prime Minister Muhammad Ishtayeh will have to repeat its swearing-in in front of President Mahmoud Abbas, on Sunday, in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, Ma’an News reports.
The repetition would take place after it was discovered that the text of the swearing-in of the new government had a typing error.
The correct text of the swearing-in should read, “I swear to be loyal to the homeland and its sanctities, to the people and its national heritage, to respect the constitutional order and the law, and to take full care of the interests of the Palestinian people.”
President Mahmoud Abbas gave confidence on Saturday to the newly formed 18th Palestinian government and made this confidence a law.
Most of the 22 members of the 18th government are new, the key ministries, such as the finance and foreign ministries, remained the same, in addition to Ishtayeh kept the Ministry of Interior and the Religious Affairs Ministry the same until someone else is named to these posts.
Abbas said that the mission of the new government will be to speed up reuniting the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as to work toward holding legislative elections in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip to strengthen democracy.
He added that the government will also continue to financially support families of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons and those killed by the Israeli army, to strengthen the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in facing the Israeli settlement policies, defend East Jerusalem and its holy places, and to build a strong national economy.