The following statement was issued by the leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine branch in Israeli prisons, and read over Al-Mayadeen Arab TV satellite channel on May 11:
To the masses of the Palestinian people, the Arab nation, and the forces of freedom in the world…
Today, the Palestinian prisoners’ movement is locked in the battle of freedom and dignity for the 25th day, with ever more determination to continue until the achievement of its goals. It is armed with the weapon of its will, the unity of the prisoners’ movement and the justice of our cause, with the support and embrace of the masses of the Palestinian people, the Arab nation and the forces of freedom in the world. The prisoners face, after their declaration of the battle of the strike, a bloody war and ferocious Zionist repression that has intensified in recent days and in various prisons. Dozens of leaders are isolated for participating in the strike, including Ahmad Sa’adat, Marwan Barghouthi, Abbas Sayyed, Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Kamil Abu Hanish and dozens of others. This repression is reinforced by the prevention of legal visits in an attempt to cover up their situation and the circumstances of their confinement, while the occupation intelligence agencies continue to use techniques of psychological warfare in order to break the strike. This has only made the prisoners even more determined to continue the battle and confront these Zionist attacks.
To the Palestinian and Arab masses…
The Zionist occupation prisons are prisons of horror. There are tens of severely ill prisoners, some engaged in the strike and currently barred from treatment, suffering from the policy of medical neglect. The clinics that are supposed to be places of treatment and alleviation of pain are instead sites of abuse and suffering. The declaration of the occupation of the establishment of so-called “field hospitals” is either an attempt to better its image in the media, or to create sites of pressure on the prisoners to attempt to break the strike and carry out threatened forced feeding. A number of measures against the prisoners have recently escalated, including the closure of prisons, conversion of whole sections to collective isolation sections, massive bans on family visits and the imposition of thousands of shekels in fines on strikers.
Despite all these measures, we have also promised to you that we will not break or give in, and so from the womb of our suffering and despite the severity of repression, we will continue this battle until victory.
We in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine organization in Israeli prisons deliver this statement to Al-Mayadeen TV channel in the context of the escalation of the battle of confrontation with the occupation. We announce the enrollment of new batches of leaders and cadres in the coming hours will join the strike as well as prisoners from various political organizations. In this context, we emphasize the following messages:
First, to the masses of our people: continue with all your determination and strength in the field of escalation of the clashes with the Zionist occupation at sites of contact. We urge all forces, factions, youth, student and women’s organizations, and all sectors of our society in Palestine, in exile and in the camps to continue in this movement. We have full confidence in your great struggle and we are confident in your achievements.
Second, we take this opportunity on Al-Mayadeen to make a plea to the Arab masses and Arab parties, trade union and student and youth associations to build wider solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people and to take the issue of the prisoners to the street. We urge you to confront all attempts to divert your attention from the just cause of Palestine, especially normalization, which is a treacherous stab in all of our backs. Be with the cause of Palestine in heart and soul, and do not allow our people to be alone, we are part of you and your national role in supporting Palestine is critical.
Third, we call on the free people of the world to continue to develop their solidarity and support for the cause of the prisoners. We are very proud and happy when we hear of the events, sit-ins and solidarity actions in the capitals and cities of the world. We urge you to escalate this movement and besiege Israeli embassies and all complicit international institutions with the occupation to pressure them and deliver the message of the Palestinian people and the suffering of prisoners. This is also part of the work to hold the occupation accountable, including forcing the occupation to apply international conventions on prisoners and bringing occupation officials before the International Criminal Court for their crimes.
Finally, it is important for us to address these areas to a satellite channel of resistance and truth. Although the censorship and media blackout practiced by the occupation against us means that we cannot hear directly from this voice of resistance, we hear about you from our comrades and loved ones, and we hope you find a way to bring your free voice to us in the castles of struggle. In this context, we extend our appreciation and thanks to you on behalf of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Movement and on behalf of the PFLP in the prisons of the occupation for your keen attention to the cause of the prisoners. We hope this interest will be strengthened by dedicating even more space to this issue. You are an important voice for the masses and the people, confronting policies of submission and defeat that some are attempting to impose on our Arab homeland. We promise, according to the circumstances to continue to send our messages from the prisons through you.
To the masses of the Palestinian people and the Arab nation…
In this battle for victory and dignity, the Palestinian prisoners’ movement is on its way to a major strategic achievement and as promised, we will not hesitate to walk on thorns in order to win a decent place under the sun. This is our pledge and our promise to you.
May 11, 2017
PFLP: We stand behind Ahmad Sa’adat and the prisoners’ movement in the battle of dignity
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine salutes the legendary steadfastness of the revolutionary, the imprisoned General Secretary Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, continuing on his open hunger strike and presenting a solid model of struggle even in the most difficult of circumstances.
The Front confirmed that it stands with its leader, the leadership of the strike, and the Palestinian prisoners’ movement in the battle for freedom and dignity that they are waging in order to achieve their just collective demands. The occupation is attempting to abort the strike by imposing collective punishment on the striking prisoners in an attempt to exhaust them and undermine their resolve. These attempts will not achieve their goal, and the prisoners are determined to continue in this battle.
The Front also praised the spirit of national unity represented by Comrade Sa’adat during his legal visit today, including his confidence in his fellow strike leaders, in particular the leader Marwan Barghouthi. Sa’adat emphasized the tricks of the Zionist forces as desperate attempts to break the prisoners’ steadfastness and morale, and called all to beware of tricks and rumors marketed by parties, especially the occupation, in order to stop the strike.
The PFLP warns against attempts by some parties to circumvent the strike and open a dialogue with the occupation, emphasizing that the leadership of the hunger strike, as expressed repeatedly by the prisoners, is the only body authorized to represent the strike.
The Front also demanded the International Committee of the Red Cross carry out its humanitarian responsibilities in following up on the prisoners’ situation, especially the conditions of the strikers, and to clearly stand against the occupation’s violation of the prisoners’ rights, saying that the ICRC has abandoned its necessary role.
Further, the PFLP urged all of its branches and organizations in occupied Palestine and in exile that the battle of the prisoners is the number one priority until we achieve victory.
The Front concluded by emphasizing the need to continue to escalate this struggle and the popular national movement at all levels in support of the prisoners’ cause and this battle of dignity. On the anniversary of the Nakba and the displacement of the Palestinian people, the Front urges all to march and organize under the banner of “Return and Liberation.”