Abdil Rahim, Ziyad, Zayid, Sleiman, Omar, Zaky and Yousif carried their small lunch bags with a few bread loaves, a tomato and a sardine can, and said goodbye to their families in the early hours of Sunday 20.05.1990. It was very early in the morning, the sun hadn’t risen yet, and the refugee camps were engulfed in total darkness. The usually busy and noisy narrow roads and alleys were empty and quiet. The children were still asleep and dreaming of the toy and the colouring book their fathers will bring them back from work. The young women were still asleep and dreaming of the ring and the necklace their fiancés would buy so they could finally marry. The wives sat near their sleeping children and dreamt of the meat their husbands might bring back from work so they could cook a decent meal for the family. The mothers sat in the darkness, watching their children leave to work, and prayed that they reach their working place safe, find a job for the day and get paid so they can repair the leaking roof before the next winter. As they watched them disappear in the darkness, they prayed that their children come back safe to their homes and to their families. The roads and alleys of the refugee camps were quiet and empty, except for the sounds of the marching Israeli occupation soldiers, patrolling the open-air prisons, and holding the entire Palestinian population hostage to occupation and oppression. The roads and alleys of the refugee camps were quiet and empty except for the footsteps of the workers, heading to work in the early hours of the morning, hoping to find work that day, and thinking of their children, their mothers, their wives, their fiancés and hoping to be able to bring back toys, colouring books, food, a necklace and ring and enough money to fix the roof before the next winter. Continue reading
My name is Falasteen,
I am the land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. I am the home and only home to my children the Palestinians. Poets celebrate my beauty, my culture and the courage of my children. Painters sing to me their love, devotion and yearning. Al-Quds is my beating heart. Haifa is my pearl on the Mediterranean. Yafa is my heaven of oranges and Jasmines. Acca is my haven of white domes. Beer Is-Sabe’ is my princess of A-Naqab. Nablus is my mountain of revolution. Gaza is my dignity, my courage and my steadfastness. Jenin is my resistance, my home of legends. Safad is my daughter reaching out and embracing the sun. Al-Khalil is my guardian of glory. Beesan is my home of history, my roots reaching deep in time. Beit Lahim is my oasis of tranquillity. Ar-Ramlah is my endless love of the olive tree. Tabaria is my home of revolution against oppression. Tulkarim is my sea of green and golden meadows. I am the mother of thousands of villages and towns and Bedouin localities. I am the mother of 531 villages and towns that were erased off the world map, but not erased from my heart. I am the mother of 531 villages and towns forgotten by the world, but engraved in the collective memory of my children. I am the mother of 531 villages and towns demolished and turned into ruins, but every stone is waiting to be rebuilt, every home waiting to be brought back to life. I am the mother of tens of thousands, of millions of Palestinians. I am the mother of the martyrs, the prisoners and the revolutionaries. I am the mother of the farmers, the fishermen and the workers. I am the mother of the writers, the poets and the painters. I am the mother of heroes, the mother of legends, the mother of a mighty people. I am the mother of those steadfast in my land, caring for the land, protecting the land. I am the mother of those holding on to the gun, to the stone, to the slingshot. I am the mother of those raising my four colours high in the sky, celebrating my red, my green, my white and my black. I am the mother of a people who refuse to surrender, refuse to forget and refuse to forgive the injustices done to me and to them. I am Palestine. Continue reading
I saw her during a protest in support of Hana’ Ash-Shalabi. She was sitting, surrounded by protesters, too weak to stand, and holding a poster of Hana’. People around her tried to convince her to go home and eat or at least drink something. She looked at us and shook her head: ‘This is the least I can do. Hana’ is on hunger strike in an Israeli dungeon. She is on hunger strike for justice and for her dignity, for the dignity of all of us. Hunger striking in solidarity with Hana’ is the least I can do.’ She sat there, surrounded by mothers, grandmothers, daughters, comrades, and held tighter to Hana’s poster, as if protecting her, saving her from the jailors, taking away her pain. I watched her, held tighter to my poster of Hana’ and thought of Hana’ in her dungeon; Hana’ the refugee who never saw her hometown Haifa (the only time she was allowed into Haifa, she was on hospital bed to be treated after her health deteriorated due to her hunger strike), and I looked at this woman, this elderly woman who was kicked out of her village 64 years ago, and who is hunger striking in solidarity with a fellow Palestinian. They never met, but like every Palestinian mother, Hana’ was her daughter, and like every Palestinian, Hana’ was her sister, comrade and friend. On another day, in another protest tent, I looked at the mothers, every one of them hugging the framed picture of her detained child. Some held two pictures, others three. One of the mothers hadn’t seen her son in over 27 years. She sat in a wheel chair, her body weak, but her spirits high and she hopes to see her son before she dies. When I asked her about her health, she smiled and said: ‘Alhamdullilah ya binty’. Continue reading
As Palestinian political prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons start a general open hunger strike, stand in solidarity with them, support their just struggle and demand their freedom.
The indigenous people of occupied Palestine have been held hostage by a brutal military occupation, and confined to ghettos build in their own land. The Palestinians are held captives in their own homes, towns and villages, with military checkpoints locking them up, controlling and limiting their movement, and surrounded by Zionist colonies built on the ruins of Palestinian villages and on the bones of the Palestinians. They are held captives in their in their own homeland, in their homes and in Israeli dungeons. Every week, tens of Palestinians are kidnapped from their homes, workplace, schools and at checkpoints. Sometimes the detained are released after a few days, after a few weeks or remain in captivity indefinitely. Currently, over 4700 Palestinians are locked up behind Israeli bars, and the Zionist entity violates their rights on a daily basis. In addition to torture, physical and verbal abuse, repeated attacks and humiliation, Palestinian political prisoners suffer from medical negligence and are denied proper nourishment. Cells are daily raided and searched, often at night, and the private property of prisoners is destroyed or confiscated. They are tied up for hours under the hot sun or under the rain, are deprived of sleep, isolated. They are forced to buy their own food and water for extremely high prices from the prison canteen and to pay for the water and electricity they consume. Israeli raids are carried out on a daily bases in occupied Palestine. Since 1967, Israeli occupation forces kidnapped and detained more than 800,000 Palestinians, including 15,000 women and thousands of children. During the First Intifada, at least 116,000 Palestinians were kidnapped and detained, including at least 3000 women. During Al-Aqsa Intifada more than 70,000 Palestinians were detained, including 900 women and 8000 children. On average, 9000 Palestinians are detained yearly, including 700 children. Currently, the Zionist entity holds 4700 Palestinians captive in Israeli dungeons, including:
8 Palestinian women.
190 Palestinian children.
320 Palestinian administrative detainees.
19 Palestinian held in isolation cells.
27 members of the Palestinian Parliament
1000 Palestinian prisoners in need of medical care.
120 Palestinian “Veteran Prisoners” who have been locked up in Israelis jails since before 1994, including:
59 Palestinian “Deans of Prisoners” who have spent 20+ years inside Israeli jails.
23 Palestinian “Generals of Patience” who have spent 25+ years inside Israeli jails. Continue reading
Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike: The Struggle for Freedom, for Justice, for Palestine Continues
In messages to the Palestinian people and the free people of the world, Palestinian administrative detainee Ja’far Izz Iddin called for more support and solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners, particularly with administrative detainees, until they are all free. Determined to continue his open-ended hunger strike, Izz Iddin said that he will not be broken or defeated and that it is either victory and freedom or martyrdom: “Our detention is unjust and illegal just like the occupation is illegal, thus I will not retract from the battle for freedom until administrative detention is abolished … Because our demands are legitimate and just… Because administrative detention is void and prohibited by international humanitarian law, we are determined to resist it and to reject it… it is either victory and freedom or martyrdom”. Today, Ja’far Izz Iddin is on his 23rd day of open-ended hunger strike in protest of his detention without charge or trial. When on 21.03.2012 his house was raided and he was kidnapped blindfolded and handcuffed, the Israeli occupation army officer who dragged him from the midst of his family told Izz Iddin:”you organize solidarity activities with Khader Adnan, and today we will send you to jail to join him in solidarity”. Izz Iddin is only one of at least 13 Palestinian prisoners and detainees currently on an open-ended hunger strike in Israeli dungeons. The latest to join the struggle for freedom is isolated prisoner Abdallah Barghouthi who started his hunger strike today to protest the policy of isolation. According to Palestinian prisoners’ sites, the following prisoners/detainees are on hunger strike: Continue reading
On 04.08.2011, Haj Ibrahim Atallah closed his eyes for the last time. He was over a 100 years old, and from what I’ve heard, he closed his eyes unwillingly, for he had yet so much to fight for, so much to give to the land that has given him and his family so much. Haj Atallah was from a small village in the Bethlehem area called Khirbet Ish-Sheikh Zakariya, locally known as Beit Iskarya, probably to differentiate it from the not-far-away Zakariya that was ethnically cleansed in 1948. Beit Iskarya lies in the middle of the illegal Gush Etzion Zionist colony bloc which consists of 22 illegal Zionist colonies and outposts built on 70,000 dunums of stolen Palestinian land. The Palestinian village itself is totally besieged by at least 5 of the Gush Etzion colonies: Bat Ayin from the west, Rosh Tzurim from the north, Neve Daniel from the north east, Elazar from the east and Alon Shvut from the south east. These colonies are strangling the village, stealing its land and that of other Palestinian villages and slowly devouring them. They divide Beit Iskarya’s land into two and the only road connecting the village to the outside world passes through this Zionist colony bloc, where often, Beit Iskarya residents, especially students on the way to school, get attacked and beaten by the Zionist colonists. But despite all settler attacks and the continuous threats, Haj Atallah remained steadfast in his land: he planted the land, cared for it and kept it green against all odds. He taught his children that nothing is more valuable than the land itself, and he refused all the enticements offered by the Zionist entity to sell his land or give up even one iota of its earth. He refused to allow them to create another Palestinian-free zone in the heart of Palestine. Continue reading
Today, 24.03.2012, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli dungeons joined in a general one-day hunger strike against the policies of isolation, medical negligence, the prohibition of family visits and against the arbitrary so-called administrative detention. The strike, which is part of a wide-scale struggle programme is also in solidarity with Palestinian detainee Hana’ Ash-Shalabi who is today on her 38th day of open-ended hunger strike against administrative detention. Further strike steps include a general strike on Wednesday and Saturday of next week. An escalation in the type and range of protests is expected during April 2012. On the evening of Friday 23.03.2012, Palestinian hunger striker and administrative detainee Tha’ir Halahleh was transferred to prison hospital after his health deteriorated. Halahleh has been on hunger strike for 23 days, in protest administrative detention and in solidarity with fellow administrative detainee and hunger striker Hana’ Ash-Shalabi. His lawyer said that despite his deteriorating health condition, Halahleh refuses to stop his hunger strike and will continue the struggle against his arbitrary and illegal detention. Currently, there are at least 25 Palestinian prisoners on hungers strike protesting administrative detention, the inhumane treatment inside Israeli dungeons, medical negligence and isolation. They are divided into 3 groups:
1. Hunger strikers against the arbitrary so-called administrative detention: The illegal policy of administrative detention allows the Israeli military to hold Palestinian prisoners indefinitely without charge or trial. Israeli prison authority uses administrative detention as prolonged detention, and in some cases Palestinian detainees are held captive without charge or trial for 5 or even 10 years.
2. Hunger strikers in solidarity with Hana’ Ash-Shalabi and against administrative detention.
3. Hunger strikers demanding that Palestinian prisoners be treated as POW and as freedom fighters: International affirms the right of peoples to defend themselves against foreign invasion. UN Resolutions such as UN Res. 2787 of 1971 affirms the “legality of the people’s struggle for self-determination and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation”… “the inalienable rights of … the Palestinian people, to freedom, equality and self-determination, and the legitimacy of their struggles to restore those rights. [It is] man’s basic human right to fight for the self-determination of his people under colonial and foreign domination.” Accordingly, these hunger strikers demand that Palestinians held captive by the Israeli occupation be treated as POW. Continue reading
Dear Mother Palestine,
On Mother’s day, as the Hannoun wakes up, and as the almond tree blossoms and you wear your green and red dress, we celebrate you. On this day, we celebrate the land, our heritage and our home, we celebrate you mother Palestine, the mother of us all. We celebrate your daughters: our mothers, our sisters, our comrades, who have carried the flame of resistance, protected it and kept it burning. We celebrate your daughters: the martyrs, the prisoners, the injured, the revolutionaries, the workers, the farmers, we celebrate Palestinian mothers. We celebrate your daughters: the mother of the martyr, the mother of the prisoner, the mother of the injured, the mother of the revolutionary, the mother of the worker, the mother of the farmer, the mother of every Palestinian. On this day, as we celebrate the mothers of Palestine, I write to you and to your daughters who are now with you, who have become part of you. On this day, I write to Palestinian mothers who sacrificed their lives for you mother Palestine, those who sacrificed their lives for us. Today, I write to the mothers who were killed while protecting their children, their homes and their land. On this day, I write to the mothers who were killed by Zionist terror gangs, by the brutal occupation with its bullets, tanks, drones, its dungeons, siege and its network of death-traps. I write to the mothers who are always on our minds, whose names we have printed in our memory, whose stories and sacrifices tell your story mother Palestine. Continue reading
Joining the on-going struggle against the inhumane conditions inside Israeli dungeons and against the policies of administrative detention, medical negligence and isolation, it was reported today that 47 year old administrative detainee Ahmad Nabhan Saqer has started an open-ended hunger strike in protest of administrative detention. Saqer is the longest serving administrative detainee, and has been locked up behind Zionist bars without charge or trial since 28.11.2008. Only some days ago, 75 year old Ahmad Haj Ali, the eldest administrative detainee, had also joined the struggle against administrative detention and is today on his 5th day of hunger strike. Al-Haj Ali, who is an MP, has been in a renewed administrative detention in Majido dungeon since 9 months and suffers from diabetes and heart problems. There are currently around 310 administrative detainees held captive in Israeli dungeons. The illegal policy of administrative detention allows the Israeli military to hold Palestinian prisoners indefinitely without charge or trial. Israeli prison authority uses administrative detention as prolonged detention, and in some cases Palestinian detainees are held captive without charge or trial for 5 or even 10 years. Currently, there are over 20 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike protesting administrative detention, the inhumane treatment inside Israeli jails, medical negligence and isolation. Continue reading