Empty Stomach Warriors (II): Bilal Thiab Chooses the Life He Wants to Live

Palestinian stone-throwers take cover behind a garbage bin during clashes with Israeli troops following a protest in support of Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike in Israeli prisons outside Ofer prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah 26 April 2012. (Photo: REUTERS – Mohamad Torokman)
Published Friday, April 27, 2012
Long and Hard Struggle: Bilal Thiab on 60 Days of Hunger Strike
Even as a young boy, Bilal Thiab despised authoritative oppression. He refused to listen to adults telling him off for innocent mistakes and later that personality trait solidified into one that openly challenged the men in uniform trampling on people’s freedom.
Thiab was just 18 years old and a high school senior when he was first arrested by the Israeli occupying army in October 2003 from his village of Kufr Rai. He was sentenced to prison for seven and a half years for what Israel called his “political activism in the Islamic Jihad group.”
When he was arrested, he defied the Israeli soldiers’ commands to look at the ground instead of at their faces, and when he refused they threatened to shoot him. Thiab was unshaken, and replied scathingly that either way, death is inevitable. These comments caused a significant amount of distress for his mother who was listening in on the exchange from the other room, confined there by the soldiers.
After his release in February 2010, life was never the same for Thiab. He was arrested for short periods of time and was repeatedly summoned by the Israeli intelligence for interrogations, which usually lasted for days. One interrogation in May lasted for seven days. Thiab was also arrested by the Palestinian Authority for 28 days, a subject his mother, 65-year-old Umm Hisham is not keen to discuss.

“There is no point in talking about this now,” she murmured, turning away with one hand on her face. “We need all the support we can get, from President Mahmoud Abbas and [Prime Minister] Salam Fayyad.” She looked up with a worn out smile. “He went on hunger strike for 14 days after the PA arrested him.”

Adjusting to “freedom” after prison was a hardship in itself, especially since Thiab found himself being constantly called for interrogations by Israel and intermittently, by the PA.

“He wanted to live his life the way he imagined, but couldn’t because the occupation stole any meaning of life from him,” Umm Hisham said. “He has such a strong respectable character, but he was denied leading a life any young man of his age should be able to, such as starting a family, going to wedding parties outside the village, and visiting other towns and cities.”

Thiab’s restricted freedom of movement was illustrated emphatically in January 2011, after he tried to go to Jenin to visit his sister-in-law after she had given birth to twin boys. A flying checkpoint was waiting for him just outside Kufr Rai, and he was subsequently strip-searched and detained for several hours before being sent home again. “He left prison for a bigger prison,” Umm Hisham underlined.
After apprenticing as a barber, Thiab opened a barbershop in his village. Barely 12 days later, he was taken away by Israeli forces yet again for interrogation, during which they goaded him and made fun of his profession. When he returned home, he never went back to his barbershop again.

On 17 August 2011, Thiab was hanging out with four of his neighbors on his brother’s roof. It was in the middle of the month of Ramadan, and the villagers have a habit of staying up late during the holy month. At 1am, sound bombs suddenly went off around the house, and the courtyard was rapidly swarming with a special unit of Israeli soldiers, all dressed in civilian clothes. Another group of soldiers, this time easily distinguishable from their uniforms, made their way up to the roof and detained all of the five young men. The soldiers then rounded up all the women and children into one room. Isam, one of Thiab’s brothers, was handcuffed in a different room, and the soldiers kept stomping on his body. The soldiers released the four men who were with Thiab, but handcuffed and blindfolded him and proceeded to drag Thiab on his knees to where the army jeep was standing, about 200m away.

Thiab went on 14 days of hunger strike in solidarity with Khader Adnan, and later for another 12 days in solidarity with Hana Shalabi. When the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) renewed his detention for another six months at the end of February 2012, Thiab immediately began his hunger strike with his friend and fellow inmate Thaer Halahleh. They were separated and placed in different cells, and when it became clear they were not going to end their hunger strike the IPS moved them both to solitary confinement. On March 28, Thiab and Halahleh were hospitalized, and are currently in the Ramle prison hospital.

Jamil Khatib, the lawyer for Thiab and Halahleh and other hunger strikers who have also been hospitalized, last visited them on Wednesday, April 25.

“On the 59th day of his hunger strike, Bilal’s health is at a very dangerous level,” Khatib stressed. “He has lost 25kg, has difficulty speaking, a low blood sugar level, and constant pain in his stomach. His hair is falling out, and suffers from frequent dizziness in addition to falling unconscious at times. He is very weak, and can’t move on his own.”

On Monday, April 23, the Israeli military court rejected Khatib’s appeal to release both Thiab and Halahleh. The next day, Khatib appealed to the High Israeli court in Jerusalem and demanded two things: to process the appeal as soon as possible, and to transfer Thiab and Halahleh to court in ambulances, not military jeeps.

Thiab and Halahleh have made it clear that they refuse to be exiled anywhere outside their own villages.

Khatib says that a deal to exile both prisoners in return for an end to their hunger strike wasn’t officially presented to him by the Israeli intelligence, since he has made it clear to them that he will not negotiate on this condition. Furthermore, Thiab and Halahleh have made it clear that they refuse to be exiled anywhere outside their own villages.

“I expect them to continue with their hunger strike, on the path that Khader Adnan spearheaded,” Khatib said. “They are determined to hunger strike until freedom or martyrdom. This is their latest message to us. They also ask for more positive support and for a clear strategy from media and organizations in covering their case.”
Azzam, another of Thiab’s brothers, is on his 30th day of hunger strike in solidarity with his brother, regardless of the fact that he is carrying out a life sentence since 2001.
“Bilal is the youngest of my 13 children,” Umm Hisham said. “His father died when he was 8 months old, so he was always spoiled by his brothers and sisters. I ask everyone, anyone whose human rights means something to them, to help us, to release Bilal, to free Bilal.”

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Jewish Man Exposes Israel’s Lies – The General’s Son

By Miko Peled | Miko Peled Weblog | Jan 14, 2012

As I write these words I am in Jerusalem and it is a cold, windy and rainy day. Yesterday at the protest in Nabi Saleh, facing the IDF terror squads and in full view of the villas of the settler terrorists, we were drenched in rain and then frozen by the cold wind. Some of the protesters, a group of young women who were gutsier than most, did not run like most of us but stood firm as the IDF terror squad operated its “Skunk” and sprayed them with a foul smelling substance that remains on the skin for days. Now, in this horrid weather, tweeting from the Mukata’a, young Palestinians are protesting against the useless, demeaning process of the PA negotiations with Israel.

The injustices all over Palestine are more obvious than ever. Israeli children in West Jerusalem get more of everything that Palestinian children in East Jerusalem, particularly if they live in Sho’afat refugee camp for example. Settlers in the West Bank can take the land of the people of Yanun in the West Bank at any time, and are not held back by any law while the people of Yanun have no law and no authority that protects their rights. People in Gaza are bombed and left to die as the world watches and here too there is no one to whom they can turn. Equal rights in a single democracy is the one demand that covers all the demands and deals with all the injustices.

The levels of injustice and despair here are only matched by the great possibilities that a single democratic state with equal rights offers to all people who live here. Equal rights means equal rights to land, water, immigration, education, work, and above all life. When the apartheid state of Israel is transformed into a single political entity with equal rights for all of its people, residents of Jenin and Deheishe will vote in the same elections as those in Tel Aviv. The results will then reflect the will of all people who live in Palestine/Israel, our shared homeland, not only the ruling class which happen to be Zionist Israeli Jews.

People often claim that it is an unrealistic, utopian dream and hope for a compromise, for a “moderate” Zionist government that will curb the settlers and reign back the army. However, it was a “moderate” Zionist government that allowed the settlers to terrorize Palestinians and take their land, it was a “moderate” Zionist government that attacked in and murdered innocents in Gaza, and “moderate” Zionists did nothing when less “moderate” Zionists continued to massacre in Gaza. The settler terrorists are the foot soldiers, they are the trail blazers of Zionism, they were created by “moderate” Zionist governments and are now being rewarded with villas on choice Palestinian land in the West Bank.

There are those who hope that if elected to a second term, President Obama will turn his attentions to Israel/Palestine but this is quite naive. Had he or any other president been serious about this issue they would have to come down on Israeli human rights abuses, denial of civil rights, incarceration of political prisoners and massive assaults on civilians resulting in thousands of innocent deaths. It is naive to assume that the political climate in the US allows any of these issues to be brought up. So anyone out there that is banking on a solution coming from the US, will surely be disappointed.

The quest for equal rights is not a easy one and will not be easily won. Indeed, any fight against the brutal militant Zionist behemoth is not easy and calls for great sacrifice. But the people in Palestine and abroad who are engaged in the struggle are dedicated and determined and if they put their minds and efforts towards a single demand of complete equal rights within a single democracy, they are sure to succeed.

Source and more at the weblog of Miko Peled.
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by the Editor
Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Biggest Hunger Strike Ongoing, One Pal. Transferred to Hospital

Local Editor

A Palestinian prisoner has been transferred on Saturday night to Ramleh prison medical center after twelve days of hunger strike.

Thaer HalahlaMohammad Halas is the latest prisoner to be transferred to the prison medical facility after his health began to deteriorate from the extended hunger strike in which he joined seven other long-term hunger strikers, including two that have had no food for sixty days.

1200 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike on April 17th, Palestinian Prisoners Day, joining eight prisoners who began hunger strikes in March. In the days since, they have been joined by hundreds more prisoners.

The West Bank-based Palestinian Prisoner’s Club said that 75 prisoners in one detention facility joined the strike on Saturday, in addition to another unspecified number of detainees in Ofer prison.

The open-ended hunger strikes are meant to challenge Israel’s policy of administrative detention.

Two prisoners, Thaer Halahleh and Bilal Diab, marked their 60th day of hunger striking on Saturday. Both men are facing organ failure and death in a matter of days, but have both pledged to continue their hunger strikes until death or until their release.

Palestinian Prisoners organization, Addameer, criticized the Zionist entity’s decision to transfer many of the prisoners on hunger strike to solitary confinement, where they have been held in violation of international law.

Source: Websites
29-04-2012 – 14:26 Last updated 29-04-2012 – 14:28

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Khader Adnan to Hunger Strikers: Go Forth and Be Victorious

Former Palestinian hunger strike prisoner Khader Adnan (L), a senior member of Islamic Jihad who was jailed in Israel, is greeted by members of the crowd in the village of Arraba near the northern city of Jenin, in the Israeli occupied West Bank on 18 April 2012. (Photo: AFP – Saif Dahlah)
Published Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Ramallah – Khader Adnan defied everything related to the Israeli occupation, its prisons, and jailers. He rose up against interrogators and informants, and against all kinds of intimidation and humiliation. He put his body on the line with a 66-day hunger strike until the occupation relented. Adnan spoke to Al-Akhbar about the details of his historic hunger strike.

Fadi Abu Saada: Why did you decide to go on the hunger strike the day of your arrest?

Khader Adnan: I decided to go on a hunger strike based on four main reasons. The first reason concerns the period before I was detained. There were several failed attempts to arrest me through requests by the Israeli secret service calling for a meeting. But I refused. Being humiliated and having to see Israel flexing its muscles does not disturb me at all.
The second reason concerned being abused during my arrest, including when the jailers assaulted me physically.

The third is the type and methods of interrogation.

The fourth and last reason is my repeated administrative detention without reason. My rejection of administrative detention complements my rejection of the occupation itself and my search for dignity which was stolen from us by the Israelis.

FAS:What is administrative detention?

KA: I believe Britain is responsible for this type of detention and its idea. It comes from the British mandate in Palestine. They used to call it the “emergency regulations.”
This type of detention starts with a letter from the intelligence officer in a particular region. He would send it to the region’s military commander requesting the arrest of a particular person based on “secret information” that cannot be divulged. In other words, it is “information received from a collaborator with the occupation.”
This type of detention can be renewed several times. In the case of brothers Mohammad Jaradat, Usama Barham, and martyr Ayman Daraghmeh, it was up to five or six years. Renewal is like a hammer hanging over the heads of the detainee and his family. The psychological torture has no equivalent and the worst thing is that the detainee and his family know that there will be no specific date for his release.

FAS: How did you spend your day during the hunger strike?

KA: I did not just stop eating. I also took a vow of silence for more than 20 days and refused to bathe for 65 days.
I prayed a lot and read the Koran when I was able to get a copy. I never slept during the day. People thought that was strange, but I preferred to sleep at night and wake up for morning prayers.
The daily search was always “amusing” because I used to confront the jailers who conducted the search.
FAS: How did they try to break your will and pressure you to end the hunger strike?

KA: They basically tried this by transferring me from one Israeli hospital to another for tests. First they took me to Ramleh hospital, then to “Tal al-Rabi” in Tel Aviv, then to occupied Jerusalem, then Safad, then the isolation in Ramleh again. It was very exhausting.
Then they turned the hospitals where they took me into courts for my case.
The main method they used was isolating me from the outside world and assigning three or four jailers in my room to pressure me.
They deliberately tied one of my hands and one of my feet for hours, even when I had to use the bathroom. They said it was so I would not escape, even though there is no window or exit anywhere.
The occupation soldiers tried to provoke me by turning my confinement cell into a “restaurant” full of all kinds of food that one might crave.
They tried to break my will but I was stronger, thank God.

FAS: What about threats to your family and friends?

KA: True, a secret service officer came to me and told me, “Say hello to your father.” He had said the same thing when they came to arrest me once. They threatened to arrest all my family and friends and actually arrested four of my friends from my town, Arrabeh, a few days before my release.

Occupation soldiers are not satisfied with all of that. They criminalize everyone who speaks about me or my experience.
The best example is what happened with the Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Hussein who mentioned me in his Friday sermon at al-Aqsa mosque.
The Israeli government responded by starting a felony case against him, as if he was a criminal, just because he spoke about me.

FAS: What do you say to the 2,000 detainees who followed your path and are now in their second week of a hunger strike?

KA: I tell them, go forth under the grace of God for you shall be victorious. You named it the “battle of dignity,” so do not fail your families or the remaining prisoners. Continue until you are granted your demands.
A hunger strike is a matter of destiny and it is of utmost importance. We ask God to grant us victory.
I conclude my message by saying, do not drop the banner of the eight knights, especially Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla. They have been on a hunger strike in detention for 58 days, continuing the battle of Sheikh Khader, Hana Shalabi, and the others.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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Number of Palestinian Prisoners Hunger Striking to Reach 3000

Local Editor

The number of Palestinian political prisoners, held by “Israel” in various prisons, detention camps and interrogation facilities, will likely reach 3000 as waves of detainees intend to join the strike, demanding their internationally-guaranteed rights.

In their battle of empty stomachs declared a week ago, Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike are escalating their move till achieving their goals.

Head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), Qaddoura Fares, told Maan News Agency that the first group of detainees, held under administrative detention without charges, have reached the “no return point” as they have been on hunger-strike since 56 days, and insist on not breaking their strike until they are released.

Fares added that “the second group of detainees has been on hunger strike since seven days now”.

The strike aims at ending “Israel’s” illegal administrative detention polices, halting all violations against the detainees and their families, improving the living conditions of the detainees , allowing visitation rights, ending all solitary confinement policies, allowing prisoners the right of education, and ending all night raids targeting them and their rooms.

“The current number of detainees who are on hunger-strike is around 1600, and will likely increase to 3000 in the coming few days,” Fares announced, clarifying that ” the striking detainees are from different political factions and groups.”

“They are all united in their legitimate demands regardless of their political affiliation,”he confirmed.

It is worth mentioning that “Israel” is conducting punitive measures against 1200 Palestinian detainees by denying their visitation rights, and isolating them from the detainees who are not part of the protests yet.

Furthermore, a spokeswoman of the “Israeli” Prison Administration, stated that “all privileges have been taken away from the detainees, including family visitations, and all electric equipment have been removed.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian national football squad detainee- who is four weeks on his hunger strike inside “Israeli” bars-is seriously ill.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by moqawama.org

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Palestinian Political Prisoners: Breaking the Chains of Oppression, Marching towards Freedom

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.

inside Abu Jihad Museum for Prisoners Movement Affairs
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.

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 an end to the policy of deliberate medical negligence.

One form of punishing Palestinian prisoners is medical negligence. Many prisoners suffer from cancer, heart diseases, high blood pressure, respiratory and kidney diseases, diabetes, severe inflammation, bone and skin diseases, paralysis, vision loss, dental problems and other malignant or chronic diseases. Some suffer from past injuries inflicted upon them by the Israeli occupation army during their arrest, or by the Israeli prison authority and the Israeli intelligence (Shabak) during interrogation and after it. Many await an inevitable death because of medical negligence, lack of appropriate medical treatment, medications and specialists to treat their cases. In addition to physical suffering, more than 40 Palestinian prisoners suffer from psychological ailments due to the interrogation methods used by the Israeli Shabak and the Israeli prison authorities, which include torture. Palestinian prisoners in need of medical treatment are denied appropriate and urgent medical care. Instead, they are punished with isolation, withholding or delaying the provision of medicine and treatment, thus contributing to the deterioration in their situation and leaving them to die a slow and painful death. Palestinian patients are treated either in the so-called prison clinics or are sent to the Ramleh prison “hospital”, both of which lack basic medical equipment and supplies and are run by military personnel with little to no medical training. They also get interrogated in the so-called prison clinics and are blackmailed into giving information. Patients are transferred in vans to the Ramlah prison “hospital” instead of in ambulances and they are hand and leg bound. They are also hand and leg bound during the operations which are often conducted without anesthetic. Those urgently in need of medical help have often to wait long before receiving any treatment, i.e. if they are lucky enough to get any treatment at all, and are treated with mere painkiller and other unknown medicines, no matter how severe the case is, while those who suffer from minor ailments end up with severe problems after they get “treated” at the so-called prison clinics. Raid Darabieh, 36 years old, from Jabalya RC, was diagnosed with kidney stones and was operated by the Israeli prison authority 4 times in the back and spine after the discovery of a tumor in the spinal cord. All operations failed, leaving Darabieh with open back-wounds and the loss of feeling in his feet, making him a cripple. Anas Shihadeh had an Appendectomy without any anesthetic being used, and during the operation his heart stopped beating 3 times. Nur Alasa, 23, suffered from kidney failure and cirrhosis of the liver after being given pills by the Israeli prison authority as treatment for his cold. Amna Muna, who was isolated and in need of an operation, was told to sign a document in which she refuses medical treatment in return for not being isolated. Amal Jum’a suffered from internal bleeding for 6 months, after which it was discovered she has uterine cancer. Israeli prison authority “refused to give her the necessary medical treatment, nor was a stretcher made available. This meant that other female detainees had to carry her on their shoulders in order to move her from one place to another, because her condition had deteriorated so dramatically that she was no longer able to move alone. During 66 days of interrogation, Samar Sbeih who was pregnant, was threatened with abortion, and when she was transferred to hospital to deliver her baby, she was hand and leg cuffed. Since 1967, at least 51 Palestinians held captive in Israeli dungeons were killed due to the deliberate medical negligence widespread in Israeli dungeons. Moreover, hundreds of detainees suffering from chronic diseases died shortly after being released from Israeli jails such as Walid Al-Ghoul, Abed Wahab Al-Masri, Talal At-Tahhan, Saleh Dardonah, Ahmad Khadra, Mahmoud Abu Mathkour. A number of Palestinian prisoners suffering from cancer were only released when their condition became hopeless and the Zionist entity wanted to avoid having the prisoner die in its jails and exposing the policy of deliberate medical negligence. Latest martyr is Zakariya Issa who was diagnosed with cancer, received no treatment inside Israeli dungeons and was only release when his conditional became hopeless. Issa died in January 2012, only a few months after his release. According to several Palestinian prisoner organizations, there are over 1000 Palestinian prisoners with medical problems, hundreds of them are in need of surgery.

inside Abu Jihad Museum for Prisoners Movement Affairs

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 an end to the policy of isolation.
Isolation is used by the Israeli prison authority to punish Palestinian political prisoners for protesting the inhumane treatment they receive on the hands of Israeli jailors, for demanding their rights, for being political leaders or for no reason other than persecuting and harassing these prisoners. Justifications provided range from “causing a threat”, “being dangerous” to having “influence” on other prisoners. Usually isolation orders are extended without reason and prisoners who are placed in isolation remain so for many years and have no access to other prisoners and no contact with the outside world. Isolation cells have an area of only 1.8m x 2.7m, including the WC. These cells are damp, badly ventilated. They have an iron door that is fitted with an opening for passing food to the prisoner and one small window close to the ceiling causing high humidity. Neither fresh air nor natural light enter the isolation cells. Prisoners are expected to live, cook, sleep, shower and excrete in these cells. There is almost no room for movement and little space for personal items. Palestinian political prisoner Abbas As-Sayid said that if Israeli jails are the graves for the living, then isolation is like abusing the bodies of the martyrs, adding that isolation is considered one of the harshest policies of punishment against political prisoners, leaving them to live in complete isolation in a cell to which no sun enters and that lacks ventilation and the minimum requirements. On 11.3.02003 six Palestinian female prisoners were punished by the Israeli prison authority with solitary confinement because they demanded the prison authority provide them with hot water for bathing during the cold season. Mousa Dudeen went on a hunger strike for 25 days to protest his isolation. His health deteriorated and he was promised an end to isolation if he ends his strike. Although he stopped his strike, he was sent to isolation again after some time. Ahlam At-Tamimi was isolated as a punishment for writing the names of all Palestinian female prisoners on a piece of paper for her lawyer during a visit. Currently, there are at least 19 Palestinian prisoners held captive in isolation cells by the Zionist entity.

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 an end to torture.

The Zionist entity uses torture systematically against Palestinian prisoners, including women and children. Confessions extracted under torture are admissible in Israeli courts, and Israeli interrogators use over 80 methods of physical and psychological torture, including severe beating, shackling, depriving the detainees of sleep, burning detainees with cigarettes, removing their nails, shabih, freezing or boiling baths, standing for long hours and sexual harassment. Palestinian female detainee Nili As-Safadi was locked up in an isolation cell for more than 45 days in Israeli detention center Bet Hatikva. The cell was dark, she didn’t get any proper food and wasn’t allowed to change her clothes for the length of her isolation. During the interrogation she was subjected to all forms of physical and psychological torture to force her into confessing. When she didn’t confess, her entire family and the family of her husband were detained. Later she was transferred to HaSharon prison in a journey that lasted 12 hours with her hands and legs bound and she wasn’t given any food or water. Iman Ikhlayyil was kidnapped at an Israeli military checkpoint on 20.06.2010, tortured by the Israeli soldiers during interrogations and had to be transferred to hospital twice. Maha Awwad described her time in the detention centre: she was kicked by one of the soldiers until she bled from her mouth, another soldier threatened her with rape, and when she asked for water to drink, a soldier urinated in a bottle and gave it to her. In addition, the Zionist entity imprisons Palestinian mothers, sisters and daughters, tortures them to force their relatives to surrender themselves to the Israeli occupation army or to force confessions out of their imprisoned relatives. Fathiya Swees, 57 year old mother, was detained on19.07.2010. Her sister Ikhlas, the wife of a prisoner, was also summoned for interrogation. Upon her release on 01.08.2010, Swees talked about being tortured, prevented from sleeping and forced to stand for long hours despite her bad health. She was threatened with the detention of all her sisters if she didn’t provide information. Since 1967, at least 70 Palestinians held captive in Israeli dungeons were killed due to torture used during interrogation.

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 their visitation right.

One method of punishing Palestinian prisoners that is favoured by the Israeli prison authority is reducing family visitation for Palestinian prisoners from 45 minutes to 15 minutes, or cancelling all visitations despite the hardships the families endure to reach the prisons. When a Palestinian child reaches the age of 16, he/she is prevented from visiting their detained parent anymore without special permits which aren’t easy to get. In addition, Gaza, Arab and many West Bank prisoners have been denied their visitation rights completely since over 6 years. Families of prisoners on their way to visit their imprisoned child are often abused and humiliated at Israeli checkpoints and parents are asked to undergo naked body searches. This forces many families to return without visiting their children. Sometimes, after this long and tiresome journey, parents reach the Israeli jail where their child is held, only to be told by the Israeli prison authority that the visit had been cancelled and to be turned back without giving a reason or any justification. Lawyers are also often prevented from meeting with Palestinian prisoners as a means of punishment to Palestinian prisoners. One other form of denying Palestinian prisoners their right to family visitation is through separating them from other family members also held captive by the Zionist entity. There are many cases of Palestinian prisoners who were imprisoned as well as other family members, such as their partners, children or their siblings, but were not allowed to visit them.

in front of home of Hasan As-Safadi, Nablus

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 an end to administrative detention.
The Zionist entity often kidnaps Palestinians from their homes and holds them in administrative detention. Administrative detention allows the Israeli military to hold Palestinians captive for up to 6 months which can be extended indefinitely without being brought before a judge or informed of the reason for their detention. Israeli prison authorities use administrative detention as prolonged detention, and over the years, thousands of Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for periods ranging from 6 months to over 8 years, without being tried or charged. In some cases, Palestinian detainees were held captive without charge or trial for 10 years and more. Ahmad Nabhan Saqer is being held in administrative detention since four years. He was detained 3 consecutive times and held each time in administrative detention, thus spending a total of 12 years in Israeli captivity without charge or trial. According to the orders governing administrative detention, Palestinians are tried by Israeli military courts consisting of a panel of 3 judges appointed by the Israeli occupation forces. These judges, who are authorized to approve or cancel the time of the administrative detention order, often have no legal background and thus don’t fulfill international standards for a fair trial. Since the beginning of Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000 some 20,000 Palestinians were held in administrative detention by the Zionist entity. Currently, 320 Palestinians as held captive as administrative detainees in Israeli dungeons.

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 an end to child detention.
Since 1967, the Zionist entity kidnapped and detained more than 800,000 Palestinians, including thousands of children. During Al-Aqsa Intifada more than 70,000 Palestinians were kidnapped and detained, including 8000 children. Palestinian children are kidnapped from their homes, from schools, while playing in the streets or at military checkpoints. They are blindfolded, shackled and taken into detention centers where they are separated from others. They are beaten, threatened, abused and subjected to all sorts of physical and psychological torture to extract confessions from them by the Israeli occupation soldiers and interrogators. During interrogation, they are not allowed to have any family member or a lawyer attending, and are forced into signing papers in Hebrew which they don’t know. Contrary to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which defines a child as being under 18, Israeli military orders consider a Palestinian child over 16 an adult, to be treated, tried and sentenced as such. In practice, Palestinian children as young as 12 or less may be detained, prosecuted as prosecuted as adults in Israeli military courts and by military officers who act both the prosecutor and the judge. Many of the children detained are subjected to administrative detention without charges or trial. Children who are charged often get harsh sentences for throwing stones such as 12 or 14 years, often without evidence or on false testimonies from the soldiers. These children are denied their basic rights and, like adults, are subjected to torture, threats, sleep deprivation, are blindfolded and have their hands and feet handcuffed, isolated, tortured with cigarette stings and razor blade cuts, shackled, receive freezing and boiling baths, have bags placed on their heads and tiny plastic bullets shot at them. They are locked up in over-crowded rooms, are deprived of edible food, drinkable water and many are deprived of their visitation rights and phone calls. They also suffer from medical negligence and bad nutrition. According to the Defence for Children International/Palestine Section (DCI/PS):

  • 90 Day: the period of time a Palestinian detainee, including a child, can be denied access to a lawyer and held in incommunicado detention (Military Order 378)
  • 20 Years: the maximum sentence that can be imposed on a Palestinian, including a child, for throwing stones (Military Order 378)
  • 188 Day: the length of time a Palestinian detainee, including a child, can be held in detention without charge (Military Order 378)
  • 2 Years: the period of time a Palestinian detainee, including a child, can be held between indictment and trial.

In recent years, mass arrests of Palestinian children have been on the rise. On 10.02.2010, and during a nightly military raid on Al-Jalazoun refugee camp in Ramallah, 19 children were kidnapped from their homes. They were beaten and harassed and the families report that the IOF used excessive force during the arrests. The children were then taken to a detention centre and interrogated without the presence of a lawyer or any family member. During another similar midnight raid, this time in Silwan in Jerusalem, several Palestinian children aged 12 to 15 were kidnapped from their homes. These were taken from their beds, handcuffed and transported to interrogation cells in the Maskubiyyeh and their parents were not allowed to accompany them. The children later testified that they were threatened and beaten during the interrogation. On average, 700 Palestinian children are detained yearly. Currently, there are at least 190 Palestinian children held captive in Israeli dungeons.

cemeteries of numbers © google images
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 protest Israeli “Cemeteries of Numbers”.
The Zionist entity, with its “most moral army in the world”, is the only entity in the world that not only punishes the living for seeking freedom and justice, but punishes the dead as well. This entity of terror tries and imprisons Palestinian martyrs, withholds their bodies and uses them as a bargaining chip. Some Martyrs are held captive in the morgues while others are buried in what is known as the “Cemeteries of Numbers”, which are secret cemeteries in closed military areas with bare graves surrounded by stones, and each grave has only a number for identification on a metal plate. The graves are not deep enough and the bodies are buried in shallow sandy areas making them an easy prey to land erosions and stray animals. There are no tomb stones, no names, only numbers given to the humans who have names, homes and families. Of the many cemeteries, 4 have been identified:
  1. A cemetery located near the Banat Yacoub Bridge in a military area bordering Lebanon and Syria. Allegedly it contains approximately 500 graves of Palestinians and Lebanese killed in 1982 and onward.
  2. A cemetery located in a closed military area between Jericho and Adam Bridge on the Jordan River. It is surrounded by a wall with an iron gate and a billboard inscribed “A Cemetery for the Dead of the Enemy”. It contains more than 100 graves bearing numbers from 5003 to 5007. It is unknown whether these are serial numbers assigned to individuals or, as Israel claims, administrative codes unrelated to the real number of buried bodies.
  3. The Cemetery of Refedeem in the Jordan Valley. No details unavailable.
  4. The Cemetery of Shuheitar, located near Wadi Al Hamam, a village north of Galilee. Most of the bodies in this cemetery belong to victims killed in the Jordan Valley in the years 1965 to 1975. In the north side of this cemetery, 30 graves are divided between two rows, while the remaining 20 are situated in the central area. Shamefully, all these graves are sandy and shallow, which when exposed to rain, allows bodies to be vulnerable and dragged by stray animals.

These martyrs were kidnapped after their death and their bodies held captive ever since. Many have been in captivity since decades, such as martyr Ali al-Ja’fari from Dheisheh refugee camp, who was killed while in Israeli detention during the Nafhah hunger strike in 1980. Some of the martyrs were “tried” after their death and “are serving their sentences”, such as martyr Mohammad Al-Mansi whose family was told that their dead son was sentenced to 14 years in jail. Other martyrs are imprisoned for no reason, families speculate because the bodies of their children show signs of execution and are withheld to conceal that or to hide the organ theft operations the Israeli army has been conducting for decades on Palestinian martyrs. Family members are either asked to identify the martyr but not allowed to take the body back home or are informed by the IOF that their child is dead and is kept in “detention”. This immoral violation is meant as a punishment, not only for the dead, but as a collective punishment for families who are not given the chance to say goodbye or cry at the tomb of their beloved one. These “Cemeteries of Numbers” represent the disrespect the Zionist entity has to all known humane values and principles. But it is not only the Zionist entity that is the criminal here, but the so-called free world that talks continuously of human rights and of human dignity but is blind and deaf to the immoral actions of the immoral Zionist entity. The martyrs must be respected and laid to rest in a dignified manner, not be held captive in their own homeland, and the families must be able to mourn their children and give them a decent burial.

At least 300 Palestinian martyrs are held captive in these cemeteries and morgues (list).

As Palestinian political prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons start a general open hunger strike, stand in solidarity with them, support their just struggle demand their freedom.

hunger strike martyrs © google images
A hunger strike is a legitimate form of resistance and protest used by Palestinian prisoners in the fight for their rights and to protest illegal detention, the inhumane conditions in Israeli dungeons, the baseless punishments, the policy of isolation, ill treatment and harassments. Through hunger strikes, Palestinian prisoners defy the jailors and the jails. Through their willpower and their unwavering determination, they tell the whole world: Yes to the pain of hunger… No and a thousand NO to the pain of submission. While some hunger strikes are open-ended and last until the prisoners’ demands are met, others are one-day hunger strikes to protest a certain policy or show solidarity with other political prisoners. There are general hunger strikes, where all prisoners in all Israeli jails take part, and partial hunger strikes where Palestinian prisoners in a particular Israeli prison declare a hunger strike to protest ill-treatment at that particular prison. Abbas As-Sayyid went several times on hunger strikes to protest his isolation and the inhumane treatment of Palestinian prisoners on the hands of Israeli jailors.

In May, 2011, he went on hunger strike for 23 days, during which no lawyer was allowed to visit him. He was transferred to hospital after his health deteriorated, nonetheless he went on with the hunger strike. On 20.06.2011, Atef Wreidat, 45 years from Ad-Dahriyyeh, was isolated, despite suffering from heart problems, high blood pressure and diabetes, and despite being desperately in need of an operation. He went on a hunger strike and refused to take his medication to protest the continuous delay of the heart surgery he desperately needs, the inhumane treatment and arbitrary measures against him by the Israeli prison authority and the policy of medical neglect. Wreidat was transferred to Ramleh prison “hospital” after his health deteriorated as a result of the hunger strike. On 27.06.2011, he ended his hunger strike when the Israeli prison administration promised to end his isolation and to transfer him to another prison, only to resume it 2 days later after being tricked by the Israeli prison administration. Instead of the promised transfer to another prison, Wreidat was punished with isolation and sanctions were imposed on him, including a 4-month ban on family visits and a fined more than $500.

Raja’ Al-Ghoul was kidnapped in the middle of the night from her home, was handcuffed and taken to Jalameh prison. Al-Ghoul was made to sit on a chair for a whole day with her hands tied behind her and was threatened with torture and the arrest of her husband to force confessions out of her. During the 25 days of interrogation she refused food and only drank water, and on the last day of interrogation she was placed in a very cold room, with one stone bed and a very stinky mattress. Al-Ghoul was told by the interrogators that she is to spend her detention time in that cold cell as punishment for not talking. When she still refused to talk, Al-Ghoul was transferred to a cell of Israeli criminal prisoners where she continued her hunger strike and refused to take her heart medicine. Upon the deterioration of her health, the Israeli prison authority was forced to transfer her to section 11 of the Tal Mond prison (for political prisoners). Palestinian prisoners went on general hunger strikes countless times to protest the inhumane conditions in Israeli prisons (more on hunger strikes).

Tzahi Hanegbi, former Israeli ministry for internal security, said in 2004 after Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails declared a hunger strike against the inhumane prison conditions: “They can strike for a day, a month, until death. We will ward off this strike and it will be as if it never happened. He has ordered large, open grills to be set up to barbecue meat and for bread to be baked just outside the prison doors, to torture prisoners with the smells. Prison guards are encouraged to eat all this in front of the fasting prisoners.” He later said: “for all I care, they can starve to death!” The Israeli prison authority often tries to break up these strikes by force, which has lead to the death of 6 prisoners. Hunger strike martyrs include:

  1. Abdel Qader Jabir Abu Al-Fahim, from Jabalia RC, Gaza, killed on 11.05.1970 during the Asqalan hunger strike.
  2.  Rasim Mohammad Halaweh, from Jabalia RC, Gaza, killed on 20.07.1980 during the Nafha hunger strike.
  3.  Ali Shehadeh Al-Ja’fari, from Dheisheh RC, Bethlehem, killed on 24.07.1980 during the Nafha hunger strike.
  4. Anis Mahmoud Douleh, from Qalqilia, killed on 31.08.1980 in Asqalan
  5. Ishaq Mousa Al-Maraghah, from Silwan, Jerusalem, killed on 16.11.1983 in Beir As-Sabi’.
  6. Hussein As’ad I’beidat, from Jerusalem, killed on 04.10.1992 during the Asqalan hunger strike.

prison martyrs © palestineposterproject.org

As Palestinian political prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons start a general open hunger strike, stand in solidarity with them, support their just struggle, demand their freedom and remember all Palestinian political prisoners killed by the Zionist entity.

Since 1967, at least 202 Palestinian prisoners have been killed by the Zionist entity while in captivity;

70 Palestinian political prisoners killed as a result of torture at the hands of Israeli military interrogators:

Yousef Al-Jabali, Mustapha Harb, Fathi Al-Natsheh, Younis Abu Sbeitan, Qasem Abu Aker, Ahmad Abu Amerah, Qasem Abu Khdeirah, Awn Al-‘Ar’er, Othman AlBahsh, Deeb Shtayeh, Hashim Karim, Salim Safi, Mustapha Al-Drabee’, MuhyiIldeen Al’Uri, Mohammad Wishah, Hassan Al-Sawarkah, Issa Abdel Hamid, Mustapha Al-Awawdah, Naser Aldeen Al-Shakhsheer, Fareez Tashtoush, Omar Shalabi, Salem Abu Sitta, Jamil Barakat, Fouad Hmed, Ahmad Dahdoul, Youssef Karim, Nasser Alheb, Said Abu Sitta, Faiz Al-Tarayrah, Salameh Hassouni, Husam Qar’an, Yacoub Dababish, Hamzah Abu Sh’eb, Khalil Abu Khadijah, Mahmoud Freitekh, Ghassan Lahham, Tariq Al-Hindi, Tariq Hammouri, Awwad Hamdan, Khadir Tarazi, Ibrahim AlRa’i, Iyad Aqil, Nabil Ibdah, Hani AlShami, Ibrahim Mutawwar, Mahmoud AlMasri, Jamal Abu Sharkh, Khalid Alsheikh Ali, Abdallah Alawneh, Atiyah Za’aneen, Ali AlShahid, Sami Zu’rub, Mustapha Akkawi, Ahmad Barakat, Samir Omar, Mohmmad Barbas, Haazim Eid, Mustapha Barakat, Ayman Barhum, Samir Salameh, Ayman Nassar, Mohammad AlJundi, Abdel Samad Hreizat, Ma’zuz Dalal, Majid Daghlas, Khalid Abu Dayyeh, Nidal Abu Srour, Ibrahim Abu Hawwash, Ali Abu Alrub, Wael AlQarawi.

74 Palestinian political prisoners killed in cold blood by the Israeli occupation forces after their detention:

Ahmad Al-Nuweiri, Kahlil Syam, Zaki Syam, Ahmad Abu Dayyeh, Yopusef ‘Asaliyeh, Ahmad Afaneh, Haris Abu Alhayyeh, Ali Abu Sultan, Samih Abu Hasaballah, Mohammad Khreizat, Hassan Abu Rukba, Khader Hilani, Bilal Burini, Jamal Qiblan, Mohammad Abu Jami’, Bader Karadah, Ibrahim Barad’ah, Yousef Al-Mughrabi, Hassan Abu Sh’era, Mahmoud Khalil, Jamal Thalji, Mustapha Yassin, Ali Julani, Issa Dabadbeh, Midhat Abu Dalal, Mohammad Hussein, Yousef AlSukarji, Jassir Samaro, Nasim Abu-Alrus, Karim Mafarjeh, Anwar Abdel Ghani, Abdel-Ghani Abu Daggah, Mahmoud Salah, Basim Abu Shihadeh, Khalid Awad-Allah, Ismael Zaid, Said Mahdi, Abdel Rahman Abdallah, Omar Musa, Ahmad ‘Ajaj, Azmi ‘Ajaj, Baha’ Sharqawi, Hazim Qabaha, Ala’ Khadriyeh, Yassin Al-Agha, Jadallah Shokah, Omran Gheith, Faiz Jabir, Mohammad Al’s’is, Jasir Hasaneen, Ahmad Atiyah, Abdel Afu AlQassas, Falah Masharqah, Qasem Al-Ja’bari, Mohammad Al-Khawaja, Walid Srouji, Hisham Abu Jamous, Sufian Al-‘Ardah, Tha’er Al-Mahdawi, Jamal Abu Mallouj, Iyad Al-Khatib, Ali Abu Hijleh, Nassar Abu Slim, Tariq Al-Hindawi, Mahmoud Kmel, Salah Sheikh Eid, Mazin Shabat, Salim AbulHija, Mahmoud Abu Hassan, Fawwaz Freihat, Obeidah Dweik, Izz Iddin Kawazbeh, Amjad Shilbayeh, Ziad Al-Julani.

51 Palestinian political prisoners killed as a result of the deliberate medical negligence widespread in Israeli prisons:

Khalil Rashaydeh, Abdelqader Abu Al-Fahim, Ramadan Al-Banna, Omar Awad-Allah, Omran Abu Khalaf, ‘Ajaj Alawneh, Nasser Hweitat, Farid Ghannam, Idrees Nofal, Rasim Halawah, Ali Al-Ja’farai, Anis Dawlah, Salah Abbas, Ali Al-Shatreet, Salim Abu Sbeih, Michael Lazaro, Isaac Maraghah, Mahmoud Najajrah, Qandil Abdel Rahman, Ata Ayyad, Mohammad Hammad, Abdel Min’im Kolek, Omar AlQasem, Muhammad Al-Rifi, Raeq Suleiman, Jasir Abu Rmeileh, Hussein ‘Abeidat, Yahya Natour, Ahmad Ismael, Riyad Udwan, Yousif Al’ar’ar, Mohammad Dahameen, Ahmad Jawabreh, Walid Amr, Bashir ‘Eweis, Fawwaz Al-Balbal, Mohammad Abu Wahdan, Bashar Bani Odeh, Jawad Abu Maghseeb, Suleiman Darabjeh, Rasim Ghneimat, Abdel Fattah Raddad, Jamal Saraheen, Mahir Dandan, Shadi Sa’aydeh, Omar Masalmeh, Fadi AbuRub, Fadil Shaheen, Jum’a Musa, Ra’id Abu Hammad, Mohammad Abdeen.

7 Palestinian political prisoners shot dead inside Israeli prisons by the Israeli prison guards:

  • – Assad Al-Showa from Gaza was killed on 16.8.1988 in Al-Naqab detention camp.
  • – Bassam Al-Somoody from Al-Yamon was killed on 16.8.1988 in Al-Naqab detention camp.
  • – Nidal Deeb from Ramallah was killed on 8.2.1989 in Majido prison.
  • – Abdallah Abu Mahruqa from Deir Al-Balaha was killed on 12.9.1989 in Ansar 2.
  • – Sabry Mansoor from Al-Jeep was killed on 7.7.1990 in Ofer.
  • – Musa Abdul Rahman from Nuba was killed on 18.1.1992.
  • – Mohammed Al-Ashqar from Sida was killed on 22.10.2007 in Al-Naqab detention camp.

And as we stand in stand in solidarity with All Palestinians held captive in Zionist dungeons, as we support their just struggle, and as we support their call for an open general strike and support their just demands, remember the 10 Palestinian political prisoners on an open hunger strike since over 7 days:

  • Bilal Thiab: on day 51 of open hunger strike against administrative detention.
  • Tha’ir Halahleh: on day 51 of open hunger strike against administrative detention.
  • Hasan As-Safadi: on day 44 of open hunger strike against administrative detention.
  • Omar Abu Shallah: on day 44 of open hunger strike against administrative detention.
  • Mohammad At-Taj: on day 33 of open hunger strike to demand recognition as POW.
  • Faris An-Natour: on day 30 of open hunger strike against administrative detention.
  • Ja’far Izz Iddin: on day 29 of open hunger strike against administrative detention.
  • Mahmoud As-Sirsik: on day 28 of open hunger strike against administrative detention.
  • Oday Daraghmah: on day 27 of open hunger strike against administrative detention.
  • Abdallah Barghouthi: on day 7 of open hunger strike against the policy of isolation.
  • Freedom for ALL Palestinian political prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons.
  • Freedom for ALL political prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons.
  • Freedom for ALL political prisoners held captive in the dungeons of occupation, oppression and dictatorship.

Freedom for Palestine from the River to the Sea.

To read more on Palestinian political prisoners:


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Khader Adnan into Freedom

Local Editor

Freed Khader Adnan Greets Hunger Strikers

 “Israeli” authorities released late Tuesday the former hunger-striking administrative detainee Khader Adnan.

According to the news agencies, Adnan arrived at his home in Araba in the northern West Bank to meet his family before returning to a tent reception where he spoke to well-wishers and officials in the village.
Hundreds of Palestinians chanted slogans in solidarity with prisoners as they welcomed the former detainee, whose 66-day hunger strike inspired others to protest administrative detention.

Khader Adnan, a member of Islamic Jihad, stands in a vehicle upon
 his arrival in the West Bank village of Arabe near Jenin after his release
Under the provision, “Israel” can imprison suspects indefinitely, without ever informing them of the charges they face or presenting their lawyers with any evidence. Over 300 Palestinians are held without charge in the Zionist entity.
Inspired by Adnan’s protest, the female former prisoner, Hana Shalabi, refused food for 43 days before the “Israelis” decided to deport her to Gaza, barring her from returning to her native West Bank for at least three years.

On Tuesday, at least 1,200 prisoners in “Israeli” jails launched an open-ended
hunger strike.
The prisoners joined the announced battle of “empty stomachs” on the Palestinian Prisoners Day Tuesday.

In parallel , Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip staged mass rallies in support of some 5000 prisoners held in “Israeli” prisons.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

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