ISRAELIS HOLD BARBECUE OUTSIDE PRISON TO TAUNT PALESTINIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS ON HUNGER STRIKEnc4psouthafrica
Israelis have held a barbecue braai outside an Israeli prison to taunt #PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners who are currently on a hunger strike (for 17 days now) protesting their cruel treatment among other issues. The Israelis said that the prisoners “will enjoy breathing in the smoke and suffer from the smell of the meat, and [we will] show them that we will not give in to their whims.” (Click here for video).
This Israeli tactic is not new nor an isolated incident, a few years back Israeli prison officials themselves planned to grill meat near the cells of #PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners on hunger strike (click here). Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman has responded to the current hunger strike by saying: “I take the approach of Margaret Thatcher” in reference to the former British prime minister who notoriously allowed Irish hunger strikers to die in prison in 1981 (click here).
Meanwhile, events and activities in solidarity with #PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners is growing across the globe. In South Africa, a country where many of our people were also incarcerated as political prisoners, a coalition of organizations have come together in support of #PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners (click here). If your organization would like to support the #PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners send an email to PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners@gmail.com. If you are a former South African detainee or political prisoner and would like to support the #PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners please send an email with your name, surname and dates that you were incarcerated to PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners@gmail.com
FACTS & FIGURES: CLOSE TO A MILLION PALESTINIANS HAVE BEEN THROUGH ISRAELI PRISONS INCLUDING CHILDREN
There are currently over 6500 #PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners detained by Israel. Over the past 50 years, more than 800 000 Palestinians have been imprisoned or detained by Israel (about 40% of all Palestinian men living under occupation have at some point been detained by Israel). Virtually every single Palestinian family has been affected by Israeli imprisonment of a loved one. Click here for infographics.
Presently there are more than 500 Palestinians held under Israel’s “administrative detention” (equivalent of Apartheid SA’s “detention without trial”). 25 Palestinian journalists and 13 Palestinian parliamentarians are also currently being incarcerated in Israeli prisons. Israel is also holding 300 Palestinian children (some as young as 13 years old). In the last one year alone Israel has arrested more than 400 Palestinians for social media posts.
A mass hunger strike was launched on Monday 17 April by #PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners demanding, among others, family visits, appropriate medical care, ending abusive conditions and stopping the use of solitary confinement and administrative detention (Israel’s imprisonment on secret information without any charge or trial).
Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti (dubbed the Palestinian Mandela), writing in the New York Times, explained the reason for the current hunger strike by #PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners:
“I was only 15 when I was first imprisoned. I was barely 18 when an Israeli interrogator forced me to spread my legs while I stood naked in the interrogation room, before hitting my genitals. I passed out from the pain, and the resulting fall left an everlasting scar on my forehead. The interrogator mocked me afterward, saying that I would never procreate because people like me give birth only to terrorists and murderers.
The eldest of my four children is now a man of 31. Yet here I still am, pursuing this struggle for freedom along with thousands of prisoners, millions of Palestinians and the support of so many around the world. What is it with the arrogance of the occupier and the oppressor and their backers that makes them deaf to this simple truth: Our chains will be broken before we are, because it is human nature to heed the call for freedom regardless of the cost.”
Following Barghouti’s article Israel placed him in solitary confinement. Click here to read the full text of Barghouti’s New York Times article.