The following statement was released by the Prison Branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on January 3:
The resolution of the government of the Zionist occupation with respect to the imposition of new sanctions on Palestinian prisoners comes in the context of the overall attack being waged against the Palestinian people, from the continuation of settlements, the Judaization of Jerusalem, the imprisonment of the bodies of the martyrs, to the daily attacks against our people and attempts to crush their ongoing resistance. The decision taken against the prisoners is an escalatory step as we have seen in the Nafha prison yesterday, with the isolation of a group of leaders, including the leader Comrade Kamil Abu Hanish. This action means that the year 2017 will be a year of confrontation inside the prisons. These sanctions will not pass! We will not accept these policies that attempt to divide the prisoners and engage in micro-targeting. We will face them united, and the prison sections will remain a square of confrontation and struggle.
The isolation of Comrade Kamil Abu Hanish, a leader of the PFLP Prison Branch, came in response to advanced discussions among the prisoners’ movement regarding preparation for an open collective hunger strike in the month of April. We will not sit back and allow our comrade to face the jailer alone, and we are demanding the immediate release of our comrade from the solitary confinement cells. We will not put up with this arbitrary measure and are committed to a revolutionary response.
- We are declaring a state of emergency in all prisons of the occupation and are preparing for the battle against the Prison Service in the coming days.
- We will not accept this arbitrary action which comes as a threat to the entire prisoners’ movement.
- It is important for activists outside prison to be prepared to support the prisoners’ movement.
- We call our comrades and friends to begin working to support the struggle, as we were together in the battle of freedom alongside comrade Bilal, we will be together with Kamil.
We know that 2017 will be a year of higher escalation in the prisoners’ cause, and in the confrontation against the Prison Service policies in all prisons. This requires all national and Islamic forces, related institutions and official Palestinian political bodies to act in this context. We reaffirm once again that the prison administration is preparing to target the prisoners’ movement in 2017, which calls for broader action and events inside and outside Palestine. In this context we urge the following:
1) Response to the decision of the Israeli government requires the formation of an inclusive national leadership framework on the Palestinian level as a whole to formulate a serious strategy to support the struggle of the prisoners at all levels. The cause of the prisoners is a key building block for unity, to escalate our pressure on the occupation.
2) Organize and build mass events in response to the actions of the Israeli government, as the expansion of the attack on and targeting of prisoners requires us to raise the level of confrontation by activating a variety of tactics anf forms of support for the prisoners. In this context we urge the organizing of activities and events under the slogan “Freedom for the prisoners,” in front of Ofer prison, Salem military court and the prisons in occupied Palestine ’48, as well as in the areas that have been subject to attack and villages threatened with land confiscation.
3) We urge the student blocs to form committees in the academic institutions and universities to organize and lead events in support of the prisoners and their struggle.
4) We salute the youth movement and the youth organizations and call on them to participate in the activities in support of the prisoners.
5) We emphasize the call for international action in solidarity with the imprisoned leader Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat and the need for broad Palestinian, Arab and international actions in solidarity with Comrade Sa’adat and all the prisoners in occupation prisons on January 13, 14 and 15, rejecting the occupation attacks against the prisoners and demanding to stop the policy of political arrests and security coordination.
We in the PFLP Prison Branch stand to confront this attack against the prisoners’ movement, the isolation of Comrade Kamil Abu Hanish and the threats of the Zionist occupier against the prisoners and the detention of the bodies of the martyrs. These attacks are an occasion for all of us to strengthen and expand the level of support for the prisoners’ movement.
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine