Palestinian political prisoners have always been on the front lines of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and liberation. On September 6, 2021, six Palestinian political prisoners managed to pull off the “Great Escape” from the notorious, high-security Gilboa Prison via an underground tunnel, liberating themselves and embodying and symbolizing hope and freedom for all Palestinians. On Friday and Saturday, four of the freed prisoners – Mahmoud Ardah, Yaqoub Qadri, Mohammed Ardah and Zakaria Zubaidi – were captured by Israeli occupation forces, while the other two remain free. It is urgent that we mobilize to defend Palestinian prisoners and protect our heroes, Mahmoud, Yaqoub, Mohammed and Zakaria, from the torture of the Israeli colonial regime.
Join us in taking action to contact your member of Congress and demand accountability and U.S. sanctions on Israel, including signing on to H.R. 2590, the Palestinian Families and Children Act! Read below for more actions you can take to support Palestinian prisoners struggling for freedom.
Ever since this heroic act of self-liberation, the Israeli prison authorities have engaged in mass torture and abuse of Palestinian prisoners and detainees: shackling them, unleashing police dogs and forcibly transferring at least 350 prisoners to maximum-security desert prisons and other unknown locations. Reports that have followed indicate occupation forces have since been engaged in punitive, retaliatory, and arbitrary measures against the over 4,700 Palestinian political prisoners. They have also arrested at least six relatives of the liberated six prisoners. These large-scale attacks by Israeli occupation authorities constitute collective punishment, which is a war crime prohibited under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association sent a letter to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), calling upon the ICRC to monitor and safeguard the rights of all Palestinian prisoners.
As Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network has noted, these policies have led to an uprising inside the prisons, and the prisoners’ movement leadership has affirmed “that any section that is invaded to transfer detainees will be met with fire.” Throughout villages and cities across occupied Palestine, people are taking to the streets to stand with the liberated prisoners and those resisting behind the walls.
At the same time, six Palestinian prisoners are continuing their ongoing hunger strikes, some for almost two months – Kayed al-Fasfous (for 59 days), Miqdad Qawasmeh (52 days), Alaa al-Araj (34 days), Hisham Abu Hawash (26 days), Raik Sadeq Bisharat (21 days) and Shadi Abu Aker (18 days). They are demanding their freedom from administrative detention, indefinite Israeli imprisonment without charge or trial.
Palestinian prisoners like Eyad Hreibat, suffering severely after years of medical neglect and mistreatment, and Israa Jaabis, seriously injured and denied the surgery and therapy she needs, continue to struggle for theire most basic right to health care. Their cases are urgent and their lives are at risk, and Palestinians and people around the world are engaging in widespread social media efforts for their liberation.
Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, joins with the calls from Palestine and around the world for all people of conscience to stand with the Palestinian prisoners movement and demand justice and liberation for Palestine, from the river to the sea..
We demand an end to administrative detention, an end to the medical neglect and mistreatment of Palestinians like Eyad Hreibat and Israa Jaabis, justice and liberation for all Palestinian prisoners. We must make it clear that the eyes of the world are on the prisoners of Palestine, especially Mahmoud al-Ardah, Yaqoub Qadri, Mohammed al-Ardah and Zakaria Zubaidi, and that we will not sit by in silence while our heroes and liberators are subjected to torture.
The liberated Palestinians of Gilboa prison represent the hope for Palestinians and those world wide struggling for freedom and liberation, and prove that even the world’s leading detention and surveillance technology as well as 73 years of colonization are no match for the human spirit and will to be free. The re-arrest of four of the liberated prisoners has done nothing to dispel their powerful message that Zionist military technology is no match for the Palestinian love for freedom and justice. Instead, it compels us even more to organize for liberation.
Join us! Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, calls for:
- Demand the U.S. Government Sanction Israel!
The racist, settler colonial state of Israel and its war crimes against the Palestinian people are enabled and backed extensively by the over $3.8 billion each year given to Israel by the United States — targeted directly to support the Israeli occupation military killing children, women, men and elders throughout occupied Palestine. Meanwhile, they also purchase billions of dollars in weaponry from the Israeli state. Call your Members of Congress and demand they sanction Israel now, cut off all aid, and stop buying and selling weapons!
As a first step, signing on to HR 2950, The Palestinian Families and Children Act, can help to protect some of the most vulnerable Palestinians. Get your representative’s contact information here and call them to pass on this message: https://secure.everyaction.com/p/eyChiMTsIkW5RprMqdjylQ2
- Join the Social Media Campaign!
There are many important social media campaigns to uphold the rights of Palestinian prisoners. These campaigns are drawing thousands around the world to join in the struggle for prisoners’ freedom. Take action to highlight the cases of Eyad Hreibat and Israa Jaabis and demand their freedom as well as the medical care they urgently need. Please share photos and stories of Eyad and Israa with the hashtags: #SaveIsraa and #SaveEyad.
The hunger strikers also need your support on social media! Post about their ongoing strike with these hashtags and demand their immediate release:
- Demonstrations, rallies and street actions – including actions to boycott Israel!
Call a protest action or educational event to free Palestinian prisoners, support the Palestinian struggle for liberation, stand with the Palestinian resistance and boycott Israel and its complicit corporations. Join the many protests taking place around the world — confront, isolate and besiege the Israeli embassy or consulate in your city or country of residence. Make it clear that the people are with Palestine and the liberated prisoners! There are actions happening around the world, including a New York City protest on Sunday, 12 September at 4:30 pm at Washington Square Park in defense of the prisoners. To join in: https://www.facebook.com/events/179710347568611/ and a San Francisco protest on Friday, 17 September at 4 pm at Montgomery Street Station. Join in: https://www.facebook.com/events/970809170444680/
- Creative Actions
Creative actions are a wonderful way to spread the word and highlight the struggle of the Palestinian prisoners. The banner hung by Samidoun España in Madrid at the University metro station highlighted the struggle of Palestinian students, while the campaign to symbolically rename streets after Georges Abdallah internationally commemorated his birthday and amplified the demand for his liberation. These actions only require one, two or a few people.
Get In Touch! Please contact us via email at email@example.com to let us know about your actions to support Palestinian prisoners.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. FREE ALL PALESTINIAN PRISONERS, FREE THEM ALL!
Additional actions in the coming days: