The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat – Leader of the PFLP
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat – Leader of the PFLP
Netanyahu’s Campaign to Kill Ahmad Sa’adat
Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat transferred to Ramle prison hospital from isolation in Ramon
For all it’s talk of ‘Islamo-fascists’ and similar nonsense, the main enemy of the Zionist movement and the Israeli State has always been the Left within the Palestinian movement.
That was why, in the 1980’s the Israeli State and Shin Bet in particular, lent a helping hand to the Gazan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, helping it form Hamas and releasing Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Left and socialists movements among the Palestinians had the possibility of appealing not only to fellow oppressed Arabs vs their corrupt and collaborationist regimes, but they could also talk the same language as Israeli workers and socialists.
The Zionist movement has always sought to confessionalise the opposition so that it could better portray it as an implacable enemy. Hamas always served there purposes admirably until, under pressure from Palestinians, it began to transform into a religious-nationalist movement, but still with the same reactionary politics. Today it is simply inarticulate and has little or nothing to say when it comes to the problems of the region, Israeli society or indeed a solution to the Palestinian question. It can’t even decide whether it will make peace with Israel – at least not officially.
That is why the torture and killing of the leader of the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is important. Ahmad Sa’adat was kidnapped by Israel in Jericho after British and other foreign forces abandoned the prison there and allowed them to capture him. Ahmad Sa’adat was accused of particpating in the assassination of the leader of Moledet, the Party of Transfer, which was untrue but in Israel truth and lies are merely facets of what is most convenient at a particular time.
SEE BELOW TO TAKE ACTION! Sign a letter demanding the Israeli state implement all of the demands of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners.
Ramon prison management transferred hunger striking Palestinian prisoner and leader, Ahmad Sa’adat to Ramle prison hospital on Sunday, April 29. Sa’adat is General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and has been in isolation for over three years in Ramon prison. He has been on hunger strike since April 17 with now over 2000 Palestinian prisoners.
PFLP prisoners were previously offered that Sa’adat’s isolation would be ended in exchange for them ending their hunger strike, which the prisoners refused, saying they are committed to achieving the full demands of the strike in unity with all prisoners, including ending all isolation, ending administrative detention, and supporting rights to family visits, education and media for prisoners.
Sa’adat has lost 6 kilograms so far on this hunger strike, which comes only short months after his last extended hunger strike, from September 27-October 20, calling for an end to isolation and solitary confinement. Hundreds of prisoners joined this strike, which ended with false Israeli promises to end isolation which were then ignored following the prisoner exchange. Sa’adat lost tens of kilograms during the previous strike.
Sa’adat was abducted in 2006 from the Palestinian Authority’s Jericho prison, where he had been held with five other prisoners, including four of his comrades under US and British guard since 2002. His imprisonment had been ruled illegal by the Palestinian High Court and he was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council while held in Jericho. On March 16, 2006, Israeli occupation forces attacked the prison and abducted Sa’adat and his fellow prisoners. He is now one of 19 Palestinian prisoners in isolation.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued a statement in response to the news that Sa’adat has been transferred to the prison hospital, saying that the PFLP “holds the occupation government fully responsible for any consequences to the life of General Secretary Sa’adat and all of the heroic prisoners fighting the battle of open hunger strike in order to meet their just demands, particularly ending solitary confinement. We have great pride in national leader Ahmad Sa’adat, who is locked in the battle of open hunger strike….we confirm our full support of the prisoners’ movement strike…and we call for the widest movement on all levels to support the prisoners in their strike in the prisons of the occupation and force their demands to be accepted.”
A press conference was held on Sunday evening at Wattan Media Centre in Ramallah to draw attention to Sa’adat’s health situation. Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council with the PFLP, said that “the prisoners on hunger strike must not be harmed. The occupation state knows very well that our people are capable of protecting and responding to dangerous threats to our prisoners and leaders.” She called on Palestinian political leaders to act immediately and rapidly to protect the prisoners, and to immediately end all forms of security cooperation with the occupation. She also called for Arab countries that have ties with the occupation state to break them immediately and expel the ambassadors of the occupation.
Jarrar said that Sa’adat was transferred without anyone’s knowledge to the prison hospital, something only discovered when a lawyer sought to visit with him at Ramon prison. She also noted particular concern for the health of the brave strikers Thaer Halahleh and Bilal Diab, who have been on hunger strike for 62 days. She noted that isolation is one of the most urgent reasons for the strike, saying that it is one of the most dangerous actions by the Prison Service against leaders, including Mahmoud Issa who has been isolated since 2002.
Abla Sa’adat, Sa’adat’s wife, said that her husband would not end its strike until its goals were achieved including ending solitary confinement and allowing family visits for prisoners from Gaza that have been prohibited for six years. Sa’adat spoke about her husband’s last message, emphasizing the need for unity to support the prisoners. She expressed serious concern for her husband’s life, noting that this is his second time on hunger strike in six months. She called for the Palestinian people and their supporters everywhere to join in events and actions in support of the prisoners, saying that such action is important to the success of the strike.
Issa Qaraqe, the Minister of Prisoners’ and Detainees’ Affairs, called for the UN General Assembly to convene a special session to take up the case of the prisoners. He noted that the Israeli government is fully responsible for the humanitarian disaster that may come to the prisoners and that the occupation state is committing crimes against prisoners through arbitrary laws and racist, unjust, cruel and inhumane treatment. He said that the strike would continue to grow in the next week, which would bring an explosion to the Palestinian streets.
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat is re-circulating the following action calls from theSamidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, and encourage all to take action to support the brave prisoners once more putting their bodies on the line for their freedom and the freedom of Palestine:
1. Sign a letter demanding the Israeli state implement all of the demands of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners.Tell the Israeli Prison Services that the world is watching! Click here to sign.
2. Join a protest or demonstration for Palestinian prisoners. Major marches will take place in Edinburgh on April 28, at 12 noon, assembling at Charlotte Square; and in London on April 28 at 4 pm, across from 10 Downing Street. Organizing an event, action or forum on Palestinian prisoners on your city or campus? Use this form to contact us and we will post the event widely. If you need suggestions, materials or speakers for your event, please contact us at email@example.com.
3. Contact your government officials and demand an end to international silence and complicity with the repression of Palestinian political prisoners. In Canada, Call the office of John Baird, Foreign Minister, and demand an end to Canadian support for Israel and justice for Palestinian prisoners, at : 613-990-7720; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. In the US, call the office of Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs (1.202.647.7209). Demand that Jeffrey Feltman bring this issue urgently to his counterparts in Israel.
4. Write to the International Committee of the Red Cross and demand they uphold their duties to protect the rights of Palestinian political prisoners. Click here to sign a one-minute letter and make your voice heard!
5. Distribute materials, including factsheets and videos, telling the story of Palestinian prisoners. Click here for videos and here for factsheets.
Prisoners of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Mejiddo prison rejected an offer by Israeli prison officials to end the isolation of Ahmad Sa’adat on the condition that they end their hunger strike on Saturday, April 28, reported Fuad al-Khafsh of Ahrar Centre for Prisoners.
Israeli prison officials approached PFLP hunger strikers in Mejiddo, offering to end the isolation of Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the PFLP, who has been held in isolation cells for over three years. Sa’adat’s isolation was one of the main triggers of the September-October 2011 hunger strike among Palestinian prisoners that inspired the ongoing wave of hunger strikes. This open-ended hunger strike, which launched on April 17, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, began with 1600 hunger strikers and has grown by hundreds daily, with a thousand more expected to join in the coming week. It includes prisoners from all Palestinian political parties and factions, and demands an end to isolation, end to administrative detention, and access to family visits, education and media.
In response to this offer, the PFLP prisoners refused to end the strike, saying that “the issue of isolated prisoners is a single case and cannot be divided. It is not for the end of isolation of Sa’adat only but for all prisoners.” Khafsh said to Safa agency that Israeli occupation officials have presented similar offers to prisoners fom different factions in an attempt to foment disunity among the prisoners, and has failed in such attempts.