The campaign in solidarity with imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Sa’adat, held a series of events across Gaza and the West Bank on Thursday, as part of a national day of action on October 22, 2009 in solidarity with Sa’adat.
Jamil Mizher, speaking on behalf of the PFLP at a rally in Gaza at the International Committee of the Red Cross, said that the crimes against Sa’adat are the responsibility of Israel, the U.S., the British and the Palestinian Authority, saying that Sa’adat was kidnapped from PA jails by the occupier on March 14, 2006, and since that time, has been subjected to the crimes and abuses of the occupier. Mizher said that the General Secretary and the PFLP were stabbed in the side by the Palestinian Authority, who rather than protecting the resistance, criminally arrested and jailed him for four years.
Mizher emphasized that the PA and the U.S. and British governments, who guarded Sa’adat and his s in the PA Jericho prison, bore direct responsibility for the life of Sa’adat, saying that his abduction from Jericho prison on March 14, 2006 would have not succeeded witout the complicity of the U.S. and British governments and the acquiescence of the Palestinian Authority.
He called upon all Palestinian forces to take up the example of Sa’adat and the prisoners for national unity based on firm adherence to Palestinian national rights and principles, saying that it is not possible to be silent about what is happening in the Palestine Liberation Organization in reckless disregard for our people and their sacrifices, including the meeting of PA President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) with Netanyahu and Obama, his action to postpone the Goldstone report on Israeli war crimes at the UN Human Rights Council, and his ongoing involvement in indirect negotiations with the U.S. and Israel while the fascist Netanyahu regime continues its crimes against our people. He called for the rebuilding of the PLO on a fully inclusive, national and democratic basis including all factions, ending all forms of negotiation with the enemy, building a political strategy based on adherence to national principles, forcing open the crossings and lifting the siege on Gaza, and holding accountable those who perpetrated the crime of deferring the Goldstone report.
He also called upon the Hamas movement to put the national interest first and focus on the importance of establishing national unity on firm principles.
Dr. Khaled al-Batsh of the Islamic Jihad movement spoke on behalf of the National and Islamic forces, calling for all Palestinian military factions to resume the capturing of Israeli settlers and soldiers to secure the release of our prisoners, stressing that prisoner exchanges have been the best option for liberating our Palestinian prisoners.
The Prisoners’ Commission of the National and Islamic Forces issued a statement for the rally, saying that the occupation will stop at nothing in its attempts to break the resilience and will of the prisoners’ movement for freedom, using all means of repression, oppression, torture, racism and fascism. It emphasized that the policy of isolation is an attempt to hide Palestinian national leaders and symbols like Sa’adat and cut their communication with the people, but that such attempts are doomed to failure. Furthermore, it said, the Israeli court decisions are not legal or legitimate, but are instead a sham and a mockery of justice that are part and parcel of the occupation’s war against our people and our resistance.
In Tulkarem, the national campaign to defend Sa’adat held a sit-in in solidarity with Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners, at the International Committee for the Red Cross on Thursday, October 22, 2009.
Palestinian national and Islamic factions joined in the rally, as did International Solidarity Movement members, students, and supporters of Sa’adat, as protestors carried Palestinian flags, PFLP banners and pictures of Sa’adat, while chanting to end isolation and free all of the Palestinian prisoners.
Speakers denounced the isolation policy, demanding the trial of the occupation leaders in international courts as war criminals, calling upon all international bodies to expose and prosecute the criminal occupiers, saying that this policy is meant to break the will of Palestinian national leaders, but is doomed to failure, noting that Sa’adat has spent years in the prisons of the occupation resisting the torture and abuse of the criminal occupier and has remained an icon of steadfastness and firm adherence to Palestinian national rights and principles.
In Al-Khalil, the committee for solidarity with the imprisoned leader, Ahmad Sa’adat held a rally at the International Committee of the Red Cross simultaneously with the illegitimate military court in Bir Saba, rejecting the policy of isolation against our prisoners and our national leader and demanding the freedom of Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners.
Hundreds of people of Al-Khalil, including political leaders, human rights institutions, women’s groups, and student organizations marched to the ICRC office, carrying pictures of Ahmad Sa’adat and banners demanding an end to isolation and abuse by the occupation prison authorities.
Abdel-Alim Dana called upon all international institutions and Arab lawyers to work on the issue of Palestinian prisoners and their struggles against isolation and for the freedom of Sa’adat and all prisoners.
He demanded the prosecution of the Israeli war criminals for their attacks on our people and our prisoners in all international courts and forums.
Fahmi Shahin, speaking on behalf of the national forces, said that Arab silence on Israeli crimes and its protection by the United States allows these crimes to continue with impunity against our people, calling for the broadest Palestinian, Arab and international action to free Palestinian prisoners.
On Wednesday, October 21, an outdoor rally was held in Ramallah at Manara Square, where Abdel Rahim Mallouh, spoke about Sa’adat and his constant struggle, saying that Sa’adat and the prisoners are leaders and examples of national unity and national dignity, and adherence to national rights including the right of return and self-determination, calling for all to walk in the path of the prisoners.
Dr. Zulfiqar Sweirjo, of the Voice of the People radio station in Gaza, said that 14 radio stations in the West Bank and Gaza will participate in the day of action with Sa’adat and the prisoners, saying all will air several hours of content dedicated to exposing the practices of the occupation against the prisoners, emphasizing that the political prisoners are a national constant and a source of steadfastness and national strength. He called for the broadest Palestinian, Arab and international media campaign to focus on the struggle of Palestinian prisoners.
Abdel Nasser Ferwana, a researcher on Palestinian prsiners, said that visibility for the struggle of Sa’adat is a necessity, as silence and inattention allow the occupier to get away with its crimes against Sa’adat. He urged the broadest participation in the campaign from national and Islamic factions, mass organizations, human rights institutions and civil society.