Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, led a new group of leaders in the prisoners’ movement into the Strike for Dignity on Thurday morning, May 4, along with fellow leaders Hassan Salameh, Abbas al-Sayyed, Comrade Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Zaid Bseiso, Bassam Kandakji, Tamim Salem, Mahmoud Issa, Nael Barghouthi, Said Tubasi and a group of fellow leaders. Dozens of cadres of the PFLP, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Democratic Front and the People’s Party are also collectively joining the strike.
Comrade Abu Ahmad Fuad, the Deputy General Secretary of the PFLP, said that “the leader Ahmad Sa’adat joining the Strike of Dignity is a living lesson in courage, will and determination and a model of steadfast leadership. This step is not strange for this selfless leader, and it will add to the escalation of the ongoing strike for the past 18 days.” He urged the supporters of the Front and the Palestinian people to engage with suporting the battle of Comrade Sa’adat and all the prisoners in Israeli jails engaged in this heroic battle of dignity, saying that their empty stomachs come in a heroic epic of defiance of the jailer.
“Comrade Abu Ghassan, we are all with you and behind you and all of the prisoners, the leaders Marwan Barghouthi, Hassan Salameh, Nael Barghouthi, Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, and all of the prisners engaged in this battle of dignity…no matter how the Zionist enemy intensifies its pressures and practices, your will, steadfastness, resistance and confrontation are the only road to victory,” said Abu Ahmad Fuad.
He urged mobilization in every city, village and refugee camp in Palestine and in exile, emphasizing support for the battle of the prisoners inside Israeli jails, a battle of the entire Palestinian people. He also demanded that Palestinian Authority president Abu Mazen listen to the message of the Palestinian prisoners and their battle rather than the absurd illusions of negotiations with the US administration.
The Prison Branch of the PFLP issued a statement on this occasion, following the isolation of Sa’adat, Abu Ghoulmeh, al-Sayyed and other leaders by occupation forces once they joined the strike:
With the continuation of the battle of dignity waged by the prisoners for the 18th day consecutively, the confrontation is escalating with a new group of leaders of the national and Islamic movement joining the strike. These leaders are led by Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, leaders and strugglers Abbas al-Sayyed, Hassan Salameh, Ziad Bseiso, Comrade Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front, Bassam Kandakji, member of the Central Committee of the People’s Party, alongside a constellation of freedom fighters who have begun the strike. These leaders have made a critical choice to engage in the hunger strike as the most effective weapon in the hands of the prisoners’ movement to protect the culture and road of resistance. The leaders joining the strike is a step toward closing ranks and cutting off any attempts by the occupation prison authorities to undermine the strike and try to split the unity of the prisoners. The battle and its results in this conduct can have a real positive impact on the prisoners’ lives and the prisoners’ movement in general. This will not be the final battle, but lead to many to come, expanding the scope of confrontation within the framework of a comprehensive national program to counter the policies of the right-wing fascist occupation state of the Zionist entity, which confirms daily through its words and actions that we must escalate the pace. We are confident that the Palestinian people, to whom we pay our deepest respect and appreciation, will always be the supporters and strugglers on the ground to support the prisoners’ movement.
We in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine organization in Israeli jails emphasize the following:
1) The risks we face on the 18th day of the strike reflect an increased risk to the lives of the prisoners, especially given the threats of the occupation government and its practices of suppressing the prisoners. This includes the plans of the prison administration to prolong the strike and the use of the policy of force-feeding prisoners, including the preparation of a military field hospital for this purpose, and to expand the isolation of the leaders of the prisoners’ movement on hunger strike. This happened today to the leaders Ahmad Sa’adat, Abbas al-Sayyed and Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, and also includes the isolation of the prisoners generally from all external communication. These measures are a preliminary step to besiege the prisoners and try to isolate them, and this is what the prisoners’ movement will bravely confront together.
2) This stage of the strike depends mainly on the steadfastness of the striking prisoners to expand the scope of the popular confrontation on the ground, so that there are confrontations at all locations of contact with the occupation, on a daily basis, at checkpoints, in front of the prisons, and on the bypass roads to settlements, as well as events and mass rallies in the rural areas, the villages and threatened lands. The expansion of the actual practice of daily mass struggle is the main guarantor to resolve the battle in the shortest period of time in the favor of the prisoners’ movement.
3) We emphasize the message of national unity represented by the strike, which we see as a positive step to overcome the state of division and its consequences. We confirm the necessity to end the state of division, which requires an end to the ongoing Palestinian Authority security coordination and prosecution of and restrictions upon strugglers. The path of resistance is the only real alternative to achieve our freedom.
In conclusion, we reiterate our assertion that this battle of dignity will escalate, and we expand our calls for the need to activate the popular struggle in connection with this development, which will shorten the period of the strike.
The leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine branch in Israeli jails
The eighteenth day of strike
May 4, 2017