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Palestinians and international activists maintain solidarity with hunger strikers

May 14, 2017 5:34 P.M. (Updated: May 14, 2017 10:43 P.M.)
Mural painted in al-Bireh in solidarity with Palestinian hunger strikers.
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Palestinians and international activists continued to show their support for a mass hunger strike underway in Israeli prisons that entered its 28th day on Sunday, by organizing actions in the occupied Palestinian territory and abroad.

Tens of Palestinians participated in painting a mural on the al-Bireh Cultural Center in the central occupied West Bank on Sunday, in collaboration with the al-Bireh municipality, the Islamic Charity organization, and the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs.

The mural was designed by contemporary artist Raed Qaraan in collaboration with students of Islamic School for boys and students of al-Bireh’s art academy.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian embassy in Italy organized a candlelit march in Rome on Saturday evening in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners, which coincided with a screening at the embassy of the film “Marwan,” about the life of imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi, who is leading the mass hunger strike.

Palestinian prisoners’ solidarity network Samidoun also reported Saturday that the Portuguese parliament had declared its support for the hunger strike.

According to the report, the Portuguese parliament approved on Thursday a text of solidarity with the more than 1,000 Palestinian political prisoners participating in the strike.

“They protest against the degrading conditions to which they are subjected, arbitrary arrests, torture and solitary confinement, medical negligence, humiliation, denial of basic rights such as family visits or education,” the declaration reportedly said.

“The struggle of these political prisoners is an expression of the long struggle of the whole people for freedom, against occupation and for their national existence. This form of struggle, now adopted by prisoners of all Palestinian political organizations, underlines once again the importance of solidarity with the Palestinian patriots imprisoned by the Israeli authorities.”

The statement also stressed that “Seventy years after the adoption of the Palestine partition plan and fifty years after the occupation of the West Bank of the Jordan River, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights in Syria, it is time for the Palestinian people to realize their inalienable right to the establishment of a free, viable and sovereign State.”

In addition, a statement from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign released Saturday said that activists in Scotland were continuing to escalate protest events to publicize and show support for the strike.

Some of the supporters were reportedly undertaking 24-hour fasts in solidarity with the prisoners.

A demonstration was held in Edinburgh last Friday, with demonstrations scheduled to take place in Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh in the coming days to coincide with a visit from Israel’s ambassador Mark Regev to Scotland.

Samidoun also reported that dozens of prominent South African figures, including a number of government ministers and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, were set to undertake a 24-hour fast starting Sunday evening.

In the Turkish city of Mersin, Palestinians organized a rally Saturday to mark the 69th anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe), emphasizing supporting for the hunger strike.

Dozens of other events are also scheduled across the globe.
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