PSC Statement: Dignity Won – The struggle continues
On May 27th, after 41 days on hunger strike , Palestinian prisoners suspended the strike after Israeli authorities yielded to the demand to enter negotiations with the prisoners’ chosen leaders.
Issa Qaraqe, director of the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Commission , speaking on May 28th declared that “80 percent of the demands” of the prisoners were achieved in the strike, calling it “an important achievement to build on in the future on the basis of the protection of the prisoners’ rights and dignity.
In recognition of this victory PSC and organizing partners called off the actions planned for Tuesday May 30th including a solidarity fast and rally outside of the BBC
It is appalling that over 1500 people had to place their lives at risk to be granted basic human rights such as proper medical care and family visits. But the hunger strike was of course about more than that. It was an assertion of the broader Palestinian struggle for freedom equality and justice. The hunger strike has been an action which has galvanized Palestinian society and emphasized the centrality of the Prisoners movement to the struggle of the Palestinian people as a whole.
In the UK our immediate focus must now turn to the election campaign and to ensuring that we all put every effort into ensuring that the cause of Justice for the Palestinians is not lost in the fog of election debate. To date over 1000 have contacted candidates in our vote Palestine campaign.
Let us remember the words Marwan Barghouti sent out to the world as he entered the 6thday of the hunger strike :
“I call on you to stand up for those thrown into dark cells to be forgotten. I call on you to support the legitimate demands of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and to uphold international law. I call on you to support the freedom and dignity of the Palestinian people, so peace can prevail.”
Ben Jamal, Director Palestine Solidarity Campaign