Palestinians Hold General Strike ‘Like First Intifada’ to Support Prisoners

  • A poster depicting Ahmed Saadat, jailed leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is seen as shops are closed during a general strike.

    A poster depicting Ahmed Saadat, jailed leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is seen as shops are closed during a general strike. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 April 2017
Palestinians say the streets have been so empty, they are reminiscent of the First Intifada, when Palestinians held general strikes beginning in 1987.

On the 11th day Thursday of the historic, mass hunger strike launched by over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, thousands of Palestinians in launched a general strike in solidarity across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, shutting down their public transportation services, shops, businesses, banks and schools.

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Hunger-Striking Palestinian Prisoners Begin Refusing Water

The strike was held just one day before the Fatah movement’s call for a Day of Rage on Friday, in which Palestinians are expected to clash with Israeli forces in order to show their solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners’ movement.

Palestine’s Ma’an news service reported that during the strike, the streets were so empty, they were reminiscent of the First Intifada, which started in 1987, when Palestinians held general strikes as part of a coordinated civil disobedience campaign against Israeli forces.

On Tuesday, the National Committee to Support Hunger-Striking Prisoners also called on Palestinians to boycott Israeli products, adding that Palestinian merchants should stop selling Israeli products.

“As the freedom and dignity battle continues, the (Israeli) occupation escalates its discourse and oppressive measures against our children and our heroes who are fighting this saga,” the support committee said in a statement. “To help them remain firm, it has been decided to completely boycott Israeli goods in Palestinian markets.”

RELATED:
Over 1,000 Palestinian Prisoners Launch Mass Hunger Strike

That same day, a number of prisoners being held in solitary confinement in Ramla prisons had stopped drinking water as well.

According to Qaraqe, Israel Prison Service officials have continued to punish participating prisoners for their strike, including preventing them from accessing commissaries to purchase salt — as some prisoners are only consuming salt and water — giving them only dirty sheets and covers and carrying out provocative search raids of prisoners’ rooms.

Last week, Israeli authorities had begun cracking down on the prisoners, forcibly moving many to different sections of Israeli jails, confiscating their clothes and personal belongings and preventing lawyers and family members from visiting them in jail.

Throughout the world, many groups have expressed their solidarity with the strikers, with near-daily rallies continuing to take place in Palestine.

Ma’an-Al Jazeera
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Israel threatens to kill Islamic Bloc representative

Image of Israeli occupation forces [File photo]

Image of Israeli occupation forces [File photo]
27
SHARES

The Israeli Occupation Forces have failed, this morning, for the third time in a week to detain the representative of the Islamic Bloc at An-Najah University, Mumin Sabbah.

Mumin Sabbah representative of the Islamic Bloc at An-Najah University [Safa]

A Safa correspondent said that a large number of troops from the Israeli army raided Sabbah’s house in the town of Asira Ash-Shamaliya, on the outskirts of Nablus. They left the house in ruins and handed his family members notices for questioning to pressure Sabbah to hand himself in.

The commander of the area threatened to kill Sabbah if he doesn’t hand himself in.

The Israeli forces tried to arrest Sabbah two days before the student council elections when a “counter-terrorism unit” raided the Rafidia neighbourhood in Nablus, but they failed after being exposed.

The army forces also raided his family home twice.


The innocent imprisoned. Movement restricted. Trade suffocated. Homes demolished. Human rights abuses are rife in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We do not take a position on issues of statehood.

We stand with those demanding that all sides respect human rights, and that perpetrators of human rights abuses are brought to justice.

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