Palestine and the Arab World

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It is not just Abbas who should be demanding prisoners release. It is every one of us !

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Palestinian prisoners’ struggle disappearing from mainstream narrative
Ramona Wadi
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 16:55
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Palestinian prisoners’ struggle disappearing from mainstream narrativeAfter Israel predictably failed to uphold its terms in the agreement, as confirmed by foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, to release the fourth group of Palestinian political prisoners, the Ma’an News Agency has reported that prisoners in Israeli jails are to embark on a series of protests. According to the undersecretary to the Minister for Prisoner Affairs, Ziad Abu Ein the protests could result in hunger strikes should Israel refuse to adhere to the agreement.

Pitting sensational symbolism against reality, the bargaining dynamics between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have revealed contempt and a disregard for dignity. While Israel exploited the previous releases as an excuse to consolidate its colonial expansion, the PA has effectively agreed to the further deterioration of the Palestinian territory and is attempting to project a dignified stance by a last resort attempt to seek international recognition – a move which will result in further oppression and fragmentation in the absence of unity and resistance.

Away from the propaganda surrounding the political agenda in relation to the US-brokered negotiations aimed at weakening Palestinians further, thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are rendered insignificant due to the lack of publicity surrounding their status. Israel’s normalisation of the humiliation suffered by Palestinians in Israeli jails is now reflected by widespread oblivion aided by media that capitalises upon sensation rather than freedom.

After the symbolism of unity personified by Samer Issawi’s hunger strike and negotiated agreement, the cause dwindled to a peripheral afterthought, exacerbated by the conscious division implemented by authorities. Despite the rampant imprisonment which has affected practically all Palestinian families, Israeli narratives of security concern have dominated the perspective concerning the humiliation. Continuous attempts by Palestinians to highlight incarceration and its ramifications are portrayed as a routine practice that garners predictable results of an endless cycle consisting of protests and retaliation by the military in the form of populating prisons with an additional batch of detainees.

The deaths of Palestinian prisoners due to untreated life-threatening illnesses or torture have the ability to ignite a temporary furore which is later replaced with dejection. Since Issawi’s release, his family has been subjected to increased hostility including the detention of his sister, Shireen Issawi, last month, who has now been transferred to HaSharoun Prison. The absence of a prolonged hunger strike, in this case, has made the narration less worthy of attention despite her relentless campaigning to ensure her brother’s freedom.

Such dejection renders unified mobilisation impossible, leading to a detachment that betrays the resilience embodied by Palestinian prisoners. A common trait of Israeli rhetoric is its contradictory implication; as it articulates its security concerns to Palestinian representation and the willingly susceptible international community, the settler-colonial state is also exhibiting an inherent fear; that of the Palestinian prisoners’ coordinated resistance as a threat which has the ability to transform oppressive incarceration into a national resistance.

Distancing Palestinians from the PA would cultivate what should be perceived as a natural dynamic. Extending resistance against colonial incarceration both within the confines of jails as well as within the wider struggle to dismantle the settler-colonial state would serve to deconstruct Israel’s self-bestowed impunity.


Written by uprisings230950

April 8, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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