PALESTINE PRISONERS’ DAY. “. . . what of the chains chafing my wrists. . .” (Fouzi El-Azmar)

Palestinian prisoner in chains (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)
Palestinian prisoner in chains (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)

❶ Report: 7,896 PALESTINIANS inside Israeli jails
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Report: “Israeli Army Kidnapped and Imprisoned 1.000.000 Palestinians Since 1967”
❷ Premier Urges Int’l Community to Protect Rights of Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli Jails
❸ Take Action for Palestinian Prisoner’s Day
❹ Report: “509 JERUSALEMITE Palestinians, including 15 Women and 10 Children, Imprisoned by Israel”
❺ Opinion/Analysis: ON  PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS’  DAY,  ANTI-PRISON,  LABOR,  ACADEMIC  DELEGATION  TAKES  STAND  AGAINST  ISRAELI  STATE  VIOLENCE,  AFFIRMS  SOLIDARITY  WITH  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE
❻ POETRY by Fouzi El-Azmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
REPORT:  7,896  PALESTINIANS  INSIDE  ISRAELI  JAILS
Days of Palestine
MILITARY COURT WATCH
April 16, 2016
MCW reported Israeli Prison Service (IPS)’s statistics showing that there were 6,204 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip held as “security prisoners” in Israeli detention facilities by the end of last month.
___It said that this number included 438 children.
___Regarding children, the MCW said that there was an 8 per cent increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual increase of 94 per cent compared with 2015.
___These figures include seven children held under administrative detention. A further 1,692 Palestinians were held as “criminal prisoners” including 15 children.       MORE . . .

. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) REPORT:  “ISRAELI  ARMY  KIDNAPPED  AND  IMPRISONED  1.000.000  PALESTINIANS  SINCE  1967”
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
April 17, 2016
The Palestinian Detainees’ Committee and the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) have reported that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped around 1.000.000 Palestinians, including tens of thousands of women and children, since occupying the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in 1967. Two detainees died in 2015 due to being denied access to specialized medical treatment.
___In their joint report marking April 17, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, the Detainees’ Committee and the PPS said the Israeli army has kidnapped, since the beginning of “Al-Aqsa Intifada,” in late September 2000, until this day, more than 90.000 Palestinians, including 11.000 children, 1.300 women and girls, and 65 elected legislators and government ministers.       MORE . . .

❷ PREMIER  URGES  INT’L  COMMUNITY  TO  PROTECT  RIGHTS  OF  PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS  IN  ISRAELI  JAILS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 17, 2016
On the occasion of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah urged the international community to protect the human rights of Palestinian prisoners and detainees, especially the children who are subject to psychological and physical harm, said a statement issued on Sunday by the Premier’s office.
___”Israel’s policies of detention and imprisonment violate all international legal standards, and  are intended to obstruct the daily lives of Palestinians, in order to oppress an entire population,” the Prime Minister added.      MORE . . .

Twelve Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in protest of administrative detention, jail conditions. (Photo: Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Jan.18, 2016)
Twelve Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in protest of administrative detention, jail conditions.
(Photo: Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Jan.18, 2016)

❸ TAKE  ACTION  FOR  PALESTINIAN  PRISONER’S  DAY
Alternative Information Center – AIC
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
April 14, 2016
As Palestinians prepare to mark Prisoners’ Day on April 17, a day to be in solidarity with thousands of Palestinian political prisoners by demanding their freedom from Israeli jails, the US Campaign to End the Occupation launched a new website G4S Facts highlighting the various injustices perpetrated by G4S, the world’s largest private security company, in the United States, Palestine, and beyond.     MORE . . .  

❹ REPORT:  “509  JERUSALEMITE  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  15  WOMEN  AND  10  CHILDREN,  IMPRISONED  BY  ISRAEL” 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
April 17, 2016
The Jerusalem Detainees’ Parents Committee has reported, Sunday, that as the Palestinians mark the Prisoners Day on April 17, at least 509 Jerusalemite Palestinians are imprisoned by Israel, among them are 10 women, and 18 children.
___The committee provided the following information regarding Jerusalemite political prisoners, held by Israel.

    10 children under the age of 14.

118 children, above the age of 14, and below the age of 18.

MORE . . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis: ON  PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS’  DAY,  ANTI-PRISON,  LABOR,  ACADEMIC  DELEGATION  TAKES  STAND  AGAINST  ISRAELI  STATE  VIOLENCE,  AFFIRMS  SOLIDARITY  WITH  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
April 16, 2016
Recently returned from a ten-day trip to the Israeli-colonized Palestine, a US delegation of anti-prison, labor, and scholar-activists has issued the following statement to mark Palestinian Prisoners Day 2016.  The delegation included three former US-held political prisoners, and a formerly incarcerated activist, two former Black Panther Party members, university professors, prison abolition organizers, and trade unionists. . . .
___In recognition of International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners, the US Anti-Prison, Labor, and Academic Delegation is demanding freedom for the 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners currently held in Israeli jails and all those fighting for justice everywhere, including political prisoners in U.S. prisons.      MORE . . .

(Blogger’s note: This poem was written 45 years ago. Its timeliness today cannot be disputed.)

“TWENTY  COMRADES,”  BY  FOUZI  EL ASMAR

Beloved, you ask me
Of life in this prison, this cell
what of the chains
chafing my wrists
what of my food and drink
and the comrades of my cell?

Beloved, let me tell you:
Our clouds are indeed heavy
But our being here
is a smile of spring,
The shock of thunder
in autumn, after drought.
We are not defeated
Like our jailers.

Life in this prison, this cell
is a palm tree impregnated
at the dawn.
My chains are the round
echo of a muezzin,
Their clank is the ringing
of my people’s bells.

Beloved, you ask me
of the meaning of my food
Here beloved
we grow like the wild flowers.

And what of
my comrades
in this cell? You ask
They are the twenty candles
lighting the darkness of this cell
The twenty songs
shaking the walls of this cell
The twenty revolutions
that will eternalize this cell
And we, beloved
we shall not be stopped.  (June, 1970)

About Fouzi El Asmar.
El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
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