“. . . The twenty revolutions that will eternalize this cell . . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

Aug. 19, 2016, Philadelphia: Friday Protest: Free Bilal Kayed! End Administrative Detention! (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)
Aug. 19, 2016, Philadelphia: Friday Protest: Free Bilal Kayed! End Administrative Detention! (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)

❶ Palestinian released, placed on house arrest after serving 14 year sentence in Israeli prisons
❷ Palestinian PM Office: Israel’s ‘horrific treatment’ of Bilal Kayid amounting to ‘torture’
❸ Seven Palestinians arrested in WB, Jerusalem
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  “HUNGER STRIKE: STILL AN EFFECTIVE MODE OF RESISTANCE FOR PALESTINIAN PRISONERS?”
❺ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PALESTINIAN RELEASED, PLACED ON HOUSE ARREST AFTER SERVING 14 YEAR SENTENCE IN ISRAELI PRISONS 
Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 24, 2016
An Israeli judge Tuesday ordered the release of a Palestinian from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukkabir who was redetained four days after being released from a 14-year sentence in Israeli prisons, according to local sources.
___Israeli Magistrate Court’s judge ordered the release of Jerusalemite prisoner Sufian Fakhri Abdo from Israeli prison and imposed 14 days of house detention and a 10,000 shekel ($2,653) fine on him.  MORE . . .

❷ PALESTINIAN PM OFFICE: ISRAEL’S ‘HORRIFIC TREATMENT’ OF BILAL KAYID AMOUNTING TO ‘TORTURE’
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 23, 2016
The Palestinian Prime Minister’s office called on Tuesday for the immediate release of Bilal Kayid, saying that Israel’s “horrific treatment” of the hunger-striking prisoner amounted to “torture.”
___Kayid has been on hunger strike for 70 days after Israeli authorities sentenced him to administrative detention — internment without trial or charges — on the day he was scheduled to be released from prison after serving a 14-and-a-half year sentence.  ___Kayid has since been hospitalized after his health severely deteriorated. However, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) has kept him shackled to his hospital bed and has had guards surrounding him at all times.     MORE . . .    

❸ SEVEN PALESTINIANS ARRESTED IN WB, JERUSALEM
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 24, 2016
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested on Wednesday morning seven citizens in raids to different parts of the occupied West Bank.
___The public Israeli radio said that the occupation forces accused four of the detainees in involving in “terrorist actions.”
___Local sources said that Israeli forces raided several houses in the town of Halhul in Hebron, and arrested three citizens identified as Abed Jnazrah, Ayman al-Omran, and Ali Sarayaa.       MORE . . .

❹ Opinion/Analysis: “HUNGER STRIKE: STILL AN EFFECTIVE MODE OF RESISTANCE FOR PALESTINIAN PRISONERS?”
Bailey, Pam.  Washington Report On Middle East Affairs 33.3 (2014): 21-22.

Prisoners are perhaps the most powerless individuals in the world. They are at the mercy of their captors–deprived of freedom of movement, stripped of virtually all personal resources, limited in communication with the outside to rationed, supervised moments.  ___But the human spirit is not easily extinguished and, particularly when people are imprisoned for their belief in a cause, the natural leaders among them fight back with what little they have: their brains and their bodies.
[. . . .]   The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association has joined the World Organization Against Torture to express concern about their health and harsh treatment, as well as call on international activists to protest to Israeli authorities. Meanwhile, the Israeli government is considering a new rule that would allow the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners whose lives are in danger. Israel had previously stopped the practice after three prisoners died as a result.
[. . . . ]  Sometimes, however, what seems like individual wins can carry larger symbolism–as in the case of Samer Issawi. Over the course of a partial hunger strike of 266 days, Issawi lost half his body weight and suffered numerous health problems–yet rejected offers to release him if he agreed to be deported someplace other than East Jerusalem. By insisting on going home, he captured the hearts of activists and caught the fickle media’s attention–and won.
___”My victory was a Palestinian victory that proves nothing is impossible in the face of our will,” he says now. “If I had to do it over again, I would, because nothing is more valuable than freedom.”     FULL ARTICLE . . . . 

“TWENTY  COMRADES,”  BY  FOUZI  EL ASMAR  (1970)
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 draught.
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 as 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)

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

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