NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution

NUMSA salutes the courage of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike

17 May 2017, Posted in Press Releases

Wednesday the 17th of May 2017 marks thirty days since approximately 1500 Palestinian prisoners embarked on an indefinite hunger strike to demonstrate against a the reprehensible and inhumane regime of the Israeli government, and it’s prison authorities. 

The striking prisoners, many of whom are now gravely ill, have raised many legitimate demands, least of which is the ending of the practice of “administrative detention”, against Palestinians which South Africans will recognize to be the Apartheid government’s “detention without trial” where a prisoner was held on “suspicion” indefinitely.

Five hundred Palestinian prisoners languish in administrative detention, often held without charge, and for indeterminate period. Other demands include access to improved medical care, detainees being allowed to keep books and other reading materials as well as an end to solitary confinement.

Their demands are similar to those made by Robben Island prisoners fifty one years ago when they also embarked on a hunger strike against their abhorrent treatment against the similarly repressive Apartheid regime.

It doesn’t surprise us as NUMSA that the state of Israel has responded with more repression and cruelty, just as the Apartheid government would have also done. There has been increased solitary confinement, transfers and confiscation of clothes and belongings of the striking prisoners and their leaders.

Israeli prison officials intend to prosecute imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti in a special “discipline court” as punishment for opinion piece published by the New York Times which detailed the horrendous living conditions that affect Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

NUMSA agrees with the definition of Israel as an Apartheid state, as defined by the United Nations in a report by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, (ESCWA). We do this in spite of the fact that the head of the (ESCWA) unit, Rima Khalif, was forced to resign because she had the courage to unearth the truth about Israel’s oppressive policies.

We also note that the UN has acted in a cowardly and unprincipled way by officially distancing itself from its findings, in an attempt to please imperialist forces like the US.

However as NUMSA we believe the analysis given in the report about the manner in which the Israeli government oppresses the Palestinian people proves what decades of research and reports from Palestinian organisations on the ground have consistently said about the state sanctioned racist policies Israel has applied against the people of Palestine. We also encourage members of the public to read the United Nation’s report on the Apartheid state of Palestine on the Al Jazeera website so they can find out the truth for themselves, below is the link to the report:

NUMSA condemns the racist, Apartheid state of Israel
NUMSA hates the cruel and draconian prison system that the racist state of Israel runs to keep Palestinians in line. Israel’s decades-long policy of detaining Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza in prisons inside Israel and depriving them of regular family visits is not only cruel but also a blatant violation of international law.

NUMSA calls for the broadening of support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) initiatives among civil society actors against the Apartheid regime of Israel. We also call on all workers to stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine and the striking prisoners. Your struggle is ours. We shall not rest until every Palestinian is free.
Issued by Irvin Jim
NUMSA General Secretary

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