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Nakba Day Marks End to Prisoners' Hunger Strike, Continuation of Struggle for Rights

May 15th, 2012

Your Concerns Were Heard from Washington, DC to Palestine!

Yesterday, as news was breaking that Palestinian political prisoners on a mass hunger strike had reached an agreement with Israel fulfilling many of their demands for more humane treatment and an end to indefinite “administrative detention” (Israel’s illegal policy of detaining people without charge or trial), we delivered your concerns to the State Department about U.S. inaction on this issue. 

Together with member groups the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace, we delivered more than 11,000 signatures to the State Department in solidarity with the Palestinian hunger strikers, calling on the State Department to “make a public representation to Israel to adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and stop its unjust policies, including its use of ‘administrative detention,’ toward Palestinian political prisoners.”

We share the sentiment of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Coordination Committee and the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) National Committee (BNC) that:

“the prisoners’ victory has heightened hope about the prospects for Palestinian freedom, justice, self-determination and the return of refugees.

This important triumph for the Palestinian popular struggle could not have been reached without the unwavering resolve of the prisoners themselves, grassroots mobilization in their support in Palestine, and the immense wave of effective solidarity and calls for holding Israel accountable that the strike has triggered around the world.”

However, this victory came despite the United States making no public statement urging an end to Israel’s unjust detention policies toward Palestinian prisoners, showing once again how our government is silent when it comes to Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians. 

Today, May 15, is also the 64th anniversary of the Nakba, Israel’s ethnic cleansing of approximately 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and lands in 1948.  These Palestinians and their descendants remain refugees to this day because Israel refuses to implement their internationally recognized human right of return.

To commemorate the Nakba, the US Campaign is endorsing a candlelight vigil organized by our friends at the US Palestinian Community Network outside the White House tonight beginning at 6:30pm. And in San Francisco, member group Middle East Children’s Alliance is helping to organize a vigil in San Francisco’s Union Square at 7:00pm.   Learn about additional Nakba Day commemorations today in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles byclicking here.

This Thursday, May 17, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Coordination Committee and the BNC have called for an international day of solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, spotlighting how international security corporation G4S profits from Israel’s imprisonment of Palestinian political prisoners.  

G4S operates around the United States and has been the target of successful international BDS campaigns. You can learn more about how G4S profits from Israel’s mass imprisonment of Palestinians here.

Thank you for taking action!

-- US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation