Letter from Marwan Barghouti, leader of Palestinian hunger-strike

Marwan_Barghouthi via his wife Fadwa Barghouthi

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“If my letter reaches you that would mean the hunger strike is ongoing and Israel has decided to respond it through incitement, solitary confinement of hunger strikers and repression, with the illusion that this will make us abandon our sacred struggle and our legitimate demands.

The Palestinian prisoners have faith that their people will not let them down and will meet loyalty with loyalty and will support the prisoners and their families who have endured sacrifice and hardship and suffering.

I am addressing you from solitary confinement, among thousands of prisoners and on their behalf, and among hundreds of prisoners who have decided to launch this hunger strike for freedom and dignity that will continue till their legitimate demands are met.

Israel can not silence us, nor isolate us, nor break us. Our will is solid and unshaken, and the occupation tested it time and time again and was unable to subdue or subjugate us and we continued to rebel against our captivity and attempts to humiliate us.

This hunger strike aims to confront the ongoing and escalating unjust Israeli occupation policies against prisoners and their loved ones. We stress our determination to undertake this struggle whatever the cost, and we have no doubt that the Palestinian prisoners will be steadfast and prevail. Prisoners are proud to be part of this nation and its infinite resilience and they are proud to endure for our country, convinced that victory is ineluctable.

The Israeli colonial occupation is attempting through daily arrest which has affected thousands of Palestinians annually throughout the duration of the occupation to exhaust and intimidate our people and destroy its ability to struggle against the occupation. This occupation has violated our cities, villages, refugee camps, holy places and Jerusalem, and it arrests dozens of Palestinians daily and subject them to torture and ill treatment, including during interrogation, and falsely accuses them and adopts arbitrary decisions against them through their legitimate courts, civilian and military, and conducts policies and actions that constitute grave breaches under international law and crimes for which those responsible must be held accountable.

Our Palestinian people is still in a liberation phase and the question of prisoners has been throughout history for all liberation movements a central matter and an utmost priority, that can not be ignored nor dismissed. The freedom of the prisoners is the basis for the freedom of the people and we call for unity from the leadership, the political factions and the Palestinian people wherever they are around this issue until the release of all prisoners. Our people have great capabilities and steadfastness and resilience and an ability to pursue the struggle that will never be extinct and capable of creating miracles.

Since I joined in my early years this national struggle I was faithful to the oath I undertook towards our people and I do not believe in semi-belonging or semi-positions, and I believe that resisting colonial occupation and achieving freedom is a sacred value and principle that I have believed in and I will continue together with the prisoners and our people this journey till we overcome. Our prisoners have sacrificed and been deprived of their freedom for the freedom of our people and they fought for our cause. Our people and our nation and all the freedom-loving people around the world support those who struggle and sacrifice for the most noble and just cause of our time, the cause of Palestine and the rights of our people.

I salute our martyrs and my brethren behind bars and in captivity. I salute our people wherever they are and I reaffirm my commitment to uphold the oath to pursue the struggle for freedom, return, independence and dignity and I call upon them to unite and to speak up for the end of this dark division and to achieve national unity and bring together all our forces and launch the largest and most comprehensive civil disobedience against colonialism and Apartheid.

We are confident that the loyalty of the prisoners to their people and their country will be met with loyalty and that this battle is part and parcel of the battle of our people for freedom and dignity. We shall meet soon, in freedom.”