The start of the weekend also saw heightened clashes between Palestinians demonstrating in solidarity with the prisoners and Israeli occupation forces.
As Palestinian prisoners enter the 28th day of their historic mass hunger strike that they launched on Palestinian Prisoner’s day, April 17, Israel has ramped up its blood-scorched crackdown.
But after weeks of denying the strikers visitors and access to any legal teams, on Sunday it was announced that Ahmad Sa’adat, General Secretary of the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, PFLP, will finally be granted a legal visit.
Sa’adat joined the strike on May 4, just days after he sent a message from his prison cell on International Worker’s Day, marking the PFLP’s solidarity with both hunger-striking prisoners as well as workers marching throughout the world.
Since launching his strike, he has been transferred from prison to prison on multiple occasions and has been consistently denied all family and legal visits by the Israel Prison Service, IPS. On Sunday, Sa’adat was transferred once again, from isolation in Ashkelon prison to isolation in Ohli Kedar prison, just before his scheduled legal visit with a lawyer from Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. The visit was finally scheduled after Addameer filed a number of petitions calling for it, requests which the IPS repeatedly denied.
The start of the weekend saw heightened clashes between Palestinians demonstrating in solidarity with the prisoners and Israeli occupation forces. On Friday, 22-year old Saba Obeid was killed by security forces as he marched in a protest supporting of the prisoners in the village of Nabi Saleh, northwest of Ramallah in occupied West Bank.
Deemed “the martyr of dignity," Obeid was killed after being hit in the chest with a live bullet shot by Israeli forces during the village’s weekly march.
The Palestinian National Committee to Support the Strike issued a statement and call for action following Obeid’s killing, “saluting the heroic spirit of the martyr Saba Obeid, a martyr of the battle of empty stomachs of our brave prisoners in Israeli jails.” The Committee has urgently called for a special session of the United Nations General Assembly to take action at a time when prisoners are facing severe health deterioration and even death.
In addition to Obeid’s death, Friday and Saturday both saw dozens of Palestinians wounded by Israeli occupation forces, who fired tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets on demonstrators from Nablus to Hebron.
A number of events and actions in support of the prisoners also took place around the world on Saturday, with more scheduled to take place Sunday.