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Gaza-based Palestinian groups declare ‘Friday of anger’ to support prisoners

Demonstrators take part in a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on September 8, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The Gaza-based Palestinian resistance groups and factions have called on people in the occupied West Bank and the besieged coastal enclave to stage a mass demonstration on Friday in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

The plea was made in a sit-in organized on Thursday by major Palestinian resistance movements, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, outside the Red Cross headquarters in the Gaza Strip.

In a speech delivered on behalf of the factions, Jamil Mezher, senior official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, urged the Palestinian masses to vent their anger at the Israeli occupation and clash with the regime’s forces in all flashpoint areas to show their support for Palestinian inmates.

“Our people and their resistance are with the prisoners and they will neither fail them nor forget or ignore their suffering. They will never leave them alone and are ready to sacrifice their blood for them and fight the whole world for them,” Mezher said.

The senior official added that the Palestinian people had started mobilizing their efforts on the ground as a prelude to launching a comprehensive popular uprising against the occupation.

Mezher also warned that the Palestinians would not stand idly by and would respond to Israel’s escalation if the regime persisted in its criminal attack on the prisoners in its jails.

Also on Monday, a number of human rights groups called on the United Nations, humanitarian organizations and international community to prevent Israel from violating the very basic rights of Palestinian prisoners being kept behind bars in Israeli detention centers across the occupied territories.

The groups said in a statement that the occupying regime was disregarding right to life by keeping Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards.

The development comes amid simmering tensions in Israeli prisons and due to the recent situation resulting from the breakout of six Palestinian inmates from Israel's maximum-security Gilboa prison, which has been described by the regime's extremist prime minister Naftali Bennett as a "grave incident."

Five of them belong to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, hailing from towns near the occupied northern West Bank city of Jenin, and the other prisoner has been identified as Zakaria Zubaidi, a former commander of Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.

Palestinian prisoners have been subjected to systematic torture, harassment, and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of their territories.

The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) keeps Palestinian prisoners in deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards.

More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences. Israeli forces have arrested more than 17,000 minors since 2000.          

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