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Palestinian students in Israel demonstrate in solidarity with hunger strikers

June 2, 2014 at 10:53 am

Palestinian student movements in Israel have organised two separate rallies, one at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba and the other at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in solidarity with hundreds of Palestinian hunger strikers inside Israeli jails.

The demonstrators gathered under the slogan “Prevent the Execution of Prisoners” for their solidarity rallies, which marked the 39th day of the mass hunger strike.

All Palestinian student movements in Israel took part in the rallies, which came in response to calls to widen the range of solidarity activities for the hunger strikers. They raised posters that read “Freedom to the prisoners of freedom… Be patient our free prisoners.”

One of the organisers of the demonstration in Jerusalem, Majd Hamdan, said: “Popular measures must be stepped up in order to transfer the prisoners’ suffering from inside the prisons to the outside.” He called for all not to fear the Israeli police and to take to the streets.

Secretary of the Students Assembly Ra’fat Awaisheh said that university security services were harassing the demonstrators as well as surveilling them. “They attempted to question the legality of the demonstrations in order to crack down on them,” he noted.

Qusai Abu-Fool, another rally organiser, added that: “The prisoners are experiencing a dangerous health situation. These sacrifices need greater popular support in the Palestinian street. As Palestinian student movements, we feel that our role is to step up the activities inside the universities.”

Meanwhile, a group called Water and Salt organised the “second wave of rage” at Al-Nozhah Street in Jaffa on Sunday.

The demonstrators held posters reading: “We will not close our eyes while our prisoners are inside jails.” They called for all Palestinians in Israel to take to the streets in solidarity with the hunger strikers.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said in a statement issued on Sunday: “The prisoners have been on strike for 39 executive days. About 1,500 new prisoners will soon join the strike.”

Report by Nahed Derbas for Al-Arabi Al-Jadid