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[07 May 2012]

MPPM EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS ON HUNGER STRIKE AND HELDS ISRAEL RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ILLEGAL POLICY OF OCCUPATION AND VIOLENCE

The hunger strike initiated by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails - which is reinforced and expanded every day, with new members - is a rallying cry, radical and courageous, released worldwide on the condition of the martyred Palestinian people. With their silence and their determination, more than two thousand Palestinian prisoners make clear the violence of Israeli occupation, the iniquity of the situation that these people have been forced to live, and their indomitable will and determination to continue the struggle for the realization of their inalienable rights.

The situation in Israeli jails reflects the repressive, authoritarian and undemocratic nature of the policy conducted by the state of Israel. More than three hundred Palestinians are now imprisoned, many for several years, without having been pronounced against them a single charge, or without their own lawyers being able to prepare and present their defense. The isolation, sometimes for several years, the ban on family or even the lawyers visits, the beatings, torture and blackmail are common practices that Palestinian non-governmental organizations and Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organizations have denounced. The physical and psychological torture is common practice and sanctioned by the military and judicial branches of state of Israel.

The condition of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails illustrates, in a particularly vivid way, the tragedy of the Palestinian people under the Zionist occupation, the violence of a daily life made of systematic repression, ongoing dispossession of land, destruction of homes and farmland, expulsions, continuing expansion of settlements, meticulous application of a policy aimed at crushing their identity and national existence. Sixty-four years after the Nakba, the international community continues to watch, between passivity, indifference or complicity, the advance of Israeli occupation, making a dead letter of all the precepts of international law and order, and many hundreds of United Nations resolutions that condemn the state of Israel, that demand the end of the occupation and the full realization of national rights of the Palestinian people, beginning with the constitution of a state in the territories occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a just solution to the situation of Palestinian refugees.

The status of the health of many Palestinian prisoners - some nearing the seventy days of food deprivation - is extremely serious. The state of Israel, by deepening its policy of occupation, by the open defiance of international law, by the violence of its repressive apparatus, is entirely responsible for all consequences that may result from this extreme and courageous form of struggle adopted by Palestinian prisoners .

The National Directorate of MPPM expresses its strongest and most profound sympathy with the Palestinian prisoners, and through them, with all the people who are victims of Israeli occupation. The MPPM claims of Portuguese sovereign bodies a firm and determined intervention to held Israel responsible for the situation of Palestinian prisoners and demanding, compliance by that state, of the principles and norms of international and humanitarian law to which it is bound by its condition as a member of United Nations. The MPPM also calls for public opinion in Portugal, to be mobilized in the denunciation of the crimes of the Israeli occupation, and to assert its solidarity with the prisoners and the Palestinian people.

 
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[22 Apr 2012]

MPPM CALLS FOR EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT'S REJECTION OF TRADE AGREEMENT WITH ISRAEL WHICH WOULD REPRESENT CONNIVANCE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION WITH THE POLICY OF EXPROPRIATIONS, EVICTIONS AND COLONIZATION CARRIED OUT BY ISRAEL IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

It is known that the European Parliament will consider in the coming days, the establishment of an ACAA protocol (Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products) with the State of Israel which, if approved, is an instrument for strengthening economic relations between the EU and that country.

It is also known that the State of Israel persists in the occupation and colonization of Palestinian territories in open defiance of international law. Under this policy, Israel has, indeed, intensified settlement construction and expansion, while it has multiplied the measures and actions to cause the expulsion of Palestinian populations from their lands. Such a policy has sparked a widespread condemnation in the international community, translated, both in condemnation of such initiatives - for contrary to basic human rights - and in the active boycott of actions and initiatives that could somehow represent an effective recognition of the Israeli occupation of their territories. The widely shared political consensus within the European institutions is very clear about the illegality of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and in considering the settlement policy carried out by Israel as a major obstacle to establishing a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. It was indeed as a consequence of this principle that, in 2010, the European Parliament decided to suspend the process of assessing this ACAA protocol, following the Israeli assault, in international waters, against the Freedom Flotilla.

In this sense, the eventual adoption of the ACAA protocol with Israel would violate that consensus and put the European Union in a position of complicity with the repeated and continuous violation, by Israel, of the spirit and letter of the UN Charter. All available data, coming from United Nations agencies and European Union itself, confirm that Israel has intensified and accelerated the policy of expropriation and expulsion of the Palestinians and the occupation and colonization of their lands, and multiplied, in general, violations of human rights of the population of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. At the same time, continues the illegal and criminal blockade on the Gaza population that the international community generally strongly disapproves. It is indeed particularly shocking that, in the preparation of this ACAA protocol with Israel, it has already been negotiated a separate annex for the pharmaceutical industry - encouraging the growth of economic relations in this area - when, by the siege imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip, hospitals and other health services are deprived of most basic resources in order to attend to the most basic needs of that so devastated population.

In this regard, the Portuguese Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and the Peace in the Middle East calls on Parliament to reject the approval of the ACAA protocol with Israel. The MPPM - a non-governmental organization recognized by the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People - calls, in particular,on the Portuguese members of the European Parliament to, in obedience to the principles laid down in Article 7 of the Portuguese Constitution, speak out against that measure and to encourage the adoption by the European Union of a consistent, committed and coherent policy that favors the fulfillment of the national rights of the Palestinian people.

 
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[17 Apr 2012]

PALESTINIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS IN ISRAELI PRISONS AND THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY: THE PORTUGUESE EXPERIENCE

The United Nations International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held in Geneva from 3 to April 5, in which the MPPM was represented by Silas Cerqueira, Secretary for International Relations, was devoted to the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails

About 4,500 Palestinians, including hundreds of children, are detained in Israeli prisons, many without trial or charge. Since the occupation began, em1967, more than 800.00 Palestinians were victims of detention. Israel ignores the rights of prisoners contained in the Geneva Conventions and often resorts to various forms of torture. Over 80% of Palestinian prisoners who are released suffer from post-traumatic disorder and more than 40% suffer from depression. Their rehabilitation is another of the challenges that the Palestinian society has to face.

The issue of Palestinian prisoners has not been part of the political agenda of peace talks. In this context, it is essential the role of the civil society and the international solidarity movement with Palestine, and the Portuguese experience in the struggle against fascism and solidarity with political prisoners is very relevant.

To raise public awareness to the issue of Palestinian political prisoners, the MPPM launched a debate on April 17th, the Palestinian Prisoners' Day, at the Bookshop Círculo das Letras, with the participation of Mufeed Shami, the Palestinian Ambassador in Portugal; Friar Bento Domingues, Vice -President of MPPM and former member of the National Committee for the Aid to Political Prisoners; Silas Cerqueira, Secretary for International Relations of MPPM, and Aurelio Santos, member of the National Council of URAP - Portuguese Union of Antifascist Resistants

 
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