MPPM – Portuguese Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East, joining the appeals of high international instances, calls for the immediate release of Palestinian children held by Israel in order to safeguard their rights and their physical integrity in the present context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the end of April 2020, 185 Palestinian minors were being held in Israeli prisons and detention centres. Every year, Israel takes 500 to 700 Palestinian children to military courts, and it is estimated that since 2000, more than 10,000 Palestinian children have been held in the Israeli military detention system.

The current Covid-19 pandemic poses an increased risk to children detained by Israel. Under the conditions to which prisoners are subjected, it is impossible to avoid the risk of contagion to the detainees. However, even in a time of pandemic, the number of arrests has increased.

The 15th of May marks the day of Nakba – the catastrophe that, in 1948, befell the Palestinian people, accompanying the unilateral proclamation of Israel's independence. In the following weeks, more than 700,000 people were driven from their homes and lands by Zionist violence, in an ethnic cleansing that gave rise to what is, to this day, the largest refugee community in the world.

On the 46th anniversary of the April Revolution, MPPM salutes the liberation movement, led by the military with broad popular support, which returned to the Portuguese their freedom and their fundamental rights, opened the way to reconciliation with the peoples subjected to the colonial yoke and allowed the return of Portugal to the fellowship of nations after 48 years of almost total international isolation of the fascist, obscurantist and colonialist regime.

On April 17th, Palestinian Prisoners' Day, MPPM reaffirms its solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners and administrative detainees in Israeli jails, reiterating its support for their courageous struggle for the freedom of their people, for the recognition of their status as political prisoners, for the respect of their rights and their dignity, against the degrading conditions to which they are subjected in Israeli prisons.

In this year 2020, Palestinians locked up in Israeli jails — already systematically subjected to torture, ill-treatment, punishment and humiliation — face an increased threat to their health and lives as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

On Land Day and the second anniversary of the start of the Great March of Return, a European coalition of organizations, including MPPM, is launching a petition calling on the European Union to stop using Israeli drones to control its maritime borders.

The Hermes drones, manufactured by Elbit Systems, the largest Israeli military company, were developed specifically to be used by the Israeli armed forces to keep the Gaza Strip under the inhuman siege it has been subjected to by Israel for more than ten years. According to Human Rights Watch, these drones were actually used to deliberately target civilians in the Gaza Strip during the massacres of 2008-2009. Elbit Systems drones were also used to kill civilians in Lebanon in the 2006 war waged by Israel.

Today, in Palestine and in all its diasporas around the world, Land Day is celebrated. This year, the Palestinian people recall the events of 1976 in a particularly difficult situation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The predictable advance of the disease, propelled by the deficient sanitary conditions in which the majority of the Palestinian population lives, especially in the refugee camps and in the Gaza Strip, makes us fear the worst. At the same time, Israel is intensifying its abuses against the Palestinians, raising obstructing measures of support and prevention of the pandemic taken in the Palestinian communities and exploiting the situation to speed up the de facto annexation of the Palestinian territory.

On March 8, proclaimed International Women's Day by the UN General Assembly in 1977, MPPM pays tribute to women around the world and their struggle for freedom, justice, equality and the elimination of all forms of discrimination, and in a very special way to Palestinian women.

On February 6, the Portuguese Parliament approved a Vote «Condemning the "Trump Plan" which constitutes an assault on the national rights of the Palestinian people and International Law» on 6 February last.

Portuguese cartoonist Vasco Gargalo is the target of an unfounded accusation of anti-Semitism and an appeal for his dismissal by an international Zionist organization, under the pretext of the cartoon entitled Crematorium, now republished in a commentary on the “peace plan” presented by the United States.

Vasco Gargalo, stressing that he will continue to fight for freedom of expression and freedom of the press, says: “It is my view on this attack. When I made the cartoon I knew it was strong, that it would touch on the issue of Holocaust victims, but I don't really add anything to what I see. It's a comparison I made of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East (MPPM) firmly condemns the content of the so-called “deal of the century” for the resolution of the Palestinian question, presented on 28 January by US President Donald Trump, supported by the still Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Presented with imperial arrogance, the so-called “Peace for Prosperity” plan tears up all the resolutions passed over decades by the UN on the Palestinian issue, and even tears up the agreements, such as Oslo, promoted under the aegis of the United States of America since the 1990s. The “Plan” is fully in line with the positions of the Israeli extreme right and takes the form of a diktat that seeks to impose on the Palestinian people, whose representatives were not even considered worthy of consultation, the total renunciation of their national rights, recognized and enshrined in international law.


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