On Palestinian Prisoners' Day, MPPM expresses its solidarity and denounces the criminal practices of the State of Israel in its treatment of Palestinian political prisoners - which do not exclude women and children - with arrogant disregard for international law, international humanitarian law and human rights conventions.

17th April was established as Palestinian Prisoners' Day by the Palestinian National Council in 1974 to commemorate the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails and to support their legitimate right to freedom. This year, the date coincides with a brutal escalation of the Israeli occupation's aggression against the Palestinian people, translated so far by a hundred deaths and many hundreds of arrests.

Last March marked 20 years since the invasion of Iraq by the US, UK and their allies, in a war of aggression that violated all the norms of International Law. The month of March - which proved particularly tragic for the peoples of the Middle East - also marked 12 years since the beginning of the NATO bombing of Libya and the intervention in Syria by the Western powers and their regional allies,. It was also in the month of March that, in 2015, the foreign military aggression against Yemen began.

On 30 March 1976, Palestinians in the Nazareth region - in the north of the territory of Palestine occupied by the State of Israel - organised a one-day general strike. The protests were motivated by the Israeli government's intentions to expropriate Palestinian land in order to install Jewish settlements on it. The peaceful protests ended in a bloodbath: Israeli army forces and border police killed six Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Since then, Land Day, 30 March, has become a day of resistance and commemoration of land for all Palestinians.

The issue of land and its ownership has always been a central issue, both for Zionists and for Palestinians.

At the invitation of the respective president, MP Joana Mortágua, the MPPM met with the Parliamentary Friendship Group Portugal-Palestine (PFGP-P) last March 8th.

The MPPM was represented by its vice-president Carlos Almeida and by the members of the National Directorate Ana Mesquita, Teresa Palma Fernandes and Vítor Pinto.

The PFGP-P was represented by Joana Mortágua (Block of the Left), president; Ivan Gonçalves (Socialist Party) and Bruno Dias (Communist Party), vice-presidents; and Isabel Moreira (Socialist Party), Ana Isabel Santos (Socialist Party) and Rui Cruz (Social Democratic Party).

Carlos Almeida summarised MPPM's perspective on the current situation in Palestine and recalled that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the Nakba.

Joana Mortágua, Ivan Gonçalves and Bruno Dias said they were aware of the situation in Palestine and showed great commitment to solidarity with the Palestinian people. Rui Cruz also spoke.

MPPM, in partnership with the Freedom Flotilla Coalition and in coordination with the organization of Roger Waters' European tour, promoted awareness raising actions on the Palestinian issue at the concerts held in Lisbon on 17 and 18 March.

On both days, MPPM had a table at the Altice Arena and eight activists distributed to the audience a total of four thousand leaflets of MPPM and the Freedom Flotilla Coalition.

The MPPM leaflet, entitled “For a Free, Independent and Sovereign Palestine”, evoked the Nakba, whose 75th anniversary is marked this year, summarised the situation in Palestine today and pointed ways forward in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

The MPPM promoted yesterday, Friday, at the Lisbon chapter of Associação José Afonso, a Palestinian Cultural Evening with music, poems and gastronomy.

Teresa Palma Fernandes introduced the session, which started with a reference to José Afonso, the patron of the place, where we were, listening to his song "Kissinger's Puppets" in which, at a certain point, he sings: "At the point of a rifle the People of Palestine / Sent Golda Meir a message divine ".

This was followed by the screening of the documentary "The Palestinian Culture" produced by the MPPM.

The actor Marques d'Arede began the reading of poems, starting with the poem "To Ahmed, Child of Palestine" by Guadalupe Portelinha.
Actress Maria Emília Castanheira then joined him to read poems by several Palestinian authors. Mazen Sabra, a Palestinian living in Portugal, accompanied them on the oud.

To conclude, we had several interpretations of the famous poem "To My Mother", by Mahmoud Darwich.

Palmela City Council unanimously approved, at its meeting on 15 March 2023, a motion "For an end to the escalation of violence in Palestine" in which it deliberated:

- To express its concern and repudiation in the face of the serious escalation of violence;

- To reiterate the urgency of enforcing the United Nations Resolutions, respect for International Law and Human Rights and an end to the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel;

- To express its solidarity with all those affected by the Arab-Israeli conflict and the strong desire for a path to Peace to be found and achieved.

On International Women's Day, MPPM honours women around the world - at home, in the fields, in factories or in offices - who fight for peace and freedom, against oppression, discrimination and injustice.

In this year 2023, which marks 75 years since the Nakba - the ethnic cleansing that accompanied the creation of the State of Israel - in this year when the repression, injustice, racism and segregation that victimise the Palestinian people not only continue but worsen, the MPPM pays special tribute to Palestinian women who, despite the harsh conditions, continue to resist, to work, to bring up their families, to educate their children.

This year 2023 is on track to be the deadliest for Palestinians living in the West Bank. The brutality of the occupation army and the settlers protected by it has no limits. Until yesterday 73 Palestinians were killed by the occupier, including an elderly woman.

Peace yes! War no! shouted the hundreds of people that filled on the 16th February, the Camões Square, in Lisbon, answering to the call of CPPC – Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation, which the MPPM supported, along with two dozen and a half other organizations.

A similar initiative had already taken place in Viseu, on the 11th February, and others took place, on the 16th February, in Évora and Setúbal, and others are still scheduled for 17th February, in Coimbra and Corroios, and the 18th February in Porto.

The Portuguese Parliament approved the Draft Vote no. 207/XV, "Of Solidarity with the Palestinian People", presented on 6 December last by the Communist Party Parliamentary Group, which thus joined the solidarity expressed on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, promoted annually by the United Nations.

The Vote was considered by the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Assembly of the Republic in its meeting of 3 January 2023 and was approved with the favourable vote of the Communist and Socialist parliamentary groups; the Social Democratic and Chega (far right) parliamentary groups votied against, and the Liberal Initiative parliamentary group abstained. The Block of the Left, PAN (Persons, Animals, Nature) and Free Party were not represented.

This is the text approved:

Draft Vote No. 207/XV/1.a

In Solidarity with the Palestinian People


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