In the middle of April 2012, over 2000 political prisoners lodged in Israeli jails joined a hunger strike launched by a group of their compatriots nearly two and half months ago. The fasting prisoners were protesting against the brutal measures adopted by the Israeli state to persecute the Palestinian patriots in its jails.
Nearly a month after the 2,000 prisoners joined the initial group in the hunger strike, the Israeli government was compelled to allow family visits for prisoners from Gaza, end the policy of solitary confinement, and significantly reduce and limit the use of detention without trial, also known as “administrative detention”.
This struggle of the Palestinian prisoners was supported by justice and freedom-loving people all over the world, including organisations of Jewish people opposed to the racist, fascist and colonisation policies of the Israeli state. Just hours before the strike ended, Jewish peace organisations and the US Campaign to End the Occupation delivered over 8,000 signatures to the United States State Department asking them to force the Israeli state to relent. Several thousands of people around the globe had pledged to undertake a 24-hour hunger strike in solidarity with the prisoners on 17th of May 2012, which was called off in view of the Israeli governments acceding to the demands of the Palestinian prisoners. The victory of the Palestinian prisoners coincides with the Palestinian commemoration of the 64th anniversary of the Nakba; the systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing that uprooted most Palestinians from their homeland around 1948. The prisoners’ victory has heightened hope about the prospects for Palestinian freedom, justice, self-determination and the return of refugees. Mazdoor Ekta Lehar hails this victory of the Palestinian people incarcerated in the jails of Israel and reiterates the support of the Indian working class and people for the just struggle of the Palestinian people for their national rights.