Hundreds of protestors staged a powerful demonstration at al-Manara square, Ramallah, demanding the release of Palestinian political prisoners and in particular the recent detainees from Jerusalem. Palestinian prisoners Dr. Ahmad Maslamani, Naser Abukhdair and Rasem Aâbedat have been jailed for several months by the Occupation Forces. This protest on the 27th of September marked the public launch by the National Committee resisting the Wall and Occupation to demand the release of the three Jerusalem activists.
During the four hours of protest, chanting and speeches highlighted not only the plight of the Palestinian prisoners but as well the intimate connection between the arrest and the construction of the Wall and ongoing ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem.
Speakers highlighted that the evidence against them as political and social activists reveals the clear attempt to remove any Palestinian activity and presence in Jerusalem, measures to strengthen the Judaization plans for the city. More than 134 km of walls through and around Jerusalem have created a series of disparate ghettos and isolated residential areas. Over 100,000 Palestinians will be isolated from Jerusalem and left with two options; either to take up the impossible task of finding new accommodation and jobs in not isolated pockets of the city (resulting in loss of property, housing and jobs) or to give up their residency rights and identity in Jerusalem and leave the city. One third of Jerusalem Palestinians will be isolated from the city in the first phase of the Wall, creating the biggest expulsion in the history of Jerusalem. Slowly, more Palestinians will be forced to move out of the city or to lose their Palestinian identity in a process of political, social and economic attack by the Occupation Forces.
The arrest of the political and social activists in Jerusalem is aimed at ensuring no organized resistance to this project of ethnic cleansing can grow, no strategies to oppose the fate of Jerusalem are built within communities and no vehicle exists by which to defend the rights of the people.
While the Occupationâs most recent tactic of persecution and expulsion âghettoization behind cement walls â takes shape, the long lasting methods of cold killings and imprisonment continue to haunt the Palestinian people. In the last week over 300 Palestinians have been arrested by the Occupation forces and several slain.
The anger of the protestors was directed not only against the Zionist crimes but as well against the Palestinian Authority that seems to be passive witnesses to the unbearable conditions unfolding in Jerusalem and the final stages of ethnic cleansing of the city. Added to that was the plight of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners lingering in Occupation jails. .
The National Committee is promoted by:
- Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Net (PNGO) comprising (92) NGOs
- The Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Campaign (comprising 12 institutions / 54 popular committees)
- The National Committee against the Apartheid Wall
- General Union of Charitable societies (comprising 800 philanthropic associations)
- Union of Palestinian Women Committees
- Ittijah / Union of Arab Community Based Organizations ( 70 organizations)
- The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee in 1948 region.
- Palestine Right To Return Coalition
- BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugees’ Rights.
- Right of Return Defence Committee (Jerusalem District)
- Union of Youth Activity Centers /West Bank
- Independent Trade Unions
- Palestinian Prisoner Society
- Institute of Jerusalem Studies
- Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies
- Birzeit University Workers Union
- And a large number of individuals.