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CT pickets planned to highlight Palestinian hunger strike

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The Al-Quds Foundation plans on holding a picket in support of the Palestinian hunger strike on Wednesday 10th May. The mass hunger strike started last month after an op-ed by Fatah Leader Marwan Barghouti in the New York Times International, detailing the conditions experienced by political prisoners in Israel.

“Having spent the last 15 years in an Israeli prison, I have been both a witness to and a victim of Israel’s illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners. After exhausting all other options, I decided there was no choice but to resist these abuses by going on a hunger strike,” Barghouti writes.

The call for a hunger strike has reached over 1500 Palestinian political prisoners. Several international organisations have pledged their support of this campaign.

A massive plan of action has been initiated by BDS and is scheduled in upcoming weeks. In Cape Town, organisations have joined hand-in-hand with the al-Quds Foundation, including the MJC, PSC, PSA and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation to join in events highlighting solidarity with the strike.

The Al Quds Foundation will organise two pickets: one from 12pm till 2pm outside the legislation offices at 5 Wale Street Cape Town on Wednesday the 10th May. The other one will be on the 15th May, in the same area at the same time.

On Sunday the 14th May, the foundation will host a Nakba program, in the Samaj centre in Gatesville from 3-5pm. It will host the Muadhin of Masjidul Aqsa in Palestine.

“We want to create awareness for our brothers who are fighting for rights that are not extraordinary. All they’re asking for is visitations from family, clean cells, blankets, and day to day necessities. We feel, right around the world, we stand in support with them, to show them that there are people who stand with them,” Yunus Alli from the Al-Quds Foundation told VOC.

“We urge people to come out in their masses to our various programmes.”

The MJC in conjunction with the Al-Quds Foundation have made an application to have further demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinian hunger strike. They plan on having a big crowd stand outside Parliament for a total of 13 hours in the coming week.

The demonstration, alongside the pickets planned, contributes to a host of events organised in support of the hunger strike which protests the ill-conditions for Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, some of which include children younger than 14.

“On Thursday, we made an application at the council to be able to show our solidarity with the Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons near parliament. We, as the MJC and al-Quds foundation, have embarked on a programme to put up a tent either in front of the parliament or in Wale street or on the parade. We will try to get 1500 people there 24 hours for every day from Monday evening until Friday before jumuah, in support of the political prisoners in the hunger strike. Many masajid will send people every 2 hours,” Yunus Alli said.

Events planned:

• Picket at 5 Wale Street on Wednesday 10th May, 12-2pm.
• Demonstration outside parliament from Monday to Friday, 8th to 12th May.
• Nakba Program at Samaj Centre, Gatesville on Sunday, 14th May, 3-5pm.
• Picket at 5 Wale Street on Monday 15th May, 12-2pm

For more information, contact Yunus Alli on 079 494 5786. VOC

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