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Palestinian political prisoner in SA

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The South African chapter of the international NGO, Action Aid, together with various South African human rights and Palestine solidarity organisations hosted a visiting Palestinian humanitarian worker, activist and Action Aid Palestine representative, Ibrahim Ibraigheth. Ibraigheth is speaking at a series of events in Johannesburg this week with regards to the current situation of the occupied state

Ibrahim Ibraigheth was born in Beit Ommar near Hebron in Palestine and is a graduate in business administration from Bethlehem University. During his time in his homeland he was arrested and held by Israel as a political prisoner over 17 times and even endured torture during 4 of those arrests. Most of the Israeli arrests were under administrative detention (the equivalent of Apartheid South Africa’s detention without trial).

“One of my stays in prison lasted over five years,” Ibraigheth says.

Ibrahim Ibraigheth now works for the Palestinian chapter of Action Aid and has been an active member in the resistance against the occupation of Palestine. He has also been actively involved in development and humanitarian work supporting the Palestinian marginalised and poor communities since 1989.

Action Aid South Africa invited Ibraigheth to South Africa on what he calls “an exposure visit”.

“I want to explore further cooperation possibilities between Action Aid SA and action aid Palestine; in particular we are focusing on the areas of solidarity and exchange of experience and knowledge,” Ibraigheth explains.

With the similarities between Apartheid South Africa and the occupation in Palestine, Ibraigheth feels that it is important to create awareness because this he says is an issue of freedom.

Furthermore, Ibraigheth is looking to strengthen the bonds between Palestine and South Africa as he notes that the ANC government has good relations with Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).

The PLO is an organization founded in 1964 with the purpose of the “liberation of Palestine” through armed struggle. It is recognized as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people” by over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations.

Ibraigheth adds that even after the Oslo Accords the occupation within Palestine is continuous.

“All borders are still controlled by the Israeli authorities and Area C is fully under Israeli control with the continued construction of illegal settlements,” Ibraigheth went further.

Area C covers 60% of the West Bank (about 330,000 hectares); Israel has retained almost complete control of this area, including security matters and all land-related civil matters, including land allocation, planning and construction, and infrastructure.

Even after more than a year since the latest war in Gaza the strip is still under Israeli blockade

“Gaza has not been repaired and people are prevented from going in and out of the strip.” VOC (Umarah Hartley)

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