Samidoun: The plight of our prisoners is at the heart of our struggle

The centrality of the liberation of the prisoners to the liberation of Palestine has perhaps never been more clear than at this moment.

Twenty-three-year-old Abdul-Rahman al-Bahsh was a Palestinian internee from Nablus, detained in the zionist colonial prison of Megiddo. According to the Samidoun network, he is at least the seventh political prisoner known to have been assassinated in Israeli jails since the launch of the Al-Aqsa Flood operation on 7 October. As in the case of the Irish liberation struggle, the occupiers' prison regime aims to break the will of the resistance by destroying the morale of the prisoners and their families. As the British found out in Ireland, no matter how brutal and criminal the actions of the prison guards, this strategy is bound to fail against a motivated people confident that right and justice are on their side.

This statement is reproduced from the Samidoun Network Telegram channel, with thanks.


The number of Palestinian prisoners in occupation jails has risen to over 7,000 since 7 October, including over 2,000 jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention.

The prisoners are subjected to collective punishment, including the confiscation of all electrical devices, including heating plates, televisions and radios (denying them access to news of the assault and the resistance); cutting electricity to the sections throughout the day; denial of access to the courtyard; destruction of sports equipment; cutting off of all hot water; closure of the kitchen; constant room searches and raids; overcrowding of the prison rooms; and the continued escalation of administrative detention orders.

Mass food poisoning has broken out in Ofer prison, and multiple released detainees have reported being served uncooked or spoiled food, while their own access to the kitchen was barred. Palestinian prisoners whose sentences have ended are being kept in jail without charge or trial rather than released.

It is important to note that the war on Palestinian prisoners did not begin on 7 October but rather has continued. Before 7 October, the notorious fascist Itamar Ben Gvir was placed in charge of the zionist prisons, banning family visits, ordering ongoing raids and assaults against the prisoners, and cutting food and water. All this is alongside a massive escalation in the use of ‘administrative detention’ (a policy initially introduced to Palestine by the British colonial regime and then taken up by its zionist successor).

This ongoing policy of extreme torture, abuse and isolation aims to target the Palestinian prisoners’ movement as a whole; to undermine the prisoners’ unity and steadfastness in confronting the occupation. It particularly comes as the Palestinian resistance has captured prisoners of war in order to seek a prisoner exchange to liberate the Palestinian prisoners jailed by the occupation and its imperialist allies and backers.

These assassinations also shine a spotlight on the immense disparity in the treatment of Palestinian prisoners by the zionist regime in comparison to the way in which zionist detainees captured by the Palestinian resistance in order to secure a prisoner exchange have been treated – as witnessed before the world in the November exchanges of women and children detainees.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network mourns and salutes Abdul-Rahman al-Bahsh, and extends our condolences to his family, his loved ones, and to the Palestinian people.

His assassination is part of the comprehensive aggression and genocide targeting the Palestinian people as a whole. As we organise in defence of Gaza and to end the genocide, to break the siege, to stand with the resistance in Palestine, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and across the region, and to shatter the deadly alliance of western imperialist powers like the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany and Italy with the zionist regime, we must also struggle to liberate the Palestinian prisoners and confront the ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people everywhere.

Despite the immense sacrifices of the Palestinian people in Gaza confronting a genocidal regime that has massacred over 25,000 people, the resistance continues to fight to defend and liberate its land, and to defend and liberate the prisoners.

The centrality of the liberation of the prisoners to the liberation of Palestine has perhaps never been more clear than at this moment.

We stand with the Palestinian people, the prisoners’ movement, the Arab people and all of the peoples of the world rising up, mobilising and acting to bring an end to the genocide in Gaza and to liberate Palestine, from the river to the sea.