Gaza is the world’s largest open air prison. The West Bank is a prison, too, segmented into various wards, known as areas A, B and C. In fact, all Palestinians are subjected to varied degrees of military restrictions. At some level, they are all prisoners.
East Jerusalem is cut off from the West Bank, and those in the West Bank are separated from one another.
Palestinians in Israel are treated slightly better than their brethren in the Occupied Territories, but subsist in degrading conditions compared to the first-class status given to Israeli Jews, as per the virtue of their ethnicity alone.
Palestinians ‘lucky’ enough to escape the handcuffs and shackles are still trapped in different ways.
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon’s Ein el-Hilweh, like millions of Palestinian refugees in ‘shattat’ (Diaspora), are prisoners in refugee camps, carrying precarious, meaningless identification, cannot travel and are denied access to work. They languish in refugee camps, waiting for life to move forward, however slightly – as their fathers and grandfathers have done before them for nearly seventy years.
This is why the issue of prisoners is a very sensitive one for Palestinians. It is a real and metaphorical representation of all that Palestinians have in common.
The protests igniting across the Occupied Territories to support 1,500 hunger strikers are not merely an act of ‘solidarity’ with the incarcerated and abused men and women who are demanding…