Eid of Palestinian Prisoners

Palestinian prisoners offered Eid prayer in the jails of occupation. Some of them took the initiative to comfort themselves by exchanging wishes that the next Eid would come when they would be with their families and loved ones. Meanwhile, 11 prisoners continued an open-ended hunger strike in the prisons of Al Naqb, Raymon and Awfer. It is necessary to constantly remind, without interruption, of the difficult conditions faced by 4,850 Palestinian prisoners in 23 prisons, detention centres and lockups.

According to the Commission of Detainees’ Affairs, more than 500 of them are suffering from various kinds of ailments, including cancer. The oldest of these prisoners is Fouad Al-Shobaki, who is 82 years old. There are 13 prisoners, who have been detained for nearly 30 continuous years, as well as 85 are in jails for 25 years. The hunger strike, which some of them have started ten days ago, is to highlight once again the policy of administrative detention practised by the (Israeli) occupation authorities.

The efforts made by the government and private organisations working on the affairs of prisoners and liberated prisoners in the occupied territories needed to be lauded. However, there are certain horrendous flaws in political, diplomatic action and media work when it comes to taking the word to the world. We expected from the Palestinian authorities or the PLO to come up with some innovative ideas to raise the issue of the prisoners. But we know them very well.

(By Maen Albayari in Al Araby Al Jadeed)

Bleeding Wounds of Iraq

Happiness comes to Iraq as a guest in haste and then hurriedly leaves it since August 6, 1990, when its siege began and lasted for 13 years. This siege has led to the death of 1,650,000 people, including tens of thousands of children, who did not have any value for America. When the then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was asked about 500,000 deaths because of the blockade, she harshly said: “We think the price is worth it.” Cruel America was not satisfied with killing of so many Iraqis. It fought with Iraq in 2003, killing 655,000 people. This paved the way for terrorist groups and militias to complete what they had started, until Iraq today became the country of 40 million people who are distressed and oppressed.

When an Iraqi says, “I will go for you as a ransom,” he shows his sincerity. Many of them have gone as ransom for Iraq since the first Gulf War. Four million people have died. The death comes here in wholesale since 2003 and continue to do so even today.

Aren’t the 31 years of Iraq’s life which was full of grief enough to stop the mess which is happening there. This is needed so that its wounds heal, and it comes out of its isolation forever. Are the tears of mothers and the cries of fathers still not enough for the killers to stop?

(By Reem Alasiri in Okaz)

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