Friday, April 17, 2009

Palestinians mark Prisoners Day across West Bank, Gaza

Date: 17 / 04 / 2009 Time: 16:07
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Palestine - Ma'an - Masses gathered in Gaza City, Bethlehem, Ramallah and other Palestinian cities to pay tribute to their friends, family members and peers locked in Israeli prisons on Friday.

Prisoners Day was marked by marches, calls to action and moments of silence as communities took time to remember and honor Palestinians in Israeli custody.

Hamas officials told ralliers in Gaza that the issue of prisoners was at the top of their list, and reminded members of the militant Al-Qassam Brigades affiliated with the party, that all efforts were being made to secure their release.

The movement welcomed efforts in support of a prisoner swap and reminded listeners that unity and the creation of a Palestinian state would also be a move towards the end of Palestinians in Israeli cells.

Also from Gaza the An-Nasser Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), echoed promises for renewed efforts to secure the release of Palestinians. “We will use all our means to kidnap more Israeli soldiers and exchange them with Palestinian detainees,” a spokesman said.

In the northern West Bank town of Tubas, residents observed a 15 minute electricity cut as a way of marking off time to remember and express solidarity with the prisoners. The power cut started at 8am and lasted until 8:15am.

In Bethlehem dozens participated in a march from Manger Square through the old city. Marchers held posters with images of detained Palestinians.

There are currently at least 11,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons, most taking action against the state in their mission to establish a Palestinian homeland.