May 28, 2011 - Ahmad Sa’adat, imprisoned Palestinian leader, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, issued a statement from his isolation cell in Nafha prison on May 24, 2011. Sa’adat’s letter marked the anniversary of the Nakba and sent condolences to the entire Palestinian people, and particularly the Palestinian community in exile and diaspora, for the “martyrs of Return” who gave their lives in Jerusalem, the occupied Syrian Golan, Lebanon and Gaza on May 15, 2011, when they were killed by Israeli occupation forces as they protested in mass actions commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba and demanding the implementation of Palestinian refugees’ right of return.
Sa’adat presented his statement to attorney Buthaina Duqmaq, President of the Mandela Foundation for Prisoners and Detainees, who visited him at Nafha. In his comments, he urged the entire Palestinian people to struggle to establish unity in order to move forward in the collective Palestinian national struggle to achieve common goals - return, liberation and self-determination.
Buthaina Duqmaq reported that Sa’adat had high morale despite the conditions of isolation; she noted that he had been deprived of all rights, including family visits and communication with fellow prisoners, yet showed a high level of optimism in light of the news of change and revolution in the Arab world and its potential to support the Palestinian people and their struggle.
Sa’adat commented that “Current circumstances are reshaping our region, and we believe it will be in a direction that serves our cause and our people. These circumstances also lead us to raise our level of confrontation with the occupier and its aggression and rejection of our rights - a commonality shared by all Zionist parties at all levels.”
Sa’adat said that he has great faith in the ability of the Palestinian people to lead where the leadership has failed, saying that these “failed leaders must step aside and recognize that the way forward is the movement of the people,” calling for “action and struggle without restrictions or barriers by any authority, to confront the occupation, on a program of popular resistance and mass mobilization that responds to the diverse interests of our people at every moment and at every time in our cause.”
He also spoke about his own isolation, saying that it is part of an attempt to break the morale and steadfastness of Palestinian prisoners, and that his isolation is a tactic of revenge and has nothing to do with “security reasons.” He described the isolation of prisoners from their fellow prisoners and their environment as an attempt at “slow execution,” killing prisoners “socially if not biologically,” noting that this was the motivation of the Israeli prison administration.