By Maram A. Salam
Unusually, the weekly sit-in of Palestinian prisoners’ families in front of the Red Cross headquarters in Gaza city is crowded with people, (families, activists in solidarity, journalists and ex-prisoners etc.).
The number of participants in the weekly sit-ins rises successively as the Palestinian Prisoners day approaches, which marks the 17th of April every year. Gradually, April became a good season to promote the prisoners' issue and put it again in the front of local and international media.
For more than ten years, Um Ramzy Saleh, a mother of two prisoners comes regularly to the weekly sit-in every Monday. She said, commenting on the unusual large number of people, : “ Every day should be a prisoner day, it is not enough to remember prisoners issue only in April, as do many people, factions and international activists” .
She added : “ The huge suffering that our jailed sons go through could not be described. Solidarity events should be hold on throughout the whole year “ .
For Anaam Abu Qainus, a regular activist, the image was brighter. She expressed her happiness of the large number of people who came to stand in solidarity with prisoners.
She said : “ It is good to see how the people are moving day after day with prisoners issue. This reflects the growing awareness of the importance of prisoners cause and its symbolism for us as Palestinians “. Then she called on Arab and European countries to move step by step with Palestinians in order to internationalize the prisoners issue.
“ Activists around the world should usually protest in front of Israeli embassies in their countries demanding the liberation of prisoners “ She ended.
Father of prisoner “ Shadi Al Baba”, who is serving 13 years in Israeli prisons, was fully busy chanting slogans with people in the weekly sit-in, holding his son’s picture . He said : “ The prisoner’s day does not pass unnoticed for us; there are many events to be held through this month. I call all Palestinians to participate to support our beloved sons who suffer behind Israeli bars.“
Abu Shadi, 60, assured that April can be a good chance to work hard on promoting the issue of Palestinian Prisoners.
Amid the crowded gathering , a glimpse of happiness was drawn on Um Ibarahim Baroud‘s face, the mother of a recent freed prisoner Ibrahim, who served 27 in prison.
Um Ibrahim,70, was receiving congratulations on the marriage of her ex-prisoner son from all people and prisoners’ mothers around. The prisoner day for Um Ibrahim this year seems totally different; it is her first time to celebrate this occasion having her long-awaited jailed son in her arms again.
She spoke loudly to all journalists gathered around her calling for more events and efforts to support the prisoners’ issue, stressing on the role of local and international media .
At the latest, she said: “ my happiness is still incomplete. The major happiness is when all the prisoners in the Israeli prisons released.”
Palestinians do celebrate the prisoner day in 17th April every year by demos and protest events calling for the liberation of more than 5.000 jailed Palestinians in Israeli jails who are sufferring very harsh and inhumane living conditions .