PRESS RELEASE: Israel's Release of 26 Palestinian Political Prisoners

Israel released 26 Palestinian political prisoners earlier this morning (Wednesday, 30 October). However, literally two days before, on Monday the 28th of October, Israel arrested 20 Palestinians (including 2 Palestinian parliamentarians and 13 Palestinian students, see Further, on the day of the release of the 26 Palestinian political prisoners (which was meant to have been an act of goodwill toward negotiations) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Gideon Saar announced a decision to build 1500 illegal Jewish-only settler units on Occupied Palestinian land in East Jerusalem (

Israel is still holding 5026 Palestinian political prisoners, 135 in Administrative Detention (the equivalent of Apartheid South Africa's Detention Without Trial), 179 Palestinian children, 15 Palestinian parliamentarians, 24 Palestinian political prisoners who have served more than 25 years and 70 who have served more than 20 years. Just as what occurred in South Africa, Israel must unconditionally release all Palestinian political prisoners for genuine negotiations.

BDS South Africa joins other Palestinian solidarity and human rights organisations in calling for the release of ALL Palestinian political prisoners currently incarcerated in Israeli jails. BDS South Africa echoes the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu who, in a message that was delivered at the recent Robben Island launch of the "Free Marwan Barghouti and All Palestinian Political Prisoners" campaign, said: "we are calling on Israel to step back from the precipice of division and prejudice, and free [Palestinian] political prisoners. Their liberation will also liberate you." As a part of the recent Robben Island "Free Marwan Barghouti and All Palestinian Political Prisoners" launch, BDS South Africa, in its message of support and address focused on the controversial security company G4S and its role in servicing, equipping and running Israeli prisons, torture centres and detention facilities.

BDS South Africa urges members of the public to contribute toward the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners by joining the boycott campaign against G4S security. The international security company, G4S (currently in facing allegations of torture and abuse at the Mangaung Correctional Centre), was contracted in 2007 to provide and maintain security equipment at Israeli prisons. The equipment includes monitoring systems, cameras and control rooms in which Palestinians are detained without trial and subjected to torture ( According to Kwara Kekana of BDS South Africa: "G4S is not only complicit in Israel's incarceration of Palestinian political prisoners but also, essentially, profits from running and equipping Israel's prisons."
On Saturday the 02nd of November, the Foundation for Human Rights and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will be hosting an open indaba on the topic of Palestinian prisoners, human rights and law: 
VENUE: Women’s Gaol Atrium, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg
DATE: 02 November 2013
TIME: 10h00 - 13:00
PROGRAMME: Facilitated engagement with the visiting
"Free Marwan Barghouti and All Palestinian Political Prisoners" delegation from Palestine currently in South Africa, presentation on the legal case of Marwan Barghouthi and input from BDS South Africa on the boycott of G4S.
RSVP: research@kathradafoundatio

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