Riya Al'Sanah

Strikes, soccer and sanctions: an interview with Mahmoud Sarsak

Issue section: 

Mahmoud Sarsak is a professional footballer who was arrested in 2009 and imprisoned in Israel for three years without charge. In April 2012 he joined the coordinated hunger strikes by Palestinian political prisoners. Riya Al'Sanah and Estelle Cooch interviewed him for Socialist Review.


Can you explain a bit about who you are and what you have been part of?

My name is Mahmoud Kemal Sarsak. I'm 26 years old and I was previously a player in the national Palestinian football team and I am now a released Palestinian prisoner. I was arrested on 22 July 2009 while travelling to join my new club at the time - Balata Youth in the West Bank. The Israeli secret services said they did not have enough evidence to send me to trial so I was held unlawfully for three years without charge.

Ethnic cleansing in the Negev

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Hundreds of the thousands of Bedouins who currently live in the south of Israel are now facing ethnic cleansing. The Prawer plan is the largest act of displacement of Bedouin Palestinians in the Naqab (Negev) in decades.

The continued neglect of Palestinian Bedouins by Israel (but also the Palestinian authority and other Arab states) has contributed towards a situation where they are often omitted from political campaigns and solidarity. In the wake of this intensified attack placing those Bedouins in the Naqab at the heart of our solidarity and activity has to be a priority.

Generation Palestine

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Edited by Rich Wiles

In 2005 more than 170 Palestinian civil society organisations launched a call to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel (BDS), mirroring the campaign against apartheid South Africa. The BDS movement has been most successful when activists and trade unionists have worked together.

Leila Khaled : life of a revolutionary

Issue section: 
Author: 

Sarah Irving

The image of a young woman, her hair wrapped in a red keffiyeh, clutching an AK-47, became a symbol of Palestinian resistance across the world, after Leila Khaled hijacked a TWA flight bound for Athens from Rome on 29 August1969. Just over a year and six plastic surgeries later, she was arrested during a second hijacking attempt during which one of her comrades was shot dead.

Khaled's main aim was to bring the world's attention to the Palestinian struggle. She said, "Before [the hijackings] no one heard our screaming from the tents."

Nothing to lose but their chains

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Since 17 April 2012 (Palestinian Prisoners Day) a new wave of resistance has been launched by political prisoners in Israeli jails. Around 1,600 prisoners declared that they were starting an indefinite hunger strike, referred to as the "Karama" (dignity) strike.

This marks the biggest collective hunger strike led by prisoners since 2004.

The strike was sparked by two prisoners, Khadir Adnan and Hana Shalabi. Both have been released after 66 and 53 days of hunger strike respectively.

Both were protesting against the policy of administrative detention that has led to the jailing of almost 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli dungeons.

Administrative detention allows the Israeli state to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret evidence without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.

Subscribe to RSS - Riya Al'Sanah