A very good article has just been published by Haaretz on Zakaria Zubeidi.
Tower Hamlets Jenin Freidnship Association supports the work of the Jenin Freedom Theatre and Zakaria.
We will be sending in the following letter to all our MPs and handing in a similar letter to the Palestinian Embassy on Friday at 2pm:
We are members Tower Hamlets Jenin Friendship Association, one of several organisations twinning boroughs in the UK with towns / cities in Palestine. Our association, as you probably know, is involved in supporting Palestine in general, and Jenin and the Jenin refugee camp in particular. We organise volunteer programs, host Palestinian speakers and visitors and raise public awareness of Palestinian issues in our country.
We are writing to you as a supporter of the Palestinian cause because we are very disturbed by the news we have received about the detention without charge of Zakaria Zubeidi a prominent figure in Jenin refugee camp. Zakaria, was one of the founders of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin Camp, which has had a huge influence through its work in drawing international attention to the Palestinian situation and its effect on people there. In 2005 he renounced armed struggle and devoted himself to resistance by peaceful cultural means. Last year, the amnesty he was given by the Israelis was revoked without any reason being given.
Since his arrest and detention by the Palestinian Authority four months ago, he has not been charged with anything or brought to trial. We have now learnt that he has now declared that he will embark on a total hunger strike including fluids. Given that the illegal Israeli practice of administrative detention has rightly caused an international outcry, we think it is absolutely wrong that Zakaria should be treated in a similar manner by the Palestinian Authority itself, for reasons that we can only guess at. We consider that this action will harm the Palestinian cause especially if Zakaria persists in his decision and he ends his life, which could easily happen in a short time.
We appeal to you as a friend of the Palestinians to use any influence you have to persuade the Palestinian Authority either to charge Zakaria and put him on trial if it thinks he is guilty of anything, or to release him at the earliest possible time. This is extremely urgent. Zakaria’s death would be a tragedy for his family and for the people of Jenin Camp, and it will damage the Palestinian cause. It is essential that in opposing the unjust Israeli occupation, the Palestinian Authority firmly puts itself on the side of human rights and the rule of law.