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Palestinian youth welcome former detainees to Gaza in “Prisoners Uprising”

22 October 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza

Fifty Palestinian youth marched from Gaza’s International Committee of the Red Cross compound to the Commodore Gaza and Al-Quds International Hotels, celebrating the release of 477 political prisoners Tuesday and welcoming those exiled to Gaza, who are currently housed in the hotels.

The demonstration ended in the Al-Nour Cultural Center, where four exiled prisoners, as well as the son of a current prisoner from Gaza, addressed the crowd.

“We are trying to awaken youth about the situation of the prisoners through ongoing activities,” said Majed Abusalama, one of the organizers of the event.

“This is peaceful cultural resistance,” he said. “We want to pressure the international community to take action for the rights of Palestinian prisoners.”

Abusalama added that the group hoped to hold weekly events calling attention to Palestinian political prisoners detained by Israel.

On Monday, the human rights organizations ADDAMEER and Al-Haq warned that Israel’s exile of Palestinian prisoners “violate[s] Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits forcible transfers and deportations of protected persons, a proscription that is part of customary international humanitarian law.

“Unlawful deportation or transfer also constitutes a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention (GC IV) and qualifies as one of the most serious war crimes,” the groups said in a joint statement.