Israel launched a campaign of raids, incursions, roadblocks, searches and arrests last week after a group of Palestinian prisoners liberated themselves.
Soldiers stormed Palestinian towns in the northern West Bank, which it keeps under military occupation, in search of two of the prisoners.
They have also intensified checkpoints in the West Bank, detaining and searching Palestinians, and fought with protesters demonstrating in solidarity.
Six Palestinians freed themselves from the high security Gilboa prison in northern Israel last week, after apparently tunnelling for months. All six were members of Palestinian resistance groups.
Soldiers had captured four of them as Socialist Worker went to press. But they believe at least one of the two remaining self-liberated prisoners had successfully crossed over the militarised border into the West Bank.
Palestinians cheered the prisoners’ liberation. They demonstrated in solidarity in towns inside Israel’s “official” borders, inside the militarily occupied Jerusalem, in the West Bank, and in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Palestinians also fought back against Israeli soldiers during raids in West Bank towns and villages, including Al-Yamun, Yabad and Kafr Dan. Israeli soldiers retaliated by attacking them with sound and gas grenades.
Call for independence on the National Day of Catalonia
Up to 400,000 protesters flooded Catalonia’s streets last Saturday in a demonstration for independence.
The protest was organised by Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC) in preparation for talks between the Catalan regional government and the Spanish government set for later this week.
Protesters showed their fury over the Spanish state’s arrest of Catalan leaders who commissioned the 2017 independence referendum, which Spain ignored and deemed illegal.
Nine of those who have been released attended the demonstration in Barcelona that coincided with the National Day of Catalonia. ANC spokesperson Elisenda Paluzie said, “The political prisoners are back on the streets.”
Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez from the Labour-like PSOE party continues to oppose Catalans’ independence.
Activist Jordi Cuixart, who was among those jailed in 2017 said, “Those who ask us to turn the page do not want us to fight for self-determination. What is Spain’s plan for Catalonia? None. Only repression.”