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Palestinian Footballer Near Death

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Palestinian Footballer Near Death

Dying for justice.

by Stephen Lendman

Several Palestinian prisoners continue hunger striking for justice.

Footballer Mahmoud Sarsak declined food for 90 days and counting. He's been detained uncharged for nearly three years. He demands release. Israel refuses.

Israel Prison Service (IPS) officials don't care if he lives or dies.

Israel shows contempt for non-Jews. Institutionalized racism is policy. So is cold-blooded persecution. 

Thousands of Palestinian prisoners rot unjustly in gulag conditions. Hundreds are uncharged. They can be held indefinitely with no possibility of justice.

Sarsak and others resist their only way possible.

On July 22, 2009, he was arrested at Gaza's Erez checkpoint. He headed for a West Bank Balata refugee camp football match. He was taken to Ashkelon Prison for weeks of interrogation. 

On August 23, he was lawlessly detained under Israel's Unlawful Combatant Law (UCL). Using it results in long-term indefinite detentions. Sarsak was never charged or tried. 

On March 19, he stopped eating in protest. His fundamental rights are denied. He spent punishing time in solitary confinement. Supporters worldwide demand his release.

FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, criticized his lawless detention. On June 12, FIFA.com headlined "Alleged illegal detainment of Palestinian football players," saying:

Blatter "today expressed....grave concern and worry about" lawless Israeli detentions.

"The reports FIFA received state that in apparent violation of their integrity and human rights and without the apparent right of a due process (trial), several Palestine football players have allegedly been illegally detained by Israeli authorities."

"In particular, the mentioned reports refer to the Palestine player Mahmoud Sarsak, whose health is in a very delicate state due to the fact that he has been undergoing a hunger strike for approximately 90 days in protest of his alleged illegal detention."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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