53rd anniversary of the launch of the Palestinian revolution!

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PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas will light a torch next Sunday evening in Ramallah to mark the 53rd anniversary of the launch of the Palestinian revolution and the Fatah movement, member of Fatah Central Committee, Jamal Moheisen, said yesterday.

He told the official Voice of Palestine radio that a march will start at 4pm on Sunday from Ramallah First Saryyeh, towards the mausoleum of former leader Yasser Arafat near the presidential headquarters, where President Abbas will light a torch and address the occasion.

He said that this year’s activities will be different from previous years since there will not be a central rally, but separate events in different areas due to the current conditions in the Palestinian territories.

Meanwhile, four Palestinians were shot and injured with live bullets and others suffocated yesterday during separate clashes with Israeli forces in the town of Sa’ir and the nearby al-Arroub refugee camp, to the north of Hebron, according to local and security sources.

Israeli forces raided al-Aroub, provoking clashes with locals, firing live bullets at residents and injuring three. They were transferred to hospital for medical treatment. Israeli forces further attacked residents’ homes with tear gas causing many to suffocate as a result.

A fourth Palestinian was also shot and injured with live ammunition during similar clashes that broke out in the town of Sa’ir, with the Israeli forces reportedly preventing ambulance crews from providing the injured youth with first aid and from transferring him to a hospital. Five Palestinians were detained from Sa’ir town during the military raid.

An ultra right-wing Israeli minister verbally harassed Palestinians from Gaza as they travelled on a bus to visit their imprisoned relatives in southern Israel’s Nafha prison, hurling abuse at women on the bus and calling their sons ‘dogs’.

MK Oren Hazan of the right-wing Likud party – Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s party – intercepted and boarded a bus of Palestinian families travelling to Nafha prison on Christmas Day. As he confronted the Palestinian families he turned to the mother of an imprisoned Palestinian and asked: ‘Who did you come to visit? What did your son do?,’ to which she replied: ‘He did not do anything.’

Hazan responded: ‘Your son is a dog. He’s a dog. You come to visit the scum who are sitting here in prison, whom you see as your family members.’ As the woman attempted to respond to Hazan’s abuse, he shouted over her saying: ‘I will make sure you cannot visit here any more and we’ll do everything so you will not get in. You are not welcome here, you have to understand well, you raised your son to murder.’

Hazan was with a group of other right-wing Israelis who are part of the so-called Task Force.

During his attack on the families, he said: ‘I want to tell you all, your friends in Gaza are holding our brothers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul and Avera Mengistu, and if you do not bring this message home that we want to get our children back you will not come here any more. If you continue here you will not see them alive.’

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, there are currently 6,198 Palestinians detained by Israel as of October. The group has estimated that some 40 per cent of Palestinian men will be detained by Israel at some point in their lives.