From the International Solidarity Movement:
Palestinians United Again to Appeal for the Release of Peace Activists held Hostage in Iraq
January 30th, 2006
Following the recent release of new video footage of the four Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) members being held hostage in Iraq, Palestinian leaders united again to appeal for their release.
With the election behind them, representatives of Fatah and Hamas, along with religious leaders, have come together to appeal for the release of the hostages, political prisoners and all those working for Justice. The two Hamas representatives, in calling for their release, refered to them as friends of the Palestinians, stating that “These people support us against the occupation,” and named each one of them; Harmeet Sodeen and James Loney from Canada, Tom Fox from the USA, and Norman Kember from the UK.
CPT have been working for peace in Palestine for many years and are much valued by the Palestinian communities they support. The speakers emphasized Islam as a religon of peace, even in such difficult times. They spoke of the suffering of the Palestinian and Iraqi people, and that they should release those who work with them under occupation in Iraq.
Dr. Mahmoud Rahmahi, newly elected member of the legislative council representing Hamas
Azam Al Ahmad, newly elected member of the legislative council representing Fatah and previously Palestinian Ambassador to Iraq
Abdel Aziz Ahmad, newly elected member of the legislative council representing Hamas
Abu Hassan, representing the Muslim scientists (Rabata Olama Al Muslimin)
They were also joined by Jerry Levin a current CPT delegate who himself was held hostage for a year by Hezbollah in Lebanon. He said, ” We are all under one god, Allah, so please, let our brothers go, let your brothers go.”
Tyseer Tamimi, Imam of the Al Aqsa Mosque, was unable to attend due to being delayed for 2 hours at an Israeli checkpoint near Maale Adummim. He has attended numerous other press conferences for the kidnapped CPTers, as well as many non-violent demonstrations against the Apartheid Wall and Israeli Occupation, such as at the villages of Aboud and Bil’in.
The speakers reiterated their calls for releasing the CPT captives, as well as all political prisoners. They emphasized the solidarity of the CPTers with the suffering people of Iraq and Palestine, and condemned the occupations of Iraq and Palestine.