Rhonda Parker at examiner.com reported yesterday that Gaza TV and radio had broken the story that Mahmoud Sarsak, the Palestinian footballer who has been on a hunger strike for approximately 90 days, would be released from an Israeli prison between July 10 and 15. Sarsak, who is classified by the Israelis as an “unlawful combatant,” is currently serving an indefinite sentence, without being charged with a crime.
Word came just hours ago from a friend of Sarsak’s and the family, who says the family has heard from Sarsak’s legal Council on this.
‘The facts are still very cloudy in this, but still, we are jubilant! Ecstatic! I’ve just also heard this news from the radio,’ said a joyous Malaka Mohammed, who has run a diligent campaign on Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter since his friend was arrested at a checkpoint in July of 2009.
Further verification of the possible release of the hunger-striking footballer was received from the Palestinian Minister of Prisoners, Issa Qaraqe.
Mahmoud Sarsak is in extremely ill health as a result of his lengthy hunger strike. Physicians who have recently examined him say that Sarsak’s condition is still life-threatening. He needs immediate hospitalization and it is unclear if he will be able to completely recover from his ordeal.
Meanwhile, on Saturday in Edinburgh, dozens of protesters staged a spirited demonstration in support of Mahmoud Sarsak at a football match between women’s teams representing Israel and Scotland. The Israelis were soundly defeated, 8-0, inspiring the video’s title, “They’re useless without guns.”
There is a growing international protest against the Israel for its treatment of Mahmoud Sarak. Football legend Eric Cantona and FIFA President, Sepp Blatter are two prominent figures who have spoken out.
As Annie Robbins pointed out here recently, protests against international athletic delegations were an important part of the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. Hopefully, the Olympic Games in London this summer will provide an international platform for demonstrations against Israeli injustice and occupation.