The morning of 7 January 2008, Dr. Ahmad Maslamani, a leading national figure in the Palestinian grassroots struggle against the occupation, passed away as a result of a heart attack. In 1985 he was a founder member of the Union of Health Work Committees, where he was director from 1992. From 2004, he was a member of the steering committee of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign. He was a member of the central committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
His passing is a great loss for the Palestinian people. As one who dedicated his life to our cause, he will remain a model for all of us in his steadfastness, determination and humanity. He remained faithful to the principles of our struggle, committed to every dunum of our land and to the return of our refugees. His strategic understanding of the cause helped him to focus on the core issues of our people.
He was imprisoned four times by the occupation, and repeated detention sharpened his sense of justice. In his quiet manner he kept his gentleness, generosity and humanity.
An active member of the Palestinian popular struggle throughout his life, he became a pillar of Palestinian civil society during the second intifada. Living in Jerusalem, the city of his birth, he campaigned for the rights of our people in the city and for the dignity of our capital. Before the 2006 legislative elections, the occupation imprisoned him for the last time and from June 2005 to March 2006 he was incarcerated in Ashkelon prison. Activists and organizations nationally and internationally joined in the campaign for his release. He was one of the most active members of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and he will be greatly missed in these difficult times of our struggle.
Dr. Ahmad Maslamani stood firm against normalization and his voice was influential among Palestinian civil society organizations. He was ready to defend the rights of our people even when he saw them sidelined by the Palestinian Authority.
The last few months were characterized by the same spirit of steadfastness and resistance which he carried with him throughout life. In November, he was a leading figure in the popular demonstration for Palestinian rights in opposition to the Annapolis conference. In December, in the face of immense pressure, he played a key role in preventing the Madrid Forum for a Just Peace from being hijacked and turned into an event for normalization with the occupation. When the Spanish Foreign ministry lost control, forcibly cleared the venue and while the participants were demonstrating outside the gates of the conference hall, he simply smiled and said: “People are protesting and fighting back — this is what we want.”
Dr. Ahmad, as we mourn your passing, we pledge to remain true to your vision and continue on the path of struggle until the wall falls, the refugees return and Palestine is free.
The Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign is a coalition of Palestinian non governmental organizations and popular committees that mobilize and coordinate efforts on local, national and international levels. These efforts are focused upon stopping and dismantling the Apartheid Wall, and resisting Israeli occupation and colonization.