Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Palestinian Health Ministry: 89 Palestinians killed, 10,000 Injured by Israel since October 1

November 17, 2015 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News
On Tuesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that, following the death of a Mohammad Monir Hasan Saleh, 24, 24, from Ramallah, the number of Palestinians, killed by Israeli fire since October 1st, has arrived to 89, including 18 children and four women, and that 10.000 Palestinians have been injured.

Mohammad Monir Hasan Saleh
Mohammad Monir Hasan Saleh 

In a press release, the Health Ministry stated that the soldiers shot and killed, on Tuesday, Mohammad Monir Hasan Saleh, 24 years of age, from 'Aroura village, northwest of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and injured at least two others.

It said that the number of Palestinians, killed by Israeli fire since October 1, has arrived to 89, including 18 in the Gaza Strip and one in the Negev, and that among the slain Palestinians are eighteen women and four children (including a mother and her baby in Gaza.)

The Ministry stated that more 10.000 Palestinians have been injured in the same period in different parts of occupied Palestine.

“On average, the army kills two Palestinians and injures around 217 every day,” it said.

In its report, the Ministry said that at least 1450 Palestinians have been shot with live Israeli army fire, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, since October 1.

1065 were shot with rubber-coated metal bullets, and have all been hospitalized, while more than 1100 Palestinians, who were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, received treatment by medics without the need for hospitalization.

6500 Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, 255 suffered fractures and bruises after being assaulted by Israeli soldiers and paramilitary settlers, and more than 25 suffered burns due to Israeli gas bombs and concussion grenades.

The number of Palestinians shot with live Israeli army fire in the West Bank is at least 1010, in addition to 950 who were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets. In Gaza, 440 were shot with live rounds and 115 with rubber-coated steel bullets.

Names Of The 89 Palestinians Killed By Israeli Fire Since October 1st

The Following is a list of names of all Palestinians shot and killed by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and one in the Negev, in the period between Thursday October 1st and the end of Tuesday November 17th, 2015, as confirmed by the Palestinian Health Ministry.

1. Mohannad Halabi, 19, al-Biereh – Ramallah. Shot after allegedly grabbing gun and killing two Israelis. 10/3
2. Fadi Alloun, 19, Jerusalem. Israeli claim of 'attack' contradicted by eyewitnesses and video. 10/4
3. Amjad Hatem al-Jundi, 17, Hebron.
4. Thaer Abu Ghazala, 19, Jerusalem.
5. Abdul-Rahma Obeidallah, 11, Bethlehem.
6. Hotheifa Suleiman, 18, Tulkarem.
7. Wisam Jamal Faraj, 20, Jerusalem. Shot by an exploding bullet during protest. 10/8
8. Mohammad al-Ja’bari, 19, Hebron.
9. Ahmad Jamal Salah, 20, Jerusalem.
10. Ishaq Badran, 19, Jerusalem. Israeli claim of 'attack' contradicted by eyewitnesses. 10/10
11. Mohammad Said Ali, 19, Jerusalem.
12. Ibrahim Ahmad Mustafa Awad, 28, Hebron. Shot at protest by rubber-coated steel bullet in his forehead. 10/11
13. Ahmad Abdullah Sharaka, 13, Al Jalazoun Refugee camp-Ramallah.
14. Mostafa Al Khateeb, 18, Sur-Baher – Jerusalem.
15. Hassan Khalid Manassra, 15, Jerusalem.
16. Mohammad Nathmie Shamasna, 22, Qotna - Jerusalem. Allegedly grabbed gun of Israeli soldier on bus and killed two. 10/13
17. Baha’ Elian, 22, Jabal Al Mokaber-Jerusalem.
18. Mutaz Ibrahim Zawahra, 27, Bethlehem. Hit with a live bullet in the chest during a demonstration.
19. Ala’ Abu Jammal, 33, Jerusalem.
20. Bassem Bassam Sidr, 17, Hebron. Killed in Jerusalem after Israeli shoted that he 'had a knife' - but no knife was present.
21. Ahmad Abu Sh’aban, 23, Jerusalem.
22. Riyadh Ibraheem Dar-Yousif, 46, Al Janyia village Ramallah( Killed while harvesting olives)
23. Fadi Al-Darbi , 30, Jenin – died in Israeli detention camp.
24. Eyad Khalil Al Awawdah, Hebron.
25. Ihab Hannani, 19, Nablus.
26. Fadel al-Qawasmi, 18, Hebron. Shot by paramilitary settler, Israeli soldier caught on film planting knife near his body.
27. Mo'taz Ahmad 'Oweisat, 16, Jerusalem. Military claimed he 'had a knife'. 10/17
28. Bayan Abdul-Wahab al-'Oseyli, 16, Hebron. Military claimed she 'had a knife', but video evidence contradicts that claim. 10/17
29. Tariq Ziad an-Natsha, 22, Hebron. 10/17
30. Omar Mohammad al-Faqeeh, 22, Qalandia. Military claimed he 'had a knife'. 10/17
31. Mohannad al-‘Oqabi, 21, Negev. Allegedly killed soldier in bus station in Beer Sheba.
32. Hoda Mohammad Darweesh, 65, Jerusalem.
33. Hamza Mousa Al Amllah, 25, from Hebron, killed near Gush Etzion settlement.
34. Odai Hashem al-Masalma, 24, Beit 'Awwa town near Hebron.
35. Hussam Isma’el Al Ja’bari, 18, Hebron.
36. Bashaar Nidal Al Ja’bari, 15, Hebron.
37. Hashem al-'Azza, 54, Hebron.
38. Moa’taz Attalah Qassem, 22, Eezariyya town near Jerusalem. 10/21
39. Mahmoud Khalid Eghneimat, 20, Hebron.
40. Ahmad Mohammad Said Kamil, Jenin.
41. Dania Jihad Irshied, 17, Hebron.
42. Sa’id Mohamed Yousif Al-Atrash, 20, Hebron.
43. Raed Sakit Abed Al Raheem Thalji Jaradat, 22, Sa’ir – Hebron.
44. Eyad Rouhi Ihjazi Jaradat, 19, Sa’er – Hebron.
45. Ezzeddin Nadi Sha'ban Abu Shakhdam, 17, Hebron. Shot by Israeli military after allegedly wounding soldier, then left to bleed to death.
46. Shadi Nabil Dweik, 22, Hebron. Shot by Israeli military after allegedly wounding the same soldier, then left to bleed to death.
47. Homam Adnan Sa’id, 23, Tal Romeida, Hebron. Shot by Israeli soldiers claiming 'he had a knife', but eyewitnesses report seeing soldiers throwing a knife next to his dead body. 10/27
48. Islam Rafiq Obeid, 23, Tal Romeida, Hebron. 10/28
49. Nadim Eshqeirat, 52, Jerusalem. 10/29 - Died when Israeli soldiers delayed his ambulance.
50. Mahdi Mohammad Ramadan al-Mohtasib, 23, Hebron. 10/29
51. Farouq Abdul-Qader Seder, 19, Hebron. 10/29
52. Qassem Saba’na, 20, shot on motorcycle near Zaatara checkpoint. 10/30
53. Ahmad Hamada Qneibi, 23, Jerusalem. Soldiers claimed 'he had a knife'.
54. Ramadan Mohammad Faisal Thawabta, 8 month old baby, Bethlehem. Died of tear gas inhalation.
55. Mahmoud Talal Abdul-Karim Nazzal, 18, al-Jalama checkpoint near Jenin. Israeli troops claim 'he had a knife', but eyewitnesses contradict that claim. 10/31
56. Fadi Hassan al-Froukh, 27. Beit Einoun, east of Hebron. 11/1.
57. Ahmad Awad Abu ar-Rob, 16, Jenin.
58. Samir Ibrahim Skafi, 23, Hebron. Shot by Israeli soldiers after his car hit a soldier who was on the street - it is unknown if he hit the soldier intentionally or accidentally. 11/4
59. Malek Talal Sharif, 25, Hebron, shot dead after the army claimed he attempted to stab a settler. 11/5
60. Tharwat Ibrahim Salman Sha’rawi, 73, shot dead by the army in Hebron.
61. Salman Aqel Mohammad Shahin, 22, Nablus.
62. Rasha Ahmad Hamed 'Oweissi, 24. Qalqilia. Carried suicide note and knife, but did not attempt to attack anyone.
63. Mohammad Abed Nimir, 37, Jerusalem.
64. Sadeq Ziyad Gharbiyya, 16, Jenin.
65. Abdullah Azzam Shalalda, 26, Hebron.
Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Shalalda, 22, Sa’ir, Hebron.
67. Hasan Jihad al-Baw, 22, Halhoul, Hebron.
68. Lafi Yousef Awad, 22, Budrus, Ramallah.
69. Laith Ashraf Manasra, 25, Qalandia
70. Ahmad Sobhi Abu al-‘Aish, 30, Qalandia.
71. Mohammad Monir Hasan Saleh, 24, Aroura – Ramallah.

Gaza Strip:

72. Shadi Hussam Doula, 20.
73. Ahmad Abdul-Rahman al-Harbawi, 20.
74. Abed al-Wahidi, 20.
75. Mohammad Hisham al-Roqab, 15.
76. Adnan Mousa Abu ‘Oleyyan, 22.
77. Ziad Nabil Sharaf, 20.
78. Jihad al-‘Obeid, 22.
79. Marwan Hisham Barbakh, 13.
80. Khalil Omar Othman, 15.
81. Nour Rasmie Hassan, 30. Killed along with her child in an Israeli airstrike. 10/11
82. Rahaf Yahya Hassan, two years old. Killed along with her mother in an Israeli airstrike. 10/11
83. Yahya Abdel-Qader Farahat, 23.
84. Shawqie Jamal Jaber Obeid, 37.
85. Mahmoud Hatem Hameeda, 22. Northern Gaza.
86. Ahmad al-Sarhi, 27, al-Boreij.
87. Yihya Hashem Kreira.
88. Khalil Hassan Abu Obeid, 25. Khan Younis. Died from wounds sustained in protest earlier in the week.
89. Salama Mousa Abu Jame’, 23, Khan Younis.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

REDFLAG: Palestine's history of resistance

Dear friends,
please find below my latest article published by Redflag on the history of Palestinian resistance.  This article is currently only available in the hard copy of Red Flag (however, an earlier, much shorter version called "Why we support the Palestinian rebellion" is available online, click here ).

You can check out Redflag for my other online articles on Palestine, Aboriginal Rights and South Korea (and the occasional other subject/issue) by clicking here

RedFlag is a strong supporter of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian struggle for justice and self-determination, as well as other struggles for justice in Australia and around the world. 

Redflag is available by digital subscription if you would like to support the independent press and get news and analysis that you would not read in the mainstream commercial press.

in solidarity, Kim

Palestine’s history of resistance

Kim Bullimore, 27 October 2015 / RedFlag

Fifty-three Palestinians are now dead, including 11 children, as young Palestinians across the Occupied Territories have risen up against Israeli occupation, apartheid and colonialism.

Thirty-eight have been killed in Occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank and 14 in Gaza. More than two-thirds of the dead have been younger than 20 years old. At least 1,900 have been injured by Israeli gunfire and thousands others have suffered from the effects of teargas, while nearly 900 have been detained by the Israeli state in mass arrests.

A history of resistance
According to Palestinian historian Mazin Qumsiyeh, this is not the third intifada; it is the fourteenth. The young Palestinians, both male and female, currently on the streets resisting Israel’s occupation and apartheid regime are marching in the footsteps of previous generations who struggled against not only the Israeli state but also British imperialism and Zionist settler-colonialism during the British occupation of Palestine (1917-1948).

Palestinian opposition to Zionist settler-colonialism resulted in bloody riots in 1920, 1921 and 1929, leaving hundreds of Palestinians and Zionists dead. In 1936, one of the longest strikes in modern history was launched as part of a three year anti-colonial uprising. The 1936-1939 revolt involved the entire population, with popular committees set up in every city and village.

As repression of the non-violent struggle escalated, thousands of young Palestinian men and women took up arms against the British military and police. In the end it took more than 35,000 British and Zionist troops to put down the revolt, at the cost of approximately 5,000 Palestinian lives.

Almost a decade later, more than 1 million Palestinians were forced to flee their homes during the 1948 Nakba (“catastrophe”), ethnically cleansed from their homeland by Zionist militias. More than 750,000 fled to neighbouring Arab states and 100-150,000 became internally displaced refugees in the newly formed Israeli state.

Between 1949 and 1966, Palestinians inside the Zionist state were placed under martial law. Despite being subject to regular curfew and restrictions being placed on their education, employment and political activity, Palestinians continued to resist, organising political parties and protests despite threats and intimidation.

Palestinian refugees in exile also resisted Israel’s ethnic cleansing by organising rallies and protests demanding the right of return to their homes. In 1957, exiled Palestinian students formed Fatah, which eight years later launched an armed struggle to try and win back their homeland.

In the wake of Israel’s seizure and occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights in June 1967, Palestinians once again suffered ethnic cleansing and dispossession. Yet they kept resisting despite violent Israeli military repression.

On 8 December 1987, an Israeli truck ploughed into a car killing four Palestinians in Gaza. Angry demonstrations erupted, marking the beginning of what popularly became known as the First Intifada. A grassroots mass uprising, similar in many ways to the 1936 strike and revolt, the Intifada represented a “shaking off” of Israel’s occupation and involved the vast majority of Palestinians. The uprising was led politically by the Unified Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU), which comprised all the major Palestinian factions.

The UNLU called for the formation of popular committees in each village and town to oppose Israel’s occupation through a coordinated boycott of Israeli goods, a refusal to pay Israeli taxes, a boycott of working in Zionist settlements and a general strike and closure of all businesses for designated periods both in the Occupied Territories and inside Israel.
In response to the uprising, Israel placed the Occupied Territories under curfew and instituted a policy of mass arrests, accompanied by the beating and shooting of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators and mass exile of Palestinians. Unable to stop the Intifada by force, the Israeli ruling class reluctantly entered into “peace negotiations” with the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

In late 1993, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzak Rabin sign the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, also known as the Oslo Accords, which formally brought the intifada to an end. While the Accords were heralded as laying a foundation for interim self-rule in the Occupied Territories, which would eventually lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state, they only led to a deepening of Israel’s occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people.

The Second Intifada erupted on 29 September 2000 in response to Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. By the end of the first day, seven Palestinians were dead and 300 wounded. In response, demonstrations spread like wildfire across the Occupied Territories and within Israel.

Israel’s repression of the protests was brutal. More than 1.3 million live rounds of ammunition were fired in just a few days. In the first five days Israeli occupation forces killed 47 Palestinians, including several Palestinian citizens of Israel, and injured almost 2,000. By the end of four weeks, 141 Palestinians were dead and nearly 6,000 injured.

While the Second Intifada had begun, like previous uprisings, as a grassroots rebellion, it became increasingly militarised as a result of Israel’s brutal repression, which made popular protest almost impossible. The asymmetrical conflict led to the use of suicide bombings, resulting in the deaths of approximately 500 Israelis.

Israel’s campaign to repress the militarised intifada resulted in 2,859 Palestinians killed and tens of thousands injured over four years. Israel also demolished more than 3,700 Palestinian homes and jailed more than 7,000 Palestinians.

A new uprising
The decades of ethnic cleansing, the growth of illegal colonies, the lawlessness of the illegal settlers, the theft of land, the suffocation of commercial life, and the collaboration of the Palestinian leadership mean that the character of this latest round of resistance is significantly different to those of the past.

As Omar Barghouti, writing at US news site Salon.com, explained:

This phase of popular Palestinian resistance has broken out spontaneously, in reaction to exceptionally repressive policies of the most racist, settler-dominated and far-right government in Israel’s history.

Since Benjamin Netanyahu’s return to power in 2009, Israel’s descent into unmasked, right wing extremism has accelerated alarmingly … [A] steady stream of discriminatory, anti-democratic laws targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel, and to a lesser extent Jewish-Israeli critics of Israel’s apartheid regime, have been passed by the Israeli parliament …Following a recent visit to occupied Palestine, South African Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete wrote, ‘Apartheid in South Africa was a picnic compared to what we have seen in the occupied territories’.”

Israel’s occupation is marked by both its extensive military control of Palestinian territory but also its settlement expansion. According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, by 2010, Israeli settlers and their organisations were in control of 42 percent of the West Bank. In the 20 years since the Oslo Accords, the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has increased from 260,000 to 650,000.

The lawlessness of these illegal colonists has been a major factor in sparking the current rebellion.

Since Israel’s evacuation of settlers from Gaza in 2005, Zionist settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have carried out a campaign of violent “price tag” (revenge) attacks against Palestinians. As Isabel Kershner noted on 3 October in the New York Times, these attacks are designed to “exact a price from local Palestinians or from the Israeli security forces for any action taken against their settlement enterprise”.

On 31 July, colonists fire bombed the home of a Palestinian family in the village of Duma. The attack resulted in an 18-month-old baby, Ali Dawabsheh, being burnt to death. The rest of his family sustained horrific burns. Ali’s parents, Saad and Reham, died a week later as a result of their injuries. On 10 September, Israel’s defence minister Moshe Ya’alon told the Israeli media: “We know who is responsible, but we will not expose those findings in order to protect our intelligence sources”.

While the previous intifadas were dominated by the Palestinian factions, Palestinian youth today are organising through their own networks, largely via social media, to coordinate their rebellion. As one Palestinian youth told the Middle East Eye on 12 October: 

Almost everyone is part of a party, or at least they support a party in Palestine, but that is something separate from what’s happening right now … Right now we are going to the streets against the Israeli occupation in demand of our rights, we don’t need our parties for that, no one is talking about parties, this is an intifada from the people alone”.

Why we support the Palestinians
The Palestinian youth, who are on the front lines throwing stones, are there because they have never known one single day when they could move freely.

They have never known one single day of being able to attend school without fear that the Israeli military might fire tear-gas into their classrooms or invade their school yard.
They have never known one single day when they did not experience the terror of night raids or the Israeli military invading their villages and their homes or the homes of their family, friends and loved ones.

The young men and women on the front lines have witnessed three major attacks on Gaza in six years. They watched as more than 4,100 of their people were massacred in these attacks, trapped in the largest open-air prison in the world.

As veteran Israeli journalist Amira Hass so eloquently wrote in a 7 October article for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

The Palestinians are fighting for their life, in the full sense of the word. We Israeli Jews are fighting for our privilege as a nation of masters, in the full ugliness of the term.

That we notice there’s a war on only when Jews are murdered does not cancel out the fact that Palestinians are being killed all the time, and that all the time we are doing everything in our power to make their lives unbearable. Most of the time it is a unilateral war, waged by us, to get them to say ‘yes’ to the master, thank you very much for keeping us alive in our reservations. When something in the war’s one-sidedness is disturbed, and Jews are murdered, then we pay attention.

Young Palestinians do not go out to murder Jews because they are Jews, but because we are their occupiers, their torturers, their jailers, the thieves of their land and water, their exilers, the demolishers of their homes, the blockers of their horizon.”

As Hass notes, the goal of Israel’s unilateral war is to force Palestinians to give up all of their national demands.

But for more than 100 years, Palestinians have remained sumoud (steadfast); they have never given up their dream of independence, nor have they given up on their homeland. They have shown time and time again that they will not buckle, no matter how strong their occupier or how weak their own leadership. They will always find the strength to resist.
It is our job to stand in solidarity with them.

[Kim Bullimore co-organised the first Australian national Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Conference in support of Palestine in 2010 and is the author of ”BDS and the struggle for a free Palestine”, which appears in the book, Left turn: political essays for the new left. Kim blogs at Live from occupied Palestine.]

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Explaining Israel's occupation and apartheid regime in 3 minutes

Dear friends,
Al Jazeera Plus (AJ+) has produced a range of short video on Israel's occupation of Palestine and the USA's funding of Israel.

I have included three below, which look at Occupied East Jerusalem, Israel's illegal colonies and US funding to Israel.Each video is approximately 3 minutes long, but manages to give you a lot of solid information, along with some good basic facts and figures. 

in solidarity, Kim


Life in Occupied East Jerusalem and Israel's apartheid system

Life in the Occupied West Bank and why Israel's settlements are illegal 

USA Aid to Israel

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Maan News: Hebron at eye of the storm as death toll rises

Dear friends, 
Hebron, along with Occupied East Jerusalem, has been at the centre of the recent rebellion. Hebron is the only city in the Occupied West Bank which has illegal Israeli colonies located inside it.  The 500 illegal Israeli colonists in these settlements make Hebron a living hell for the 20,000 Palestinians who live in the city.

Maan News recently posted an article detailing the struggle in Hebron.

In solidarity, Kim


Hebron at eye of the storm as death toll rises

By: Killian Redden
Oct. 25, 2015/ Maan News.

A masked Palestinian throws stones at Israeli soldiers during clashes following the funeral of Mohammed Fares al-Jaabari in Hebron on October 10, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader/File)

HEBRON (Ma’an) -- As the death toll has risen across the occupied Palestinian territory, the southern West Bank city of Hebron has found itself at the center of violence.

In just over a month, Israeli forces have killed 10 Palestinians in the sharply divided city. The toll, second only to that of Jerusalem, is indicative of a tension that has been building for years.

“The people don’t sleep here,” said Jawad Abu Aisheh, a coordinator with Youth Against Settlements, a local activist group documenting Israeli military and settler violations in Hebron.

He said that Palestinians live in perpetual fear of attacks by Hebron’s settlers, widely known to be among the most aggressive in the occupied West Bank.

There are more than 500 settlers living in a cluster of illegal settlements through the Old City and a further 7,000 in Kiryat Arba, just east of central Hebron.
They live among nearly 200,000 Palestinians, under the protection of a vast Israeli military infrastructure that has carved up the city into Israeli and Palestinian districts.

Sitting outside Youth Against Settlements’ office, Abu Aisheh listened to the ceaseless din of clashes that rose from the Old City’s narrow streets below.

The night before, two Palestinian boys, aged 15 and 17, were shot dead at the edge of Kiryat Arba.

The Israeli army said they were attempting to stab a soldier at a nearby military checkpoint, but a local woman told Youth Against Settlements that the shooting was instigated by a notorious Israeli settler named Ofer Yahana.

Palestinians across Hebron agreed they heard between 50 and 100 gunshots fired. In a city that has been on the brink for years, few were surprised.

Palestinian youth throw stones towards Israeli forces during clashes in Hebron on October 4, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader/File)

Disputed attacks 
Of the 10 Palestinians killed in Hebron since late September, Israel’s army has claimed that nine were attempting to carry out knife attacks when they were shot.But Abu Aisheh does not believe the army's account in at least half those cases.

Footage captured by Youth Against Settlements has raised serious questions over the army’s official version of several of the deaths -- including that of 18-year-old Hadeel Hashlamon, who appeared to have no knife when she was gunned down at the end of September, and 19-year-old Fadi Qawasmi, who may have had a knife planted on his dead body by Israeli soldiers after he was killed by a settler.

More recently, on Sunday, Israeli border police shot dead 17-year-old Dania Irsheid outside the Ibrahimi Mosque, claiming they saw “a knife in her hand” -- an account witnesses strongly contested.

Over the course of years, Hebron’s Palestinian residents have been given little reason to trust their occupying forces.

Youth Against Settlements’ staff and volunteers have been violently attacked by both soldiers and settlers dozens of times. They have been detained and had their equipment confiscated and destroyed.

After releasing the footage filmed after Qawasmi's death, Israeli forces detained the group’s media coordinator, Ahmad Amro, for more than three hours, erasing all video footage he had at the time and warning him not to film or publish any more material.Abu Aisheh said that it was dangerous work they performed.

“They can shoot you when you are alone, and throw a knife next to you.”

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Hadeel al-Hashlamon, an 18-year old Palestinian woman who was shot by Israeli forces after allegedly trying to stab a soldier, during her funeral in Hebron on September 23, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader/File)

Segregated city
Settlers began arriving in Hebron’s Old City in the late 1970s, using armed force to evict Palestinians from their homes.Abu Aisheh, who was born in 1973, had only been in school two years when the school building was taken over by a group of settlers, forcing the students out.

Before Abu Aisheh even understood the politics of Israel’s occupation, he said he “started to hate the settlers.”

He could not understand the extreme inequality, why the soldiers and police seemed to act at the settlers’ command.

He was 21 years old when, in 1994, the US-born Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein -- still revered as a hero among Hebron’s settlers -- massacred 29 Palestinians inside the city’s Ibrahimi Mosque.

For a while, it seemed Israeli public opinion had changed, aware at last how grave a mistake it had been to allow the settlers to live in the heart of Hebron. Briefly, there was hope among Palestinians that Israel was going to pull them out.

But instead, the Israeli army began to seal off parts of Hebron’s Old City. The city was segregated, formally divided into Palestinian and Israeli-controlled districts, H1 and H2 -- divisions enforced by the army’s checkpoints and guns.

According to Israeli rights group B’Tselem, more than 1,000 Palestinian homes were vacated in the city center and up to 1,829 Palestinian businesses closed. Shuhada Street, the city’s thriving thoroughfare, was emptied.

Israeli soldiers aim their guns at Palestinian youths during clashes in Hebron on October 4, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader/File)

Daily violence
The divisions have not been absolute. Living in such close quarters, the two worlds have spilled into one another on a daily basis, often in violence.

Israelis and Palestinians have come to know each other by name when filing complaints against each other at an Israeli police station in Kiryat Arba. The names frequently arise in conversation: Ofer Yahana, Anat Cohen, Baruch Marzel.

Abu Aisheh can recall at one point bringing one of Marzel’s children back to Tel Rumeida settlement after he found him wandering the streets lost.

At a later point, one of Marzel’s relatives violently assaulted the head of Youth Against Settlements, Issa Amro, inside the group’s office, which itself borders Tel Rumeida settlement.

B’Tselem has released video footage taken earlier this month showing five consecutive days of attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian homes bordering Kiryat Arba.

“Young Israelis from Kiryat Arba gathered by the fence and began to throw stones and glass bottles at nearby Palestinian houses, all the while swearing at the inhabitants and calling out racist slurs,” the group reported.

“This latest installment in a longstanding campaign of violence by settlers in Hebron -- which lasted five days and received military backing -- reflects the ongoing reality of daily life in the city.”

One resident of central Hebron, Muhammad Abu Turki, told Ma’an that tensions had soared in recent days. “Nowadays, it’s very dangerous,” he said. “We have seen many people killed in cold blood for no reason.”

An Israeli Star of David painted on a wall in the West Bank town of Hebron. (MaanImages/Charlie Hoyle/File)

‘Face of the occupation’
While the latest eruption of violence in Hebron has seemed to many unavoidable, international attention has over time drifted from the segregated city.A

bu Aisheh said that the Palestinian Authority should have kept a spotlight on Hebron, bringing international leaders and diplomats there. “When they go to Ramallah, they don’t see the face of the occupation,” he said.With the PA too weak to protect them, Palestinians in Hebron have found “they must defend themselves,” he said.

A sense of frustration and despair has driven the demonstrations and clashes that have shaken the city nearly every day this month.

Black smoke has risen from burning tires, while the streets are covered in barricades of stones manned by children seeking to keep the settlers out.

The factional lines -- normally so pervasive in Palestinian social life -- have become blurred at a popular level, said Abu Aisheh.

“The people act together on the street.”He has allowed himself a fleeting hope for the protests -- optimistic that they might give rise to a new generation of leaders in touch with the Palestinian people.

But Israel’s bloody response, particularly in Hebron, has left him concerned that there is more violence to come.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Over 1,100 Black activists, artists, scholars, students & organisations sign 2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine

Dear friends,
more than 1,100 Black activist, artists, scholars, students and organisations in the United States have put their names a 2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine. 

Amongst the signatories are: Angela Davis, Cornel West, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Talib Kweli, The Dream Defenders, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and the Organization for Black Struggle - St. Louis. 

A video has also been issued drawing attention to the both the Palestinian struggle and the Black struggle in the USA, in particular in regard to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Below is an interview with Khury Petersen-Smith, one of the initiators of the solidarity statement, as well as the statement and the solidarity video.

In solidarity, Kim


Video: When I see them, I see us
More than 1,100 Black activists, artists, scholars and students in the United States have signed the 2015 

Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine. Individual signatories include Angela Davis, Boots Riley, Cornel West, Emory Douglas and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Almost 50 organisations have also signed on. Red Flag’s Vashti Kenway spoke with Khury Petersen-Smith, who co-authored the statement (reprinted below).

What prompted you to be part of producing this statement?
The idea came last year, during Israel’s catastrophic bombing of Gaza. The Ferguson Uprising took place in the midst of it, and Palestinians produced two statements of solidarity with Ferguson and the Black struggle in the US.

In recent years, there have been growing numbers of prominent Black activists and intellectuals – like Alice Walker, Angela Davis, and Cornel West – speaking out very vocally for Palestine. There was also a brilliant piece in Ebony magazine, the most widely circulated Black publication in the US, on why “Black people must stand with Palestine”.

There was an opportunity to produce a statement that expressed the growing Black solidarity with Palestine and garnered more. Kristian Davis Bailey, the author of the Ebony piece, had the same idea and the two of us began working on the same project independently and unbeknownst to each other!

An activist who we both knew introduced us to each other and we decided to co-organise one statement together. We circulated it and published it on the first anniversary of the attack on Gaza. Since last summer, not only has there been a new wave of struggle against anti-Black racism in the US, but also very visible solidarity between the Black and Palestinian struggles.

There were Palestine contingents in Ferguson and at Black Lives Matter protests elsewhere, and delegations of Black activists to Palestine as well.

What was the process of collecting signatories? 
Kristian and I each knew some prominent Black activists and scholars who we reached out to. We have been involved in Palestine solidarity, Black Lives Matter, and left organising, so we sent the statement through our networks.

We approached key leaders, like Angela Davis, Cornel West, and others, and key organizations, like the Dream Defenders – all of whom signed on. With their signing, as well as Mumia Abu-Jamal, we reached a tipping point at which more people knew about it and signed on. We are excited to say that, ultimately, people from 25 different countries signed on, including Australia. 

Were there any debates within either the Palestinian solidarity or the Black Lives Matter campaign about the production of the statement? 
We have not directly encountered debates in producing the statement, though the question of whether oppressed groups of people should stand in solidarity with each others’ struggles is very much contested. We hope this is a contribution in favour of seeing solidarity as something that makes our movements stronger and is necessary if we are actually going to win liberation. 

Which political questions come to the fore in this convergence of movements? 
Taking an honest look at the plights of the Palestinians and of Black people in the United States raises fundamental questions about both US and Israeli society. You have two oppressed populations whose control was a central question for the founding of each state, and has been ever since.

So there are all kinds of relevant questions that come up when looking at the connections between Zionism and anti-Black racism, such as the fact that the same US police departments that terrorise Black people routinely train with Israeli police and occupation forces, who excitedly share their notes on terrorising Palestinians. But on a deeper level, both the Palestinian struggle and the Black freedom struggle in the US expose the fact that both the US and Israel are racist projects at their cores. 

Why is international solidarity so important for the Black Lives Matter campaign? 
Black struggle in the US has always been a source of embarrassment for the US elite on the world stage because it cannot get away with declaring the US to be “the land of the free”. That was true during the days of slavery, of Jim Crow segregation, and it remains true today. When the US loses its credibility among people around the world as “the world’s greatest democracy”, that can only help our struggle here.
But just as international solidarity has helped the Black struggle in the US historically, that struggle has inspired and contributed to resistance around the world. Black struggle in the US in solidarity with struggles of oppressed people internationally is of mutual benefit to all of the struggles involved. When we fight alongside each other, we all win.


Black Solidarity Statement on Palestine
The past year has been one of high-profile growth for Black-Palestinian solidarity. Out of the terror directed against us – from numerous attacks on Black life to Israel’s brutal war on Gaza and chokehold on the West Bank – strengthened resilience and joint struggle have emerged between our movements.

Palestinians on Twitter were among the first to provide international support for protesters in Ferguson, where St Louis-based Palestinians gave support on the ground. Last November, a delegation of Palestinian students visited Black organisers in St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit and more, just months before the Dream Defenders took representatives of Black Lives Matter, Ferguson, and other racial justice groups to Palestine.

Throughout the year, Palestinians sent multiple letters of solidarity to us throughout protests in Ferguson, New York, and Baltimore. We offer this statement to continue the conversation between our movements:

On the anniversary of last summer’s Gaza massacre, in the 48th year of Israeli occupation, the 67th year of Palestinians’ ongoing Nakba (the Arabic word for Israel’s ethnic cleansing) – and in the fourth century of Black oppression in the present-day United States – we, the undersigned Black activists, artists, scholars, writers, and political prisoners offer this letter of reaffirmed solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people.

We can neither forgive nor forget last summer’s violence. We remain outraged at the brutality Israel unleashed on Gaza through its siege by land, sea and air, and three military offensives in six years. We remain sickened by Israel’s targeting of homes, schools, UN shelters, mosques, ambulances, and hospitals. We remain heartbroken and repulsed by the number of children Israel killed in an operation it called “defensive”.
We reject Israel’s framing of itself as a victim. Anyone who takes an honest look at the destruction to life and property in Gaza can see Israel committed a one-sided slaughter. With 100,000 people still homeless in Gaza, the massacre’s effects continue to devastate Gaza today and will for years to come.

Israel’s injustice and cruelty toward Palestinians is not limited to Gaza and its problem is not with any particular Palestinian party. The oppression of Palestinians extends throughout the occupied territories, within Israel’s 1948 borders, and into neighbouring countries.

The Israeli Occupation Forces continue to kill protesters – including children – conduct night raids on civilians, hold hundreds of people under indefinite detention, and demolish homes while expanding illegal Jewish-only settlements. Israeli politicians, including Benjamin Netanyahu, incite against Palestinian citizens within Israel’s recognised borders, where over 50 laws discriminate against non-Jewish people.
Our support extends to those living under occupation and siege, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the 7 million Palestinian refugees exiled in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. The refugees’ right to return to their homeland in present-day Israel is the most important aspect of justice for Palestinians.

Palestinian liberation represents an inherent threat to Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid, an apparatus built and sustained on ethnic cleansing, land theft, and the denial of Palestinian humanity and sovereignty. While we acknowledge that the apartheid configuration in Israel/Palestine is unique from the United States (and South Africa), we continue to see connections between the situation of Palestinians and Black people.
Israel’s widespread use of detention and imprisonment against Palestinians evokes the mass incarceration of Black people in the US, including the political imprisonment of our own revolutionaries. Soldiers, police, and courts justify lethal force against us and our children who pose no imminent threat. And while the US and Israel would continue to oppress us without collaborating with each other, we have witnessed police and soldiers from the two countries train side-by-side.

US and Israeli officials and media criminalise our existence, portray violence against us as “isolated incidents”, and call our resistance “illegitimate” or “terrorism”. These narratives ignore decades and centuries of anti-Palestinian and anti-Black violence that have always been at the core of Israel and the US.

We recognise the racism that characterises Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is also directed against others in the region, including intolerance, police brutality, and violence against Israel’s African population. Israeli officials call asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea “infiltrators” and detain them in the desert, while the state has sterilised Ethiopian Israelis without their knowledge or consent. These issues call for unified action against anti-Blackness, white supremacy, and Zionism.

We know Israel’s violence toward Palestinians would be impossible without the US defending Israel on the world stage and funding its violence with over $3 billion annually. We call on the US government to end economic and diplomatic aid to Israel. We wholeheartedly endorse Palestinian civil society’s 2005 call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and call on Black and US institutions and organisations to do the same. We urge people of conscience to recognise the struggle for Palestinian liberation as a key matter of our time.

As the BDS movement grows, we offer G4S, the world’s largest private security company, as a target for further joint struggle. G4S harms thousands of Palestinian political prisoners illegally held in Israel and hundreds of Black and brown youth held in its privatised juvenile prisons in the US. The corporation profits from incarceration and deportation, from the US and Palestine to the UK, South Africa, and Australia. We reject notions of “security” that make any of our groups unsafe and insist no one is free until all of us are.

We offer this statement first and foremost to Palestinians, whose suffering does not go unnoticed and whose resistance and resilience under racism and colonialism inspires us. It is to Palestinians, as well as the Israeli and US governments, that we declare our commitment to working through cultural, economic, and political means to ensure Palestinian liberation at the same time as we work towards our own.

We encourage activists to use this statement to advance solidarity with Palestine and we also pressure our own Black political figures to finally take action on this issue. As we continue these transnational conversations and interactions, we aim to sharpen our practice of joint struggle against capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, and the various racisms embedded in and around our societies.

[Co-authored by Kristian Bailey and Khury Petersen-Smith. Visit blackforpalestine.com for the full list of signatories and more information.]

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Israeli Occupation Forces storm Nabi Saleh, kidnap 6 Palestinian youth

Dear friends,
yesterday Israeli Occupation Forces stormed Nabi Saleh and kidnapped six youth from the village. As you will be aware, Nabi Saleh is one of the villages at the forefront of leading the non-violent popular resistance to Israel's occupation.  I have reported extensively on the village before and count many of the residents and their families amongst my friends.

Amongst those kidnapped by the Waed Tamimi, the teenage son of my good friends Bassem and Nariman and also Anan Tamimi who is the teenage son of my good friends, Naji and Boshra.

The other four youth arrested are: Mostaf Tamimi; Osaid Tamimi; Loay Tamimi and Omar Tamimi.

Israel regularly kidnap and arrest Palestinian children and teenagers to try and put pressure on their parents and families who are engaged in struggle against Israel's occupation (for more see here).  Israel's treatment of minors is also in violation of international laws as numerous report have shown (for more information on Israel's treatment of Palestinian child prisoners, click here)

My friends Bassem Tamimi and Naji Tamimi, along with their families have been at the forefront of the non-violent popular struggle in Nabi Saleh.  Bassem was jailed for more than a years for his role and was recognised by Amnesty International as a Political Prisoner and Conscientious Objector.  Naji also spent just under one year in prison for his role. They have continued, along with their families to play a prominent role in Nabi Saleh struggle against the occupation.  

Loay Tamimi, who was also kidnapped is the brother of Mustafa Tamimi who was murdered by Israeli in 2011, when he was shot in the head with a high velocity teargas canister shot by an Israeli Occupation solider from the back of a military jeep, less than 1 metre away.

Please find below photos of some of the destruction wrecked by the Israeli occupation military yesterday in Nabi Saleh. These photos were taken by my friends Naji and Boshra, after their son Anan was taken by the invading occupation soldiers. As you can see they not only broken down doors but also ransacked every single room in the houses they broke into.

You can read some of my previous posts on Nabi Saleh here:

You can also keep up to date with the struggle in Nabi Saleh by following the Nabi Saleh Solidarity page on Facebook (click here) and the Nabi Saleh Solidarity blog (click here)

In solidarity, Kim 


 Anan Tamimi

 Waed Tamimi (on right)

 Mustafa Tamimi with his family before he was killed (on far left at back). Left to right: Mustafa Tamimi, his father, 'Abd al-Razak, his mother Ikhlas, Ziad (behind his parents) and twin brothers Loay and Udai.

Israeli Occupation Forces broken down a number of doors during their raids on the families houses. Photos by Manal Tamimi


Naji Tamimi as he takes photos of the destruction in his house.

 Anan's room


Monday, October 19, 2015

46 Palestinians, including 10 Children, Killed Since October 1

Dear friends,
this is the latest update from the Palestinian Health Ministry, translate and published by IMEMC.

in solidarity, Kim


Palestinian Health Ministry: “46 Palestinians, including 10 Children, Killed Since October 1”


  Israeli Occupation Forces invade Occupied Nablus, 3 October 2015

October 19, 2015 by IMEMC News

The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported, Monday, that the number of Palestinians, killed by Israeli fire since the beginning of this month, has arrived to 45, including 10 children, in addition to a political prisoner who died of medical neglect.

The Ministry said the youngest slain Palestinian was 16 months of age, and that eight of the children were killed in the West Bank, and two in the Gaza Strip.

It stated that 31 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, and 14 in the Gaza Strip, including a mother and her infant, in addition to a young man in the Houra area, in the Negev.

As for wounded Palestinians, the Ministry said 1850 were shot with live rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets; some suffered burns and others were beaten and assaulted by soldiers and settlers, while more than 3500 suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.

410 Palestinians were shot with live rounds, 700 with rubber-coated steel bullets; 160 were assaulted by soldiers and settlers, and ten others suffered burns.

290 Palestinians were shot with live rounds in the Gaza Strip, and 70 with rubber-coated steel bullets, while dozens suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.

The Ministry stated that the large number of Palestinians shot with live rounds is a clear indication that the Israeli army resorts to lethal force against Palestinians.

In addition, soldiers carried out 136 attacks against medical crews since the beginning of the month, wounding 165 medics, while 39 ambulances were hit with gas bombs and concussion grenades, and the soldiers also stopped and delayed ambulances 32 times, while trying to transport, or reach, wounded Palestinians.

The names of those killed by the [Israeli occupation] army in October:

West Bank and Jerusalem:

1. Mohannad Halabi, 19, al-Biereh – Ramallah.
2. Fadi Alloun, 19, Jerusalem.
3. Amjad Hatem al-Jundi, 17, Hebron.
4. Thaer Abu Ghazala, 19, Jerusalem.
5. Abdul-Rahman Obeidallah, 11, Bethlehem.
6. Hotheifa Suleiman, 18, Tulkarem.
7. Wisam Jamal, 20, Jerusalem.
8. Mohammad al-Ja’bari, 19, Hebron.
9. Ahmad Jamal Salah, 20, Jerusalem.
10. Ishaq Badran, 19, Jerusalem.
11. Mohammad Said Ali, 19, Jerusalem.
12. Ibrahim Ahmad Mustafa Awad, 28, Hebron.
13. Ahmad Abedullah Sharakka, 13, Al Jalazoun Refugee camp-Ramallah.
14. Mostafa Al Khateeb, 18, Sur-Baher – Jerusalem.
15. Hassan Khalid Manassra, 15, Jerusalem.
16. Mohamed Nathmie Shamassnah, 22, Kutneh-Jerusalem.
17. Baha’ Elian,22, Jabal Al Mokaber-Jerusalem.
18. Mutaz Ibrahim Zawahra, 27, Bethlehem. Hit with a live bullet in the chest during a demonstration.
19. Ala’ Abu Jammal, 33, Jerusalem.
20. Bassem Bassam Sidr, 17, Hebron.
21. Ahmad Abu Sh’aban, 23, Jerusalem.
22. Ibraheem Dar-Yousif, 46, Al Janyia village Ramallah( Killed while harvesting olives)
23. Fadi Al-Darbi , 30, Jenin – died in Israeli detention camp.
24. Eyad Khalil Al Awawdah, 26, Hebron.
25. Ihab Hannani, 19, Nablus.
26. Fadel al-Qawasmi, 18, Hebron.
27. Mo'taz Ahmad 'Oweisat, 16, Jerusalem.
28. Bayan Abdul-Wahab al-'Oseyli, 16, Hebron
29. Tariq Ziad an-Natsha, 22, Hebron
30. Omar Mohammad al-Faqeeh, 22, from Qotna village.
31. Mohannad al-‘Oqabi, 21, Negev.
32. Hoda Mohammad Darweesh, 65, Jerusalem.

Gaza Strip:

33. Shadi Hussam Doula, 20.
34. Ahmad Abdul-Rahman al-Harbawi, 20.
35. Abed al-Wahidi, 20.
36. Mohammad Hisham al-Roqab, 15.
37. Adnan Mousa Abu ‘Oleyyan, 22.
38. Ziad Nabil Sharaf, 20.
39. Jihad al-‘Obeid, 22.
40. Marwan Hisham Barbakh, 13.
41. Khalil Omar Othman, 15.
42. Nour Rasmie Hassan, 30.
43. Rahaf Yahya Hassan, two years old. -killed along with her mother in an Israeli airstrike
44. Yihya abdul-Qader Farahat, 24.
45. Shawqie Jaber Obed, 37.
46. Mahmoud Hatem Hameeda, 22.