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 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.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Dear friends,
the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid has called a Palestine solidarity speakout for 5.30pm, Friday at the State Library of Victoria (cnr of Swanston and La Trobe Sts in the CBD).

in solidarity, Kim 


Dear friends,
on the weekend (16-17 October 2015), Palestine solidarity rallies were held all over the world. In Australia, a number of rallies were held.  Please find below some photos from the rallies in Sydney and Perth.

Melbourne will be holding a speakout for Palestine this coming Friday, 23 October at 5.30pm at the State Library of Victoria (cnr of Swanston and La Trobe Sts in the CBD).

in solidarity, Kim



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On the Palestinian Popular Uprising and Resistance

Dear friends,
my thoughts on the current situation in Palestine.

in solidarity, Kim 

15 October, 2015

I couldn't stop crying as I watched the video of 13 year old Ahmad Manasra lying on the ground bleeding as he was ignored by the Israeli soldiers who had shot him and killed his 15 year old cousin, Hasan Manasara. I cried as illegal Israeli colonists screamed at this terrified child to "die you fucker, die you son of a whore, die you son of bitch", calling for the soldiers to "shoot him in the head, shoot him in the head".

I cried for both the small boy and the man screaming at him. I cried for the more than 60 years of oppression that Palestinians have had to endure at the hands of the Israeli state. I cried for the cruelty it breeds in those who carry out and benefit from such oppression. I cried for the desperation that such oppression breeds in those it oppresses for decades upon decades. I cried for the loss of humanity.

Israel claims the boys were shot because they allegedly carried out a knife attack, stabbing a man and teenage boy. Over the last two weeks Israel has claimed that more than a dozen stabbing attacks have happened.  However, in many of the cases (but not all) where Israel has claimed they shot and killed Palestinians who had threatened or attacked Israeli citizens, settlers and/or police, they have not produced evidence to back up their claims. Instead, video evidence produced in many of the alleged incidents have shown that the young Palestinians who were shot and injured or killed had not posed a direct threat and was not acting in a threatening manner. 

This was the case with the shooting in Afula of Israa Abed, a 30-year-old mother of three from Nazareth. While Israeli police claimed she attempted to carry out a knife attack, video showed she posed no immediate threat to security forces before she was shot. It also suggests that the item she held in her hand was not a knife but a pair of sunglasses. 

Video which emerged after Israel's killing of 19-year-old Fadi Samir Alloun also calls into question whether he carried out an alleged stabbing attack on October 3. The  video shows Alloun was executed as he was chased by a mob of Israeli Jews calling for him to be shot. It was only after the police shoot him dead, that an officer can be heard asking one of the mob, “Did he stab anyone?

Similarly, according to an Israeli witness, Ahmad Abu-Shaaban (26) who was shot and killed by Israeli Occupation Forces at the Damacus Gate in Occupied East Jerusalem on 14 October, was not carrying a knife as alleged.  In a phone interview published by QPress, the Israeli witness states: “It is absolute mess here. [Ahmad] was liquidated before my eyes. They shot him with ten bullets He did not do anything and did not wield a knife. Everyone shouted “terrorist” and [the police] just shot him.”

While video has called into question the actions of the Israeli police and security, it is also true that four Israelis have been killed in the last week. Two were Israeli colonists killed in a sniper attack in the Occupied West Bank on 1 October, while another two Israeli Jews were killed in a stabbing attack in Occupied East Jerusalem.  There have also been numerous stabbing attacks carried out by Israeli Jews against Palestinian citizens of Israel. In one unfortunate incident, an Israeli Jewish man stabbed another Israeli Jewish man believing he was Palestinian. The attacker was then shot at by Israeli police because they believed him to be an “Arab terrorist”, resulting in another Israeli Jewish man in the vicinity being shot.

Israel's reaction to the rising tensions in Occupied East Jerusalem and across the Occupied Palestinians has to been to inflame the situation more and to carry out illegal summary executions.
Such executions are illegal under both Israeli and international law. However, Israeli politicians have continued to call opening for the extrajudicial killing of Palestinian suspects, with much of the Israeli media encouraging a similar approach.

As a joint statement issued by 10 Israeli human rights groups has noted: “No-one disputes the serious nature of the events of recent days, nor the need to protect the public against stabbing and other attacks. However, it seems that too often, instead of acting in a manner consistent with the nature of each incident, police officers and soldiers are quick to shoot to kill. The political and public support for such actions endorses the killing Palestinians in the Territories and in Israel.”

The statement goes on to say: “Rather than imposing collective punishment on Palestinians in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, the Israeli government should act to end the reality of ongoing and daily oppression faced by some four million people who live without hope of any change in the situation, without any horizon for the end of occupation, and without prospects for a life of liberty and dignity.”

It is this daily oppression, without the prospects for a life of liberty or dignity which has propelled thousands of young Palestinians onto the streets once again in the last week.  It is the root cause of the escalating violence in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

 20,000 Palestinians citizens of Israel march in Sakhnin in the Galilee calling for an end to Israel's occupation and apartheid regime - 11 October 2015

For 12 days now, young Palestinians across the Occupied Palestinian Territories have continued to clash with Israeli Occupation Forces, while inside Israel more than 20,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel have also taken to the streets to call for an end to Israel's apartheid and occupation polices.

Thirty-three are now dead, including 7 children. Thousands more are injured. Hundreds have been injured by live ammunition, hundreds more by rubber coated steel bullets. Thousands have now suffered tear gas inhalation. As each days passes, more young Palestinians abandon their fear and demand to be treated as human beings, to live free of occupation and oppression and demand justice and the human rights.

 Shufat Refugee camp, Occupied East Jerusalem - 5 October 2015

According to Palestinian historian, Mazin Qumsiyeh, this is not the 3rd intifada, it is the 14th. Palestinian activist Jamal Juma from the Stop the Wall campaign in the Occupied West Bank has called it an intifada against the Bantustans, saying “the current outbreak of protests is not solely directed at Israel. It is also a manifestation of the frustration of the people who face the brunt of Israeli aggression in the West Bank. Their protests express an overall desire to end ineffective and inept representation.”  Similarly, Palestinian author Ramzy Baroud argues that the Palestinian youth on the streets are protesting because “they experience daily humiliation and have to endure the unrelenting violence of occupation” and because “they feel a total sense of betrayal by their leadership”.

The truth of their assertion can be found in the comments expressed by the Palestinians on the frontlines of the clashes, with one young woman telling reporters "[the] intifada continues because we stopped listening to the president a long time ago”, while another saying “"It should be up to the people to decide”, pointing out that she no longer believe in the failed peace negotiations. Yet another young Palestinian man explained to reporters that despite most Palestinians being affiliated with one party or another: "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.”

 Young Palestinian women join the front line in the October clashes

Once more Palestinians have sought to take control of their lives and shake of the oppression that Israel imposes on them daily. We can of course quibble if it is or isn't an intifada at all, but the reality is that the Palestinian people are fighting for their freedom and to end the oppression that impacts on every single aspect of their life and which impacts on their lives every single day.

The Palestinian teenagers and youth, both male and female, who are on the front lines throwing stones at the fourth strongest military in the world have never know one single day of not living under occupation. 

They have never known one single day where they could move freely

They have never known one single day of being able to attend school, without fear that the Israeli military will fire teargas in their classroom or will invade their school yard.

They have never known one single day, where they did not experience the terror of night raidsor the Israeli military invading their villages and their homes or the homes of their family, friends and loved ones.

They have never know one single day of not having a family member, a friend or a loved one locked up in an Israeli prison.

They have never known a single day of not knowing a child under the age of 18 being kidnapped from their homes, tortured and jailed under Israel's apartheid occupation system. 

They have never know a single day of not witnessing a friend, a neighbor, a teacher, a parent, a brother, a sister, an aunt, uncle or cousin injured, maimed and/or killed by Israel’s military.

They will find it hard to remember a day when Gaza was not under blockade and siege by Israel.

These children, along with the young men and women on the front lines, have all witness three major attacked on Gaza in six years. They have watched as more than 4100 of their people were massacred, trapped in the largest open air prison in the world. Over these six years, in these 3 major assaults, they watched as 800 children and youngpeople their own age or younger in Gaza, were killed by Israeli warplanes andbombs

These teenagers, these young men and women, have taken to the streets after weeks of Israel storming al-Aqsa mosque as part of their ongoing campaign to ethnicallycleanse Occupied East Jerusalem

They have taken to the streets after they cried tears of despair and anger in July for 18 month old Ali Dawabsheh, the tiny baby burnt to death in Duma after illegal Israeli colonists firebombed his home

They are on the streets because they know the murders who killed baby Ali and this parents, Saad and Reham who succumbed to the horrific burns they suffered as a result of the fire, will never be brought to justice. They know this because Israel has made it clear that Palestinian lives are worth nothing, with Israel’s DefenseMinister Moshe Ya'alon announcing "We know who is responsible, but we will not expose those findings in order to protect our intelligence sources."

But the Palestinian youth who have taken to the streets already knew this; they have experienced it every day of their young lives. They know that the state that oppresses them do not value the lives of Palestinians. They know that the imperialist states of the USA, UK and Australia, all countries who continue to support Israel’s settler colonialism, war crimes and human rights abuses, also see them as “unpeople” whose lives are worth little. 

The Palestine youth who have taken to the street are sick of the years of useless “peace negotiations”, which have only deepened the occupation and their oppression. They have taken to the streets because Israel is the occupier, the apartheid state, the ethnic cleanser and the oppressor. They have taken to the streets because there is no equal playing field, there is only an oppressor and oppressed. 

As veteran Israeli journalist Amira Hass so eloquently put it last week: 
The war did not start last Thursday, it does not start with the Jewish victims and does not end when no Jews are murdered. 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 correctly notes, the goal of Israel’s unilateral war is to force Palestinians to give up all of their national demands in their homeland. The aim is to ensure that the Palestinian people will never know real statehood or real freedom from Israel repression, oppression and apartheid regime. The aim is to entrench Israeli privilege forever; at the expense of the Palestinians. 

And it is for these reasons that the children and youth of Palestine are once more on the streets. 

For more than 100 years, Palestinians have remained sumoud (steadfast) and they have never given up their dream of independence, nor have the given up on their homeland. They have show time and time again that they will not buckle, no matter how strong their occupier is or weak their own leadership is. And they will always, always find the strength to resist; to demand dignity and human rights; to assert that their lives are important and to continue their just struggle for justice, freedom and national liberation.

And for the rest of us: it is our job to stand in solidarity with them. Now more than ever, it is our job to demand our governments stop supporting the apartheid state of Israel and to cut ties with Israel.

And now more than ever, it is time to support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until it abides by international law.