The people of Palestine are rising up against colonial oppression. And one Palestinian organiser told Phoenix Media Co-op about the current spirit of resistance against the occupation.
A week of increasingly bloody repression
On Monday 10 May, during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Israeli settlers tried to push their way into Al-Aqsa mosque – the third holiest site in the world for Muslims. They were supported in doing so by armed Israeli police.
When Palestinian worshippers resisted the invasion, the army were brought in and the mosque was surrounded by snipers. After four hours, over 200 Palestinians had been wounded. Three people reportedly lost their eyes.
At the same time, a struggle has been raging on the streets of the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinians are resisting against the eviction of Palestinian residents from their homes to make way for Israeli colonists. Israeli occupation forces have met those resisting with extreme violence.
The incident at Al-Aqsa, and the events surrounding it, mark a significant escalation of hostilities by the Israeli state, which soon launched a full-scale air attack on the occupied Gaza Strip. There have also been escalating military attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and oppression of Palestinians inside Israel. These state assaults are coupled with armed right-wing settler violence.
Israeli occupation forces have now killed at least 122 Palestinians in attacks and airstrikes, including 31 children. They have injured over 900 more. The armed response from Gaza, meanwhile, has killed at least seven people. Occupation forces have also killed seven Palestinians in the West Bank and injured almost 400.
Israeli forces have killed almost 10,000 Palestinians since 2000. And they have carried out three full-scale invasions of Gaza since 2009, killing at least 3,760 Palestinians. Israel has besieged Gaza since 2007, carrying out continuous smaller attacks against the strip by air, land and sea. The Israeli siege is making life unliveable for people in Gaza.
Israel’s attack on Al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan has helped to spark a new Palestinian uprising. Phoenix Media Co-op spoke to Jamal Jumaa of Stop the Wall, a Palestinian campaign against the Israeli state’s construction of an apartheid wall in occupied Palestine. He told us about the feeling of defiance across Palestine:
Jumaa also called for international solidarity:
Our eyes and hearts are looking to all free people around the world to join our fight for freedom, justice, dignity and humanity against racism, imperialism and apartheid.
Demonstrations are everywhere in all Palestine, united from Gaza to the West Bank, Jerusalem, Galilee, the Triangle and Negev
The Galilee, Triangle and Negev are areas within the borders of the state of Israel with large Palestinian populations.
“Make that a routine, as Israel and its allies bet on your exhaustion”
Jumaa asked supporters in other countries to be persistent, saying:
Solidarity is very important these days.
Take to the streets and make that a routine, as Israel and its allies bet on your exhaustion.
Promote the BDS call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions among your civil society and trade unions; amplify Palestinian voices through social media; pressure your parliaments to take actions and stop Israeli crimes.
These few words I am sending to solidarity activists outside.
There are already plans for demonstrations on Saturday 15 May in cities across the UK and around the world.
The people of Palestine need our support in their struggle against colonial oppression and violence. Now is the time to organise.
Main article image via John Englart