Friday, March 8rd 2019, At the fence besieging the Gaza strip. To mark International women’s day, feminist activists from both sides of the fence besieging the Gaza strip, joined the Great March of Return.
The Jewish Women waved Palestinian flags and held a banner in Arabic that read “Jews for Return” which could be seen by the demonstrators in Gaza. They also carried pictures of the Palestinians shot dead by Israeli soldiers while participating in the Great March of Return. The activists east of the fence were pushed back by soldiers but continued their demonstration.
Rifka Alamya, feminist BDS activist from Gaza, greeted the feminist solidarity activists on the other side of the fence: “We as women are here on International Women’s days to demand our rights. We consider your presence here from the colonizing side as joint resistance to achieve our basic rights of freedom, Justice and equality.”
Sahar Vardi, (Jewish) Feminist activists, stated: “Women’s Day and feminism is about equality and right here, in the society that we’re in, the craziest inequality is the fact that a few hundred meters away from me Palestinians are protesting, demanding their rights, demanding a right for return, and what they’re receiving is being shot at and we can hear the shots from here and people are being killed. “
An Israeli sniper shot and killed Tamer Khaled Arafat, 23 years old, during the protest and Israeli soldiers injured another 24 protesters.
When the Great March of Return was launched on the 30th of March 2018, and following Israel’s brutal and murderous assaults on the demonstrators, Gazan activist groups, including the steering committee of the Great March, issued a call for supporters of justice and human values around the world: to carry the names and images of the slain protesters into the streets of our cities and demand that action be taken to stop Israel’s illegal use of lethal force against protesters (the original call can be seen here: https://returnsolidarity.com/call-to-action-from-gaza/).
Now, almost a year since the Great March of Return began, the shooting of protests continues, and no action has yet been taken to stop Israel and hold it accountable.
You can download posters of five out of the six children who were among the protestors that Israeli snipers murdered in the last three months alone. Help us spread their images and call on our societies and governments to withdraw our support from Israeli apartheid. #BDS #MilitaryEmbargo #StopArmingIsrael
Please send pictures or videos of your action with statement of support for the Right of Return and the Great March of Return to: firstname.lastname@example.org
מיד כשהחלו הפגנות השיבה בעזה ב-30 במרץ 2018, המפגינים הותקפו בצורה ברוטלית על ידי הצבא הישראלי, התקפות שהובילו להרוגות/ים ופצועות/ים רבות/ים. בתגובה, פנו קבוצות פעילים בעזה, כולל ועדת ההיגוי של הפגנות השיבה בקריאה לתומכות/י צדק וערכים אנושיים ברחבי העולם לשאת את שמותיהן/הם ותמונותיהן/ם של המפגינות/ים הנרצחות/ים אל רחובות .הערים ולדרוש שינקטו צעדים להפסקת הירי הבלתי חוקי של הצבא הישראלי כנגד מפגינים
עכשיו, כמעט שנה מאז החלו ההפגנות, התקפות הצבא ממשיכות לגבות קורבנות בגוף ובנפש, ומבלי שאף גורם פועל לעצירת הרג המפגינות/ים ולהטלת את האחריות למותם על ישראל. בקישור זה ניתן להוריד כרזות של חמישה מתוך שישה ילדים שהיו בין המפגינים שצלפים ישראלים ירו למוות בשלושת החודשים האחרונים בלבד. עזרו לנו להפיץ תמונותיהם של הילדים על מנת לעצור את הרג המפגינים העזה. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vcc8JN5NJcC5QEV_6BU_dQHhCf9hkxZZ
On Friday February 8th 2019, despite the occupying military’s attempts to prevent it, another demonstration took place on both sides of the Israeli made fence besieging the Gaza strip. Palestinian BDS activists welcomed Israeli anti-Zionist demonstrators as family, friends and comrades. Adel Mahmoud told the Israeli protesters over the phone: “We and you both want a democratic state without occupation, without racism, without Zionism. We can see you. And we can see it.”
Beyond the fence that separates them from their freedom, Palestinian demonstrators of the Great March of Return could see their flag raised and see, that some, even though they are few, do hear their cries and support their just demands for freedom, equality and return. Dozens of Israeli Anti-Zionist protesters went to join the protest of the Palestinians besieged in the Gaza strip. The occupation’s military forces blocked the protesters on their way to the Ghetto fence. And while the occupation’s soldiers succeeded in preventing access to most of the group, a few of the protester managed to get beyond the military’s blockade to the meeting point, where, from their Palestinian hosts where waiting for them and could see them. The Israeli military forcefully removed the demonstrators on the outside of the Ghetto fence and used illegal, excessive force on the protesters inside the Ghetto. The soldiers shot dead a child and a teenager. Hasan Iyad Shalabi, and Hamza Mohammad Shteiwi. May they rest in peace and power. Since The Great March of Return began the Israeli occupying forces have killed over 220 demonstrators and injured over 23 thousand
December 22, 2018, the 39th week of the Great March of Return, anti-Zionist Israeli activists joined Palestinian protestors at Khuza’a Return protest camp from the east side of the fence. Soldiers shot live rounds to prevent the activists from reaching the fence. Despite the military’s aggression, a phone conversation was held with Sabrine al-Najjar, the mother of Razan al-Najjar. She recognized the BDS movement as a positive factor in ending the occupation and contributing to the Palestinian cause of freedom and equality.
Razan was killed on June 1, 2018 while she was serving as a medic at the weekly Friday protests. Her family are refugees from the village of Salome, now part of Tel Aviv’s south-eastern neighborhoods.
The Israeli activists also brought Palestinians flags and pictures of 4-year old Ahmed Yasser Abu ‘Aabed who died of his wounds after Israeli soldiers shot him in his eye and abdomen on the December 7 protest near Khan Younis.
Gaza, Palestine: 60 anti-Zionist Israelis and internationals continued their coordinated protests in solidarity with Palestinians in the weekly Great March of Return after a week of brutal attacks and bombings on the besieged population of the Gaza Strip. They met with Ahmed Abu Artema who addressed them from the other side of the fence that imprisons the Palestinians in a growing, man-made humanitarian crisis.
Gathered on a hill east of the fence, visible to the Gazan participants of the Great March of Return from the Gaza Strip, the activists brought Palestinian flags and signs calling to “Free the Gaza Ghetto” and for the Right of Return.
“Our message today is to bring this struggle and our demands to the world. As the Great March of Return, we seek to hold Israel accountable for the illegal blockade, the illegal occupation and the subjugation of millions of people,” said Ahmed Abu Artema, a Palestinian member of the steering committee for the Great March of Return, while on the phone with Israeli protesters during the event. “Israel’s treatment of peaceful protesters and enforcing military presence that breaks international law and kills peaceful protesters is continuous and systematic. Today they shoot and kill us and bring iron rods to beat Israeli protesters who join our struggle. Today we are partners with you and you are partners with us in the continuous struggle for justice in this holy land. We will continue this struggle.”
“The army, as usual, called upon some residents of the area to confront us with metal rods in their hands. But our message with this protest is one of solidarity, calling for an end to Israeli aggression and a call for Palestinian refugees who have been uprooted from their homes and robbed of their lands to be able to return home,” said Israeli community organizer Yossef Mekyton. “Our determination to remain calm and de-escalate the situation by listening and not reacting in violence sends an important message: We want peace, not violence.”
On November 11, Israeli special forces conducted a deadly operation inside the Gaza Strip. At least 15 Palestinians have been killed and another 26 were wounded since the Israeli incursion and artillery bombardment. Israeli shelling in the densely populated area has also led to the destruction of an Hamas-run TV station and numerous homes. One Israeli soldier lost their life during the military operations in Khan Younis City, sparking fears that another large-scale Israeli military assault on Gaza like those in 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2014 might be looming. The tension at the protest was highlighted by the violence of the counter-protesters.
“Today’s march comes after the latest barbaric attack on Gaza by apartheid Israel. We’ve decided to give it the title ‘Normalization is Treason’ to highlight Arab governments’ growing complicity and coordination with Israel,” said Dr. Haidar Eid, a Gazan organizer and Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza Strip. “Israel would never be able to conduct these war crimes and crimes against humanity without the complicity of some Arab governments.”
The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that at least 52 Palestinians had been injured by live ammunition, while others suffered from tear gas inhalation during this Friday’s protest.
The Gaza Strip, with a population of nearly 2 million, of which 70% are refugees, has been under an illegal Israeli land, air and sea blockade since 2007. The 11-year-old Israeli military siege has put the Gaza Strip into a state of de-development. The prolonged blockade, which imposes import and export restrictions on the Gaza Strip, has crippled the economy, resulting in one of the highest unemployment rates in the world at 49%. This has been compounded by three wars in the last 11 years. Some 22,000 Gazans remain internally displaced as a result of Israel’s military campaign in 2014. The lack of construction materials, water, fuel, and electricity has put Gaza on course to be uninhabitable by 2020.
In response to the dire man-made humanitarian catastrophe that exists in the Gaza Strip, the Great March of Return protests began on March 30, 2018, as a nonviolent call for an end to Israel’s illegal military siege and a restoration of basic human rights.
Since the protests began seven months ago, Israeli forces have killed at least 210 Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave and wounded more than 24,000 people, according to a report by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. On May 14th, 2018, the day of commemoration of the Nakba–a day when Palestinians memorialize the approximately 750,000 Palestinians displaced in 1948–Israeli forces killed 59 Palestinians using live ammunition.
The massive death toll prompted an immediate investigation. Amnesty International described the live ammunition as “high-velocity military weapons designed to cause maximum harm to Palestinian protesters who do not pose an imminent threat to them,” and suggested the actions by the Israeli military amounted to “willful killing, a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime.”
Facts on Israel’s blockade of Gaza
2,000,000 people live in the Gaza Strip, 71% are under the age of 30. ( Gisha.org )
Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip violates international law. (ICRC, 50 others)
49% of Gazans are unemployed. 65% of young people are unemployed. ( Gisha.org )
70% of the population in Gaza receive humanitarian aid. ( Gisha.org )
96% of the water is from the taps is undrinkable. ( Gisha.org )