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‘Casualties don’t matter’ — Gazans vow to continue protests, amid truce talks

Israel/Palestine
on 24 Comments

Twenty two consecutive weeks have passed in which thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have joined anti-Israel rallies, known as the “Great March of Return,” close to the border with Israel.

Israeli forces have killed at least 171 Palestinians, and more than 17,000 have been wounded in Gaza over the last near to 150 days. One Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper during the same period.

On the other hand, Egypt is finalizing details of a long-term truce deal between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, so as to ease tensions on the border of the enclave where some two million Palestinians live. But the majority of those I interviewed at the fence say they will continue participating.

A long-term truce could pave the way for talks on other issues, including the easing of a blockade that has crippled Gaza’s economy and allowing a possible swap of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers.

Teargas at Gaza demonstration, August 24, photo by Mohammed Asad.

Wearing masks for teargas at Gaza demonstration, August 24, photo by Mohammed Asad.

Tires at Gaza demonstration, August 24, photo by Mohammed Asad.

Injured youth at Gaza demonstration, August 24, photo by Mohammed Asad.

Injured youth at Gaza demonstration, August 24, photo by Mohammed Asad.

For many in Gaza, the situation has become so dire that they protest despite the risk of facing live fire by Israeli soldiers.

Originally, the protests were to take place until May 15, known as Nakba Day, marking the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the creation of Israel.

However, with no alternatives, many Palestinians have continued to protest on a weekly basis after Nakba Day.

Mustafa Basoos, at Gaza demonstration, August 24, photo by Mohammed Asad.

Mustafa Basoos, 55, retired physical education teacher:

“Despite the fact I am not a refugee and I don’t have even an inch of land in Israel, weekly protest along the border is not an act by those who were displaced from their homes. I think no rights can be lost so long as a Palestinian man demands them. It seems that Palestine liberation must be written by blood, as all the nations did so.”

Sadiya Syam, at Gaza demonstration, August 24, photo by Mohammed Asad.

Sadiya Syam, 62, mother of children slain and wounded in the protest

“Emad, my wounded son has been in the hospital for 14 days, but I insist to protest today. Some people might think that Palestinian mothers lack motherhood, but this is false. We love our sons as we yearn for liberation. Both my sons lost their lives in seeking to immigrate due to the deteriorated living situation caused by the Israeli blockade. How could their 25 and 27 years have been wasted in trying to escape from Gaza when they could not build their country?”

Etaf Wadi, at Gaza demonstration, August 24, photo by Mohammed Asad.

Etaf Wadi, 56, protester

“There will be no truce, nor ceasefire. They are just trying to deceive us to stop protesting. We see how this weekly non-violent protest harms those invincible soldiers and their state. We don’t seek for a fast-breaking truce as we experienced before. We want a normal life without feeling surrounded. Even a lamp works for four hours a day only. So we have to make the solution by our own hands; not from Trump or the Arabs.”

Raghda Jarbou’, at Gaza demonstration, August 24, photo by Mohammed Asad.

Raghda Jarbou’, 18, high school student

“This is the first participation for me, and I hope it will be the last for all protesters. I believe that the blockade will be broken soon. I think we should live in a free world far away from violence or the language of the bullet. But I have heard that we have thousands of casualties, wounded or killed. It does not matter. That is the price of liberation and the price to return to Jaffa, the homeland of my grandfather.”

Naeem Abu Ghaben, at Gaza demonstration, August 24, photo by Mohammed Asad.

Naeem Abu Ghaben, 57, typist

“I will stop protesting once this barbed wire falls down. Then I will call my wife and hurry to return to Hiribya- located 14 kilometers northeast of Gaza. Israel will not give gifts as Santa Claus used to. So there can be no truce that Israel will break immediately. People in Gaza are exhausted a lot from the siege, while Israel thinks that the slavery era is still in existence, on grounds of its alleged security.”

Suha Al-Ruzzi, at Gaza demonstration, August 24, photo by Mohammed Asad.

Suha al-Ruzzi, 45, housewife

“Unfortunately, nothing has been changed for the better in five months. It seems we are struggling against the whole Asian, American, and African world, not only Israel. I cannot believe that more than 200 countries in the world fail to obligate Israel to comply with one single UN resolution to the benefit of the Palestinians.”

Jaber Shlash, at Gaza demonstration, August 24, photo by Mohammed Asad.

Jaber Shlash, 34, unemployed

“I am not sure that returning to homelands in Israel can be achieved. But when you are powerless and alone you have to use your claws, teeth and howls to fight like cats, not die like rats. The whole world and Israel must understand that the Palestinians are starving for liberty. Then we will not fight and will teach peace and love, to show we are human not monsters.”

About Ahmad Kabariti

Ahmad Kabariti is a freelance journalist based in Gaza.

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24 Responses

  1. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 27, 2018, 6:41 am

    “Israeli forces have killed at least 171 Palestinians, and more than 17,000 have been wounded in Gaza over the last near to 150 days. One Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper during the same period.”

    Just once I’d like to see this fact discussed in context on any US cable tv news/infotainment show. Followed by a segment on US aid to Israel and use of its UN SC veto to immunize Israel from any accountability.

  2. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    August 27, 2018, 4:22 pm

    Israel has nothing to offer Gaza so protest is the only option. There is something naive or ignorant about the Zionist mindset that goes against human nature and the lessons of Jewish history – you cannot leave people with nothing. Deep down I think Israelis are most afraid of Gaza because Gaza will not surrender and will never accept the diktats of Zionism.

  3. CigarGod
    CigarGod
    August 27, 2018, 4:47 pm

    Love the interviews!
    I feel more humanity from this format than from 1000 traditional articles.

  4. JWalters
    JWalters
    August 27, 2018, 7:43 pm

    They have the same mindset as the Civil Rights protesters of the 60’s in the US. Determination fueled by a strong desire for simple Justice. Imagine if Bull Conner had been shooting those US protesters instead of using firehoses and dogs!

  5. Emet
    Emet
    August 28, 2018, 9:55 am

    If you believe in the afterlife, as does fundamentalist Islam , as practiced by most of the Muslims walking this planet, the term “casualty” does not do a good enough job in describing ceasing to breath near the fence with Israeli soldiers nearby. These same Palestinians are being manipulated by the elite who themselves do not usually send their own children to become “casualties”. If you ignore the religious element to the conflict you will never understand what is really going on and how to really solve or at least improve the miserable lives of those who are being used for political reasons. The Arab leadership want their own people to die on the fence in order to bring in the Christian nations to stand buffer between Israel and them. They know that if this happens that these same Christians will run with their tails between their legs when the Muslims will eventually turn on them as well.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      August 28, 2018, 10:44 am

      Dude…
      What are you talking about?
      Jews, Christians and Muslims believe in an afterlife…and there are examples of all three groups sacrificing themselves in this life.

      UN intervention?
      Trying to stay consistent with your theme…Palestinians sacrificing themselves on the wall/cross. The UN appears as Savior?

  6. Mayhem
    Mayhem
    August 28, 2018, 9:12 pm

    @Cigargod, you have some good current examples of Jews or Christians being suicide bombers or using children as human shields?

    • annie
      annie
      August 28, 2018, 9:57 pm

      Jews have used lots of children to be used as human shields, there are videos of it.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        August 29, 2018, 12:16 am

        @an
        . Hence, all those stupid bomb shelters and population evacuations from the north. This article also makes it harder to so savagely trash Golda Meir for her infamous statement about death and certain Arab practice.

      • Emet
        Emet
        August 29, 2018, 1:31 am

        What nonsense annie. Are you referring to Jewish kids being present when Jewish police have come to destroy Jewish homes? Show us one video of Jewish kids being used as shields against Palestinian terrorists, either when rockets have been fired from Gaza or any other example you may think of? Are you saying that Jewish kids have been left out in the open intentionally, to be killed or injured by Palestinians? Better you delete your last comment before the MW crowd start doubting your sanity. Because of the scale that human shields are used by Palestinians, one cannot point to the sanity of one person here. The use is common place which means that the institutions behind them are pushing them to do it. You once again fail to understand what part religion plays in the Palestinian story, which leaves you handicapped.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        August 29, 2018, 3:22 am

        Israel calls the use of human shields “the neighbor procedure”. Israel is a trauma machine.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 29, 2018, 6:59 am

        @annie

        And suicide bombers are a totally irrelevat issue when you can stand off 30km and flatten entire civilian neighbourhoods with artillery.

        The civilian death toll speaks for itself as does the massive damage being done against civilian infrastructure in violation of international law.

        While Israel may be well armed it still uses terror as it’s primary means of conducting what is largely illegal warfare. Just as it used terror to cleanse and create it’s territory in the beginning.

      • amigo
        amigo
        August 29, 2018, 7:12 am

        “Jews have used lots of children to be used as human shields, there are videos of it.” Annie

        Yup , lots of videos showing Jews (Israeli and Illegal squatter Jews ) using Palestinian kids as Human Shields.Even the most Moral army in the universe does it.

        https://www.google.com/search?q=idf+soldiera+using+palestinian+children+as+human+shields&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-palestinian-israel-children/palestinian-children-tortured-used-as-shields-by-israel-u-n-idUSBRE95J0FR20130620

        https://www.haaretz.com/1.5120313

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/nov/21/israeli-soldiers-human-shield-avoid-jail

      • amigo
        amigo
        August 29, 2018, 9:14 am

        “Are you referring to Jewish kids being present when Jewish police have come to destroy Jewish homes?” emet

        Thanks for pointing that out.It reminded me of this!!!.

        “Israeli Defense Minister Confirms That Settlers Are Human Shields For State of Israel

        While there have often been arguments made by leading Israeli officials indicating that the illegal settlement enterprise paid for and promoted by Israel is necessary due to the narrow “waist” of Israel putting it at risk for invasion.

        While that appeared to be a weak excuse for the land-grab, rather than a strategic consideration that makes sense in the context of 21st century warfare, Israel’s Defense Minister has recently doubled-down on the argument, claiming that those settlers are, in fact, civilian human shields that must stay in place to protect Israel:” Liberman

        http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Liberman-West-Bank-settlements-are-necessary-for-Israels-defense-505370

        The illegal squatters in Occupied Palestine do have children —don,t they??.

        Btw , you still haven,t responded to my post and those of others here , debunking your, “Jews have always been in the Majority in Jerusalem” claim.Still waiting for an update from “Ziosplaining ” central , eh emet.

      • amigo
        amigo
        August 29, 2018, 9:25 am

        Emet, it is only fair of me to inform you that I am an under cover “Quality Control Inspector” , on the payroll of Hasbara Central.

        My Mission statement is !!.

        “To Identify and report to Hasbara Central , any hasbarist that embarrasses or endangers the Zionist Project , by knowingly posting false information.”

        You sir are at the top of my short list.You have 30 days to mend your ways .

      • annie
        annie
        August 30, 2018, 11:03 am

        amigo, thanks for posting the links, making my point. and let’s not forget the goldstone report stated there was no evidence hamas used civilians as human shields (children included) during israel’s 08-09 gaza slaughter.

        oldgeezer, i agree “suicide bombers are a totally irrelevant issue”.

    • Keith
      Keith
      August 29, 2018, 12:23 am

      MAYHEM- “@Cigargod, you have some good current examples of Jews or Christians being suicide bombers or using children as human shields?”

      It has been extensively documented that the Israeli Jews have frequently used Palestinian children as human shields. I am unaware of instances of Palestinians using children as human shields. As for suicide bombers, this is an act of desperation. Israel, with tanks and planes and helicopter gunships has no need to use suicide bombers. Why are you defending Israeli actions?

    • eljay
      eljay
      August 29, 2018, 7:52 am

      || Mayhem: @Cigargod, you have some good current examples of Jews or Christians being suicide bombers or using children as human shields? ||

      Do you have some good current examples of Palestinians flying high-tech fighter jets over a captive, impoverished and de-militarized Israel and precision-bombing its infrastructure and civilian population “armed terrorists or criminals”? Didn’t think so.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      August 29, 2018, 9:38 am

      Hey Mayhem…
      Do you even have a clue how unfocused your comment is?
      Where in the article is there any mention of your misdirection/human shield comment?

      Do you realize what you just did?
      You changed the conversation to your own liking (as Emet did)…and still got your butt kicked by everyone here.

      I guess the laws of the universe don’t demand compassion, but I do feel some for you anyway.

  7. bcg
    bcg
    August 29, 2018, 3:03 pm

    @Hasbara Central: Human shields – Breaking the Silence has that as a category:

    https://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/testimonies/videos/?ci=143

    And I believe the soldiers of the most moral army ever.

    • Jackdaw
      Jackdaw
      September 2, 2018, 11:45 am

      Does Hamas have a ‘Breaking the Silence’, or are their fighters so moral that they have nothing to confess.

      • eljay
        eljay
        September 2, 2018, 3:10 pm

        || Jackdaw: Does Hamas have a ‘Breaking the Silence’, or are their fighters so moral that they have nothing to confess. ||

        Zionism 101:
        – Whataboutism.
        – Defend Jewish supremacist (Zionist) and/or “Jewish State” actions by pointing out that they’re less bad than that which Zionists despise.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 2, 2018, 4:16 pm

        Jackdaw: “Does Hamas have a ‘Breaking the Silence’, or are their fighters so moral that they have nothing to confess.”

        Hamas doesn’t need someone to break the silence, because they take full responsibility for their actions against Israel and post them online, too.

        Go figure.

  8. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    September 2, 2018, 11:43 am

    “That is the price of liberation and the price to return to Jaffa,”

    Doesn’t this fool realise how high the rent is in Jaffa?
    She won’t be able to shop there, much less live there.

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