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The way to the ‘occupied lands’

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh on

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh writes, “For many of us who are Palestinians, we fight and sacrifice for those things we have yet to touch, experience, or see. In the 27 years of my life I have never smelled or gazed upon land that was once Palestinian and now part of Israel. Therefore it is through the eyes of others that I tell this story. Recently some friends managed to obtain much coveted permits to visit Israel, which in Gaza is commonly referred to as ‘our occupied lands.'”

Fathi Harb burnt himself to death in Gaza. Will the world notice?

Jonathan Cook on

Last week the 21-year-old Fathi Harb extinguished his life in an inferno of flames in central Gaza. He had no hope of finding work and could not afford a home for his young family. But self-immolation is more than suicide, it is protest. Jonathan Cook writes: “Harb understood only too well the West’s hypocrisy in denying Palestinians any right to meaningfully resist Israel’s campaign of destruction. The flames that engulfed him were intended also to consume us with guilt and shame. Can the West be shamed into action?”

‘A scream to the whole world’: Gaza boats carrying students, medical patients, and wounded protesters attempt to break the blockade

Ahmad Kabariti on

For a first time since 1967, two wooden boats set off from Gaza heading to Cyprus on Tuesday, charting their course in protest of Israel’s decade long siege. The vessels carried students attempting to attend university, patients seeking medical treatment abroad, and protesters from the Great March of Return who were wounded with live-fire. Five hours after leaving the dock, the Israeli Navy intercepted the boats arresting 17 passengers while they were 9 nautical miles off the shores of Gaza. “This bid is a scream to the whole world that the Gaza seaport should again carry passengers and goods to Haifa and Jaffa, it is a scream again that the Gaza’s people will not afford the life under blockade,” said Adham Abu Selmeyeh, a spokesman for the International Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza.

‘Our stones are stronger than their weapons’: thousands in Gaza demonstrate for the ninth straight Friday

Ahmad Kabariti on

Sabah al-Salibi collected dozens of small stones with her daughters, Susan, 22, and Rawand, 24. She said she wanted to pass them to the demonstrators whose eyes were blurry from teargas “to save them time by finding suitable stones” to throw at Israeli snipers hidden behind earthen berms at the Gaza – Israel fence. “Although these stones are small and few, but are stronger than their bullets and gas canisters,” al-Salibi said.

Video: Who are the Palestinians traveling through Rafah crossing?

Yumna Patel, Akram Al-Wa'ra and Nidal Wuheid on

Last week, Egyptian President Abd al-Fatah al-Sisi announced the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza for the entire month of Ramadan, which he said was “in order to ensure the easing of the burdens on the brothers in the Gaza Strip.” Mondoweiss spoke to several Palestinians — students going abroad to study or in search of jobs, people traveling to reunite with families, and injured protesters seeking treatment in Jordan — as they waited for their chance to leave Gaza. The journey out of Gaza is far from simple, as only a select number of Palestinians with permission are allowed to leave.

Statement: Israeli police using brutality and unnecessary force against peaceful protesters

Mondoweiss Editors on

Statement by civil society organizations in Israel: “In light of recent barbaric and inhumane military actions carried out against unarmed protesting Palestinian civilians in Gaza by Israeli forces protests have erupted all over the world and in Israel in solidarity with Gaza and its victims. Amongst the many hotspots, Haifa experienced the highest number of Police brutality cases and arrests of activists and high school students. Demonstrators have been gathering daily to peacefully express their right to protest and stand by the “March of Return” victims. Police have escalated their intervention and use of violence against protesters each day culminating in the mass arrests and brutality witnessed on Friday night.”

Live Blog: Protests continue as Palestinians begin holding funerals for 61 killed in Gaza

Mondoweiss Editors on

Palestinians in Gaza today began holding funerals for protesters killed by Israeli forces at yesterday’s Great March of Return near the buffer zone between Gaza and Israeli, which coincided with the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Overnight casualties increased to 61, with the youngest killed was identified as 8-month old Laila al-Ghandour who died of tear gas inhalation.

Israel kills 58 Palestinian protesters during deadliest day in Gaza in four years

Ahmad Kabariti on

At least 58 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 wounded by Israeli forces on Monday as protest spread across Gaza in the bloodiest day in the strip since 2014. According to the Great March of Return organizers, around 50,000 protesters were gathered along the Gaza border as the new U.S. Embassy opened in Jerusalem. “I am waiting for those youth if they could pull down the fence, then I will cross with them into my father’s land,” said Ahmed Abu Reyaleh, a 65-year-old retired chemistry teacher, whose family was originally from the Bayt Jirja village (15.5 km northeast of Gaza). “We have not been created to be under occupation for our whole life, so it’s time to say enough.”

Israel repurposes Nakba myths to justify massacre in Gaza

Jonathan Cook on

Early reports on Monday suggested that Gaza’s demonstrators were being massacred by the Israeli army. Amnesty International called the events a “horror show”. But for more than a month, Israel has been working to manage western perceptions of the protests – and its response – in ways designed to discredit the outpouring of anger from Palestinians.

‘Superpowers will not give us freedom so we will take it with our own hands’: scenes from Gaza’s final Friday protest at the border

Ahmad Kabariti on

On Friday, Israeli snipers killed a Palestinian and wounded 170 protesters in Gaza in the final Friday protest before the culmination of the March of Return on Nakba Day, May 15th. “People here are tired of life and futile peace negotiations for 25 years with a state does not want peace and denies right of the other people to exist,” Etaf Wadi, 56, told Mondoweiss. “The United States has used 43 vetoes against the Palestinians, but we have the right to freedom, and the superpowers will not give it to us so that we will take our right by our own hands.”

Four are killed, as Gaza protesters move tents closer to border

Ahmad Kabariti on

For the fourth week yesterday, on a peaceful and unilateral battlefield, thousands of angry young Palestinian men went close to the border fence separating Gaza and Israel to protest, facing dozens of Israeli soldiers who lay positioned behind sandy hills. Four Palestinians were killed by live ammunition, and another 152 injured.

Yousef al-Kurnz lost a leg covering Gaza’s Great Return March but is not giving up his dream of becoming a photojournalist

Karama Fadel on

Yousef al-Kurnz, a 20-year-old Gazan photojournalist, lost his left leg after being hit with an explosive bullet from an Israeli sniper while he was covering the Great Return March. “I don’t regret that I went to the demonstration,” al-Kurnz tells Karama Fadel from We Are Not Numbers. “I am so proud of my work, I will succeed and I will achieve my dream to be a famous photographer. I still have two hands to hold my camera with.”

‘Onion boy’ Mohammed Ayyash dreams of a playground, just like every other kid

Asmaa Tayeh on

A photo of 9-year-old Mohammed Ayyash wearing a mask with an onion stalk slipped inside to protect against Israeli teargas has become one of the iconic images of Gaza’s Great March of Return. Asmaa Tayeh talks with Mohammed and his family about the protests and the child’s hope for the future. “I want to have my own playground so I can play football and basketball the whole day,” Mohammed tells Tayeh. “And I want it to be named after my new nickname, Abu Basala (the kid with an onion).”

Striking images from the last week of Gaza’s Great March of Return

Allison Deger on

Over the last two weeks Palestinians in Gaza have assembled in mass along the border with Israel for the “Great March of Return,” protesting against their displacement and the siege over the Strip. Here are some of the amazing photographs from the last week of the protest, including a birthday celebration for teenager Hussein Madi who was killed last Friday on his 14th birthday. Yesterday his family lit candles in memorial near the location where he was fatally wounded. 

How Gaza came to be trapped ‘from fence to fence’

Jehad Abusalim on

Jehad Abusalim examines how Gaza came to be trapped “from the fence to the fence” by looking back at the Strip from the British Mandate period to present date: “The fence is the history that Palestinians in Gaza never want to forget, and no amount of aid can induce them to do so.”

Thousands demand the right to return as smoke envelops Gaza on a new ‘bloody Friday’

Ahmad Kabariti on

Ahmad Kabariti reports from the second week of protests in Gaza’s Great March of Return. Israeli troops killed 10 more Palestinians but the people Kabariti spoke to were united in their goal to return to the lands their familes were displaced from during the Nakba. “I do not care about pain,” Mohammed Abu Eida tells Kabariti. “I sit here to tell them that I will go back to Jaffa with my family.”

‘I came today to tell the Israeli sniper we are not afraid of him’: the Great March of Return continues in Gaza

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh on

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh shares stories from the first two weeks of the Great March of Return in Gaza. Despite the fact Yousef Abu Eida, 26, was shot in the leg last Friday, he was back today using crutches and a metal brace. “I came today despite the pain to send two messages,” he tells Abu Al-Tarabeesh. “The first is that I will not give up the right of my return to my occupied town ‘Ashdod’ and another message to the Israeli sniper that we are not afraid of him.”