On the Ground in Palestine, June 29, 2018

On the Ground in Palestine, June 29, 2018

According to Sabeel, Jerusalem, June 28,

Last Friday marked the eighty fifth day of the ‘Great March of Return’. It has been named officially as the ‘Friday of the Wounded’. Since the Gaza protests began on the 30th of March, at least 133 Palestinians have been killed and 14,600 wounded by the Israeli forces. Last week Israeli war planes bombed more than two dozen sites in the besieged Gaza Strip. This action drew retaliatory rocket fire from the Palestinians.

On June 20, two boats which are taking part in the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza arrived in Lisbon, Portugal. The ‘Al Awda’ (the ‘Return’) and ‘Freedom’ have 25 activists on board and hundreds  of people greeted their arrival. These boats and several other boats are heading towards Gaza in a new attempt to break the 11- year Israeli siege. Two other boats arrived in Paris, but the French police prevented them from landing along the River Seine. Nevertheless, hundreds of supporters waved Palestinian flags while standing on the banks of the river, to cheer them on their journey.

Israeli activists hung 115 kites along the Boulevard Rothschild in Tel Aviv last Sunday, June 17. Each kite commemorated a Palestinian who had been killed by Israeli forces during the ‘Great March of Return’ and each kite bore the photograph, name, and birth date of the victim. These tokens of remembrance were displayed to challenge the lack of response from the Israeli public to the killings in Gaza.

The World Cup brings hope and joy to people around the world, including the people in Gaza. A rehabilitation centre in Gaza has formed a football team for amputees called the ‘Heroes Football Club’. This team is seen as a glimmer of hope for many young Palestinians who were injured by the Israeli forces during recent wars and the ongoing protests.

From the Middle East Working Group

On the Ground in Palestine, June 6, 2018

On the Ground in Palestine, June 6, 2018

According to Sabeel, Jerusalem, June 7, 2018

An Israeli sniper shot and killed a 21-year-old Palestinian female paramedic, Razan Ashraf al-Najjar, as she was treating injured protesters during the demonstrations along the Gaza border with Israel.

There are hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who are being held under detention by the Israeli state without trial for up to six months (renewable), for ‘security reasons.’  These prisoners, held under ‘administrative detention’, are expected this week to launch a hunger strike against this Israeli policy. Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention continue their boycott of the law courts as they have lost hope in ever receiving a just hearing in an Israeli court.

On Thursday the 24th of May, three Israeli Supreme Court justices – Noam Sohlberg, Anat Baron and Yael Willner – ruled that the state may demolish the homes of the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar and transfer its residents forcibly to a different location.

Once again, the United States has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s use of force in seeking to stifle protests at the border with Gaza.  The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, rejected the Kuwaiti resolution – which sought ‘measures to guarantee the safety and protection’ of Palestinian civilians.

The Israeli government has approved the construction of 2,070 new illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank. Since U.S. President Donald Trump came to office, Israel has permitted the construction of more than 14,000 settlement units.

This week marks the 51st anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

From the Middle East Working Group