Israel must end its occupation of Palestine to stop apartheid and human rights violations


Palestinians riding on a cart are refected on a mirror in the shape of the map of Palestine in Rafah, on the southern Gaza Strip on February 7, 2024 amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant Hamas group.
Palestinians riding on a cart are refected on a mirror in the shape of the map of Palestine in Rafah, on the southern Gaza Strip on February 7, 2024 amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant Hamas group. ©MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images

Israel must end its brutal occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which it has maintained since 1967, said Amnesty International, as public hearings begin at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to examine the legal consequences of Israel’s prolonged occupation.

The public hearings are taking place in the Hague from 19 to 26 February after the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in December 2022 to request an advisory opinion from the ICJ on the legality of Israel’s policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and the consequences of Israel’s conduct for other states and the UN. More than 50 states, the African Union, the Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are scheduled to participate in the proceedings.

The world must recognize that ending Israel’s illegal occupation is a prerequisite to stopping the recurrent human rights violations in Israel and the OPT.

Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General

“Israel’s occupation of Palestine is the longest and one of the most deadly military occupations in the world. For decades it has been characterised by widespread and systematic human rights violations against Palestinians. The occupation has also enabled and entrenched Israel’s system of apartheid imposed on Palestinians,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“Over the years, Israel’s military occupation has evolved into a perpetual occupation in flagrant violation of international law.


“The current conflict raging in the occupied Gaza Strip, where the ICJ has ruled there is a real and imminent risk of genocide, has brought into sharp focus the catastrophic consequences of allowing Israel’s international crimes in the OPT to continue with impunity for so long. The world must recognize that ending Israel’s illegal occupation is a prerequisite to stopping the recurrent human rights violations in Israel and the OPT.”

‘Perpetual’ occupation

Under international humanitarian law, occupation of a territory during a conflict is meant to be temporary. The occupying power is required to administer the territory in the interest of the occupied population and to preserve as much as possible the situation that existed at the beginning of the occupation, including by respecting existing laws and refraining from introducing demographic changes and tampering with the territorial integrity of the occupied territory.

A Palestinian woman stands with others (not pictured) as they gather near an Israeli army checkpoint as they wait to reach their olives fields on the other side of Israel’s separation barrier (background) after they received an special Israeli permission to harvest their olive trees, on October 13, 2021 near Bait A’wa village on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Hebron. ©HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images

Israel’s occupation has failed to align with these basic principles of international humanitarian law. The duration of Israel’s occupation – spanning more than half a century – coupled with the authorities’ illegal official annexation of occupied East Jerusalem and de facto annexation of large swathes of the West Bank through land confiscation and settlement expansion, provide clear evidence that Israel’s intention is for the occupation to be permanent and for the benefit of the occupying power and its own citizens.

The Gaza Strip remains occupied even after the withdrawal of Israeli forces and removal of settlers in 2005 as Israel has retained effective control over the territory and its population, including through its control of its borders, territorial waters, air space, and population registry. For 16 years, the occupation has been experienced in Gaza through Israel’s illegal blockade that has severely restricted movement of people and goods and has devastated Gaza’s economy, and through repeated episodes of hostilities that have killed and injured thousands of civilians and destroyed much of Gaza’s infrastructure and housing.

“All states must review their relations with Israel to ensure that they are not contributing to sustaining the occupation or the system of apartheid. As European foreign ministers gather in Brussels today, the need to make a clear and united call for an end to Israel’s occupation has never been more urgent,” said Agnès Callamard.

Life under occupation

Palestinians living under Israeli occupation are subjected to a myriad of human rights violations, maintained by an institutionalized regime of systematic domination and oppression. The discriminatory and repressive laws, ostensibly adopted as part of the occupation but effectively serving the objectives of the Israel’s system of apartheid, have fragmented and segregated Palestinians across the OPT, while unlawfully exploiting their resources, arbitrarily restricting their rights and freedoms and controlling almost every aspect of their lives.

Even before the latest hostilities, Palestinians in Gaza had been subjected to numerous Israeli military offensives – at least six between 2008 and 2023 – in addition to an enduring land, air, and sea blockade, which has helped maintain Israel’s effective control and occupation of Gaza. During those offensives, Amnesty International documented a recurrent pattern of unlawful attacks, amounting to war crimes and even crimes against humanity, while the enduring blockade constitutes collective punishment, also a war crime.

For 56 years Palestinians in the OPT have been living trapped and oppressed under Israel’s brutal occupation, subjected to systemic discrimination.

Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, Palestinians routinely face excessive use of force, unlawful killings, arbitrary arrest, administrative detention, forced displacement, home demolitions, confiscation of land and natural resources, and denial of fundamental rights and freedoms. Israel’s multi-layered closure system, fortified by mass surveillance, physical barriers and legal restrictions, including an illegal wall/fence, hundreds of checkpoints and roadblocks, and an arbitrary permit regime, has curtailed Palestinians’ freedom of movement and perpetuated their disenfranchisement.

Among the most emblematic examples of Israel’s outright disregard for international law has been the establishment and incessant spread of Israeli settlements throughout the OPT and the illegal annexation of occupied East Jerusalem immediately after the 1967 war which was constitutionally enshrined in 1980. There are currently at least 300 illegal Israeli settlements and outposts in the West Bank, including in occupied East Jerusalem, with a population of over 700,000 Israeli settlers.

Palestinian residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem were holding peaceful demonstrations against the imminent forcible eviction on four Palestinian families. Demonstrators were met with excessive and unnecessary force. 5-9 May, 2021. ©Private

“For 56 years Palestinians in the OPT have been living trapped and oppressed under Israel’s brutal occupation, subjected to systemic discrimination. Every aspect of their daily lives is disrupted and controlled by Israeli authorities, who place restrictions on their rights to move around, earn a living, pursue educational and professional aspirations, and enjoy a decent quality of life, as well as depriving them of access to their land and natural resources,” said Agnès Callamard.

“Israel has also continued its vicious land grab policies relentlessly expanding illegal settlements in violation of international law with devastating consequences for Palestinians’ human rights and security. Violent Israeli settlers have been attacking Palestinians for decades with virtually total impunity.”

A draconian system of control

Israel’s draconian system of control over the OPT includes a large network of military checkpoints, fences/ walls and military bases and patrols as well as a string of repressive military orders.

Israel’s control of the OPT’s borders, the population registry, the supply of water, electricity, telecommunication services, humanitarian and development assistance, and the imposition of its currency have had devastating effects on the economic and social developments of the Palestinian people in the OPT.

This control has reached unprecedented levels of cruelty in the Gaza Strip where Israel has maintained a 16-year illegal blockade which has been further tightened since 9 October 2023. The blockade, coupled with Israel’s recurrent military operations have plunged the Gaza Strip into one of the gravest humanitarian and human rights crisis of modern times.

“As the occupying power Israel has an obligation to ensure the protection and welfare of all those residing in the territory it controls. Instead, it has perpetrated gross and systematic human rights violations with impunity. Israel cites the need to maintain security as the reason for its cruel policies. But security can never justify apartheid, illegal annexation and settlements, or war crimes against the protected population. The only way to ensure security for Israelis and Palestinians is to uphold human rights for all,” said Agnès Callamard.

Palestinian emergency services and local citizens search for victims in buildings destroyed during Israeli air raids in the southern Gaza Strip on October 19, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Gazans are evacuating to the south as advised by the Israeli government, ahead of an expected Israeli ground offensive. ©Photo by Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Ending the occupation would mean restoring Palestinians’ rights by lifting the brutal blockade on Gaza, dismantling Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and reversing its illegal annexation. It would allow Palestinians to move freely in the areas where they live and allow families separated by different identification legal statuses – such as the Jerusalem residency and West Bank or Gaza Strip – to be reunited. It would alleviate mass suffering and end widescale human rights violations.

It would also contribute to tackling one of the root causes of the recurrent violence and war crimes against Israelis, thus helping to improve human rights protection and secure justice and reparation for victims on all sides.


On 30 December 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/77/247, in which, it requested the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on key questions regarding the legal consequences arising from its prolonged occupation, and settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, how the policies and practices of Israel affect the legal status of the occupation and what legal consequences arise for all states and the UN from this status.

The Court is expected to issue its advisory opinion later this year.

For six decades, Amnesty International has been documenting how Israeli forces have committed grave human rights violations in the OPT with impunity.  In 2022, the organization issued Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel system of domination and crime against humanity, a report which highlights the entrenched role that Israel’s military and its occupation have had in perpetuating the system of apartheid. Many of the report’s findings and recommendations underline the urgent need for an end to Israel’s occupation to remove the environment that enables the commission of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Mazin Qumsiyeh: FAQs on Gaza

Mazin Qumsiyeh is a Palestinian scientist, author, and founder and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University, where he teaches. He has been active in Palestinian rights since the early 2000s.

Frequently asked questions, answers, and documentation on Gaza
An evolving document compiled by young Palestinian media activists
October 2023

1. What is the background on Israel/Palestine?

Israel was built on top of Palestine through the ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinians, a long-standing Zionist policy that resulted in 8 million Palestinians becoming refugees or displaced people and the rest enclosed in ghettos/bantustans (1) based on a set of myths and distortions of reality to justify colonization.(2)

2. What is the Gaza strip and what is its background?


Gaza is a sliver of land along the Mediterranean Coast. Per the 1947 UN Resolution 181 Gaza’s area was many times more than what it is now, but during 1948 Israel removed 247 villages and towns, including Asqalan (now Israeli Ashkelon) and Najd (now Sderot). Refugees (including by boats from Jaffa) were squeezed into the open-air prison called the Gaza ‘Strip’. Thus 2/3rd of the current Gaza population (2.3 million, 60% of which are below 18) are refugees, a concentration area of “surplus people”. After Israel’s occupation of the Strip in 1967, Israel conducted numerous attacks on the area including in 1974, 1981, 1987-1991, 1997, 2000, 2008, 2014, 2018/2019, and 2021. In 2012 the United Nations reported that Gaza would be unlivable by 2020, and that was before two more wars on the people of Gaza. The nonviolent 2018-2019 March of Return by unarmed civilians was met by Israeli forces’ systematic targeting, massacring these civilians. The violence against people living in crowded Gaza has been ongoing for decades — see other questions and answers below. The events of 7 October 2023 that took Israel by surprise and caused pain and suffering is precisely what Palestinians faced manyfold in the past 75 years (33 massacres in 1948 alone and hundreds more since then, including the latetst series of massacres committed in Gaza in October 2023).(3)

3. What is happening now in the West Bank and 1948 areas of Palestine and how is this related to Gaza?

The West Bank (including Jerusalem) and Gaza have been under a brutal Israeli military occupation since 1967. This occupation is illegal per international law (illegality of acquisition of territory by war, see below). Israeli settlers built, and continue to build colonial residential and industrial setlements in these occupied areas. Since the PLO signed an agreement which recognized Israel in 1993, it was hoped that after an interim period of 5 years of negotiations, a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank would be formed with currently Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem as its capital (the Oslo accords). Instead, the last 30 years saw an increase in the number of illegal Israeli colonial settlers squatting on Palestinian lands in the West Bank (now 970,000 settlers). Palestinians were removed from their lands and homes and squeezed into Bantustans/ghettos in the West Bank and this process is ongoing (in just the past two years, 22 communities in the WB were removed). Before this latest escalation on 7 October, Israel has killeds 300 Palestinians in the West Bank including 38 children and two American citizens. Ben Gvir was unleashed by Netanyahu to arm settlers and gave the green light to them and to the apartheid terrorist army to shoot to kill and commit now well documented pogroms such as at Huwwara and Turmusayya. This only intensified when on 7 October Israeli forces sealed off all our ghettos so that people are trapped (for example Bethlehem people cannot get to Ramallah or Jericho). 106 Palestinians were thus killed in the West Bank since 7 October alone (18 days). Since the occupation in 1967, the Palestinian economy has been devastated, natural resources are stolen and given to colonial settlers, and there are almost daily incursions into Palestinian cities and holy sites like Al-Aqsa mosque but all of this intensified under the extremely right wing government led by Netanyahu (4). Now there is discussion and revolt in Israeli society charging that the colossal failure of the Israeli government on 7 October 2023 and collapse of the Gaza front was directly related to diverting the army for land grabs and settler protection in the West Bank. The latest attack on Nur Alshams refugee camp left 13 young Palestinians killed and Israel even bombed a mosque in Jenin on 21 October 2023. Further, Palestinian political prisoners (nearly 10,000) in Israeli jails are now denied water and food by order of Ben Gvir (paralleling the denial of water and food of the larger Gaza prison). But even remaining Palestinians within the state of Israel did not escape continuing ethnic cleansing and are subject to APARTHEID laws with intensified racism and racist attacks increasing during the conflict in Gaza (5).

4. Does Israel have the right to defend itself?

First the premise that a colonizer is acting in self-defense is itself a linguistic error. Colonizers use violence to achieve ethnic cleansing. This happened in all other colonial situations in over 170 countries. As an occupier/colonizer that engaged in ethnic cleansing of the local people, beginning in 1948 and continuing today, the Israeli regime is an illegitimate colonization project (itself based on violence). The claim that Hamas’s presence as a guerrilla force among the Palestinians in Gaza is also not an excuse for violating the basic laws of warfare and targeting civilians. After all, Israeli military facilities are also inside Israeli cities but this does not justify targeting civilians. Further, Israeli authorities themselves openly declared that they are punishing the population of Gaza (not fighters from Gaza) by bombing them without warning and starving them. See Questions 6. and 7. below.(6)

5. Do Palestinians have a right to resist?

Do millions of Palestinians, disenfranchized, impoversihed, and brutalized for 75 years have a right to defend themselves? Yes, international law does stipulate that local people have a right and obligation to resist oppression of course consistent with International law.(7) Israel’s 75 years of oppression and subjugation of millions of people cannot be ignored to demand quiescent victims.(8) The struggle for freedom in South Africa and Algeria or other colonial situations was not delegetimized when (a minority) of natives as individuals or groups targeted colonial settlers. Ending colonization is always the only way to end both the resistance and the much larger violence of the colonizers. But we also recognize that most resistance in the past 100 years by Palestinians has been popular (non-violent) resistance. Certainly less violent than most other colnial-anti-colonial struggles.(9)

6. Does Israel target civilians and commit breaches of international law and human rights conventions?

From its inception, Israel ethnically cleansed Palestinians (a breach of international law, including the Geneva Conventions). Israel was admitted to the UN only when it agreed to implement UN resolutions, including UNGA 181 and 194, but Israel refused to implement them. Subsequently Israel has violated over 70 UN Security Council Resolutions and hundreds of UNGA resolutions. In the most recent October 2023 conflict in Gaza and as a matter of policy even when there is no conflict, Israel engaged in collective punishment, many cases of which are verifiable war crimes and crimes against humanity. All human rights organizations (AI, HRW, PHR, B’Tselem) and global organizations (UN, WHO, etc) denounced collective punishment, including carpet bombing of residential buildings, denial of basics of life (water, food, medicines, fuel), and use of white phosphorous on civilian areas.(10) If we take just the UN Declaration on Human Rights, which ironically Israel and the US signed, we find Israel breaching just about every article. Israel intentionally targets Palestinian civilians and commits human righst abuses on large scale amounting to crimes against humanity and war crimes including including via collective punishment and outright genocide now well documented.(11)

7. Is Israel ruled by rational people?

The criminality of Israeli leaders are reflected in their racist statements about indigenous people.(12) Israeli leaders have always chosen to use their military might to achieve their objectives of colonization. Yitzhaq Rabin, who came the closest to recognizing some need to compromise and allow some margin of freedom for some Palestinians, was assassinated by a right wing Zionist. Since then, Israeli leadership has shifted to become even more racist and fascist (e.g. having settlers like Smotrich and Ben Gvir in the cabinet).

    • Israeli President says there are no innocent civilains in Gaza and that they are responsible
    • “The only solution is the complete destruction of Gaza” Moshe Feiglin
    • “When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.” Amnon Sofer, Israeli demographer in 2004
    • “There will be no food, no electricity, no food, no fuel. Everything is closed. We are fighting animal people, and we are acting accordingly” Yoav Galant, Israeli Defense Minister on 9 October 2023
    • “We will turn Gaza into an island of ruins” Benjamin Netanyahu 8 October 2023
    • ”We are dropping hundreds of tons of bombs on Gaza. The focus is on destruction, not accuracy” Daniel Hagari, Israeli army spokesperson 10 October in Haaretz
    • Animal Humans will be treated accordingly, you wanted he’ll and you’ll get hell” Ghassan Major General of the Israeli army October 9 Social media post
    • “There is an entire nation who are responsible. This rhetoric about civilians supposedly not being involved is absolutely untrue (…) We will fight until we break their backs” Yitzhak Herzon, Israeli President Press conference
    • “Jericho missile! Doomsday weapon! That is my opinion. Powerful rockets to be fired without limits/borders. Gaza to be smashed and razed to the ground. Without mercy” Tally Gotliv :okud Partly, 9 October on X/Twitter
    • “Wipe out their families, their mothers and their children. These animals must not be allowed to live any longer” Ezra Yachin, Israeli Veteran who participated in the ethnic cleansing of 1948 (Nakba)
    • “Now there is only one goal: Nakba. A Nakba in Gaza that will dwarf the Nakba of 1948” Ariel Kellet, :Likud Party Politician 7 October on X/Twitter • “The only thing that needs to enter Gaza are hundreds of tons of explosives, not one ounce of humanitarian relief” Itamar Ben Gvir (Israeli minister in Charge of Police and arming setters)
    • “They should go, as well as the physical homes in which they raised the snakes in. Otherwise more little snakes will be raised there” Ayelet Shakid • “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children, We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children ” Golda Meir (old but shows the racist ideology)
    • “I am here today not only as the US Secretary of State but also as a Jew … as long as the US exists, you will never have to do this [alone] because we will always be with you” US Secretary of State Blinken 12 October already hundreds of special US Delta force boots are on the ground).
    • Michael Ben-Ari, ex-member of the Knesset: “There are no innocents in Gaza. Mow them down … Kill the Gazans without thought or mercy.”
    • Israel Katz, Minister of Transportation: “Gaza should be bombed so hard the population has to flee into Egypt.”
    • Avi Dichter, Current Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Former Shin Bet director and Minister of Internal Security: “Gaza should be wiped clean with bombs.”
    • “The Gaza Strip must be smaller at the end of the war. Anyone who starts a war against Israel must lose territory“ Gideon Sa’ar Israeli Interior Minister

8. What about children?

No other country violates the rights of children or kills them in such large numbers as Israel. Defense of Children International documented countless cases of child abductions, detentions, severe interrogation amounting to torture, and outright killing. Just in the period of 7 October – 15 October 2023 Israel killed 720 children and injured about 2500.(13)

9. Does the Zionist movement/government and their media arms in the west lie to advance their cause of colonization?

Yes, daily. This is more blatant in Gaza but has been going for 75 years. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz (7/15/01) reported that: “… giving his audience (Likud leaders) a bit of advice on how to deal with foreign interviewers (Benjamin Netanyahu said): ‘Always, irrespective of whether you’re right or not, you must always present your side as right'”. Indeed from its inception, the Israeli government and its agents abroad have lied. There were false flag operations like the Lavon Affair, or the bombing of Jewish community centers in Iraq to blame it on locals and scare Iraqi Jews to leave their country.(14) Hasbara (propaganda) is a very common Zionist tactic to advance their project of colonization. During the October 2023 incidents Israeli leaders lied about Hamas killing and beheading babies, about Israeli soldiers killing Israeli citizens, or even about wanting peace and set the stage for ongoing genocide.(15)

10. Did the Palestinians have a fair chance to tell their stories in the Western world?

As the late professor Edward Said articulated clearly, Palestinian voices are methodically suppressed. This only intensified as the Zionist movement increased its grip on Western media, which then silenced Palestinian voices. In the US for example, distorted, misleading and outright false coverage as a result of the strong Zionist lobbies.(16) Free speech must be protected in all countries: in Palestine Israeli forces shoot you for demonstrating, meanwhile Germany, France and Belgium are trying to outlaw free speech or demonstrations addressing human rights/international law/Palestine and even balanced reporters harassed or fired.(17)

11. Does Israel destroy infrastructure and livelihoods of innocent people for revenge?

Yes, and the deliberate destruction of infrastructure is illegal per International law.(18)

12. Is Israel a democracy?

Israel is a Jewish state built on the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and the setting up of an apartheid state that ruled over the remaining Palestinians in 1948. At least 65 Israeli laws exist that discriminate against non-Jewish citizens within the Greenline (1948 Palestine). After Israel illegally expanded to occupy the rest of the area (the West Bank and Gaza) in 19687, the belligerant occupiers set up hundreds of laws/military orders that made life under occupation horrific for the indigineous people while facilitating foreign Jewish settlers to live on stolen Palestinian lands. In this “greater Israel” there is thyus the privilaged 7.1 million Israeli Jews (most immigrants) and 7.3 million disenfranchized Palestinians. Human rights organizations (AI, HRW, PHR, etc.), including local ones like B’Tselem, have called the dual legal system apartheid.(19)

13. Is this a religious war?

Absolutely not. While the Zionists have used Judaism as an excuse and weaponized it in their attacks on the native people, the colonial and apartheid system does not discriminate in its victimization of native Christians, Muslims, Druze, Bahai, or Atheists. All non-Jews were targeted for ethnic cleansing, with the exception of the self-proclaimed Christian Zionists.(21) Palestinian and non-Palestinian Christians have been outspoken for human rights. Jews have also been the most outspoken (21). But Israel’s use of religion to try to justify its colonization does lead to targeting and harming the religious sites and sensibilities of other religions. This is part of the reason why the state facilitates settler attacks on Al-Aqsa mosque (3rd holiest site in Islam), which has influenced uprisings like the last one.(22)

14. Who is profiting from colonialism and war?

All wars historically have been initiated based on geoplotics related to greed (money and theft of natural resources and land). Religion and ethnicity are used to rally people around a cause that ultimately is profitable to some small segment of the population. The Zionists decided to take a country from its ownewrs and ended up stealing all its natural resources (even a fully developed airport renamed from Lydda Airport to BenGurion airport), posrts, farms, water resources etc. Regarding Gaza, Netanyahu regime had eyes to dissolve the Palestine question and create an alternative to China’s Belt and Road initiative that connects East to West via “Israel” (including Gaza) and Israeli dominated gulf states ncluding Saudi Arabia. This is what he called the new Middle East. Netanyahu showed this plan in maps at his speech to the UN General Assembly months ago. Thre are even plans for an alternative canal from Eilat to Gaza to rival the Suez canal. It is not a coincidence that the discovery of huge Gas fields off the Gaza coast preceded blockade on Gaza in 2006. Israel covets those fields and wants them to be the main source of Gazz to Europe to replace Russian gas (conveniently pipelines connecting Russia to Europe were bombed). Dozens of companies profit tremendously from war. Stocks of Raytheon and General Dynamics went up 15-20% in the first three weeks of genocide in Gaza. Also, Gaza has been a testing laboratory for Israeli arms manufacturers and is critical for flowing funds to the military and industrial complex in Israel. Israeli weapons and security related sales bring in billions to Israeli elites and even compete with traditional exporters of such destruction like the USA. Israeli importers and the government (via tax) profited handsomely even from the humanitarian aid to Gaza and the WB that comes through Israel.(23)

15. Why do some Western countries and some Arab governments (most dictators) support and normalize Israel?

Israel gets nearly $4 billion in military aid annually from the US and gets protection from prosecution under international law by use of the US veto power at the UN. This collusion with apartheid is carried out even against US law.(24) Part of it has to do with the history of those countries themselves being colonial and imperial powers who have killed millions of natives and “understand” what it takes for colonization.(25) Furthermore, the US military industrial complex benefits from this funding to Israel, as a large portion of the funding can only be spent purchasing weapons directly from US arm dealers.(26) Another part of it is the strong Zionist lobbies in Western countries.(27) For some Arab dictatorships, it is because they are dependent on the US and some other Western countries to stay in power against the wishes of the people, or because they believe the US hegemony will last forever. This complicity and normalization are what has encouraged Israel to violate human rights and increased chances of the kind of resistance we have seen in October 2023.(28) But among people of the world, there is great sympathy and support for Palestine.(29)

16. What should be done about the situation?

Let us be very clear: Palestinains will keep fights for freedom and justice (supported by decent people around teh world including Jews) despite over 200 massacres, 8 million refugees, bantustans/concentration camps in which remaining Palestinians live, and an ongoing genocide in Gaza. Amnesty International has said, “The root causes of these repeated cycles of violence must be addressed as a matter of urgency. This requires upholding international law and ending Israel’s 16-year-long illegal blockade on Gaza, and all other aspects of Israel’s system of apartheid imposed on all Palestinians.”(30) Implementing International law, human rights, and justice are essential to stopping these cycles of violence. Justice means the return of Palestinian refugees, the abolition of apartheid laws, and full equality regardless of religion. Palestinians have put together two proposals: in 1968 they proposed a democratic secular state for all its people and in 1988 a twpo state solution with the rights of refugees to return to their homes and lands. Zionism rejected both solutions. If some in the western world still believes in a “two state solution” as a step towards peace, then they must insist on full withdrawal (i.e. all illegal settlements evacuated) from the 1967 occupied territories (West Bank, including East Jerusalem; Gaza; and the Golan Heights) and allow Palestine to be a state with full sovereignty (including natural resources, borders, etc). In either case, apartheid laws should be ended and refugees should be allowed to return or compensated per UNGA resolution 194.(31) The global community is with Palestine (the people are) while many western governments and corporate media eroded their own democracies to support the genocidal apargrtheid Israeli regime because of the lobbies and suppress voices of reason and human rights. In Belgium, france, and Germany governments forcefully limited free speech. In other countries such as the UK/USA, governments go against the wishes of their people.(32)

17. Where can I get more information?

Here are some relevant links:

18. How can I help financially?

19. What more can I do? (Campaigns)

Educate yourself (resources above plus books, videos like Occupation 101, Born in Gaza)

Use the right language (colonialism, apartheid, collective punishment) not “conflict” etc if you have to use war it is war on the people of Gaza not Hamas-Israel war

Write to media (letters to editor or op-eds)

Join groups like the International Solidarity Movement

Create or join local groups of joint struggle (like PSM)

Join political parties and lobby all politicians

Use social media with hashtags for Palestine (facebook, X/Twitter, Instagram, Telegram, TikTock, Youtube)

Join or organize protests (5 people or 50,000 people)

Join the Boycott, Divestiment, Sanctions campaigns and


Organize street theatres, flash mobs, tabling, or flyering

Engage in civil dsiobedience

Contact local faith centers (Churches, Mosques, Synagogues, Temples)

Digital toolkit

Media work

Volunteer in Palestine

Sign a petition such as: –

West Bank situation: We must spotlight that oppression in the West Bank continues. We hsould set-up or expand civilian defense groups to face the Zionist settlers who have been armed and given a green light to commit pogroms, like happened recently in Turmusayya, Beita and Huwwara. As we are in the Oliver harvest season, settlers and soldiers have shot at farmers trying to get totheir fields.

Arab governments should be challenged on their complicity and hypocrisy. The show concern for Gaza civilains but aid and abet the governments that perpetuate crime against humanity in places like Gaza. تعرب عن قلقها أو استيائها ألخ

Western governments should be challenged and we must demand they stop funding, arming, and protecting Israel from international law.

Israeli political and military leaders should be brought to trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including violating the conventions on crimes of genocide and apartheid/racial discrimination.

Western media must be challenged for their lies and distortions, and for bias in use of language which results in their complicity in crimes. Their support of genocide is also eroding the public’s trust in them. As one person wrote “The UK media’s coverage is shameful and our leaders are self-serving liars.”

Social media issues: Activists and all people of conscience must use Facebook, Instagram, Tik-tok, X (Twitter), Telegram and other websites for sharing photos and videos.

20. Statements and reports

Statement signed by over 800 international legal scholars

Letter to Gaza

Center for Constitutional Rights on Israel’s unfolding Crime of Genocide in Gaza

Jewish Currents: A text book case of genocide by Raz Segal

Let them eat cement: Israel is not only decimating Gaza with airstrikes but employing the oldest and cruelest weapon of war — starvation. Israel’s message, on the eve of a ground invasion, is clear. Leave Gaza or Die.

Palestinian Christians plea to world churches

The mask is off: Gaza has exposed the hypocrisy of international law

Very important Amnesty International Report: Damning evidence of war crimes as Israeli attacks wipe out entire families in Gaza

An Open Letter from Palestinian Christians to Western Church Leaders and Theologians

Artists & Academics in Canada: Statement of Support for Palestine

Health care statement on Gaza

Ramzy Baroud on why US egemony in the Middle East is ending

Gabor Mater

John Mearsheimer on why the US is failing

Scott Ritter

Two Jews make an eloquent statement

An Israeli soldier (one of many) breaking the silence

Humanitarian Coordinator’s Opening Remarks to Geneva-based correspondents

Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel, Flash Update #20, 26 October 2023

Childhood researchers and students statement

Russia and China must prevent genocide and ethnic cleansing in Palestine

21. Demonstrations globally

Jews close Grand Central Station

India stands with Palestine

Support For Palestine in the US Has Never Been Higher
Congressional Staffers Turn Against Israel

Tens of Thousands Stand With Palestine in Ireland

Jewish peace activists hold sit-in protest at Grand Central

UC Berkeley students walk out to support Palestinians but fear repercussions

Thousands in San Francisco

Hundreds of thousands in London

Summary video

OPINION: Israeli–Palestinian conflict not a “two-sides” issue

Nevine El Nossery, Madison365, Nov 2, 2023

A pro-Palestinian sign at a recent protest of the current crisis in Gaza at UW-Madison (Photo by Omar Waheed.)

This editorial reflects the views of its author, and not necessarily those of Madison365, its staff, funders or board of directors.

To my cherished white liberal friends and colleagues:

Allow me to explain why the “two-sides” narrative about Palestine and Israel is unequivocally untenable. 

In the wake of the heart-wrenching events unfolding in Gaza, I’ve often been asked by well-meaning friends and colleagues: How I am coping with this dreadful situation? And I am very thankful for their genuine concern. But as I start to express my profound sorrow at the loss and displacement of thousands of children, women, and men in Gaza, along with my deep indignation at the deliberate lack of international action, I notice a propensity among this well-intentioned cohort to interject; an act seemingly driven by a sense of impartiality, being distressed about the situation, and their agony over the Israelis who died on October 7. As I am unquestionably desolate by the death and capture of hundreds of Israeli civilians, one can’t compare these two narratives, because it is not only unfair, but also senseless. 

Let me explain why this “two-sides” narrative is simply invalid. 


What Israelis endured on one day (on that October 7th), Palestinians have endured for 27,318 days (since the Israeli State was established on May 14, 1948). What happened on October 7th is the direct consequence of a long-standing oppressive colonial system inflicted by Israel’s apartheid regime, which has targeted for the last 75 years not only Palestinians in Gaza, but also Palestinians in the West Bank (in the Occupied Palestinian Territories), Palestinian citizens of Israel, and Palestinians dispersed across the global diaspora. These horrendous happenings are documented, archived, and therefore, unfalsifiable. 

My dear friends and colleagues, let me remind you very briefly what Palestinians have been enduring over the past 75 years under Israeli Occupation, rendering the notion of “two sides” just pointless.

In the West Bank, Palestinians have faced unlawful killings, mass forced displacement, strict control over their movement through intricate checkpoints and roadblocks, and the separation wall spanning 700 kilometers. Additionally, Palestinians have been victims of massive confiscations of Palestinian land and property, demolitions, and prejudicial restrictions on home construction, while they have persistently witnessed the illegal proliferation of Israeli settlements. A systematic violation of human rights has been the norm, including forced and arbitrary detentions, torture, unjust arrests, and a lack of due process for Palestinian prisoners. And not to mention the daily harassment and terrorization, and frequent killing by Israeli settlers. 

While Palestinian citizens of Israel have the same legal rights as Jewish citizens and can vote in Israeli elections, they have been facing various forms of discrimination and inequality, including disparities in education, employment, and infrastructure development, land and harsh housing policies. They have always been treated as second-class citizens, constantly facing an intricate system of apartheid that restricts freedom of expression, particularly for those engaging in political activism. 

Even Palestinians in East Jerusalem hold a unique status. While Israel considers East Jerusalem part of its capital, the international community does not recognize this claim. Palestinians in East Jerusalem can apply for Israeli citizenship, but many choose not to do so, as they see it as an act of legitimizing Israeli control. They often face challenges related to residency status, home demolitions, and limited access to services.

As for Palestinians living in the diaspora, and who have been separated from their ancestral homelands since the Nakba of 1948, their lives have been marked by dispersion across the globe or confinement to refugee camps where they endure dismal living conditions. Palestinians in the Diaspora are denied their right to return, a right recognized by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194. In stark contrast, Israel maintains the “Law of Return,” which allows Jews from around the world to immigrate to Israel and gain citizenship.

Lastly, the ongoing blockade of Gaza by Israel since 2007 and the cataclysmic assault that started on October 7, with thousands of air bombardments have resulted in a staggering toll, with over 8,500 innocent Palestinians losing their lives, half of them children, and more than 20,000 injured, with the mass destruction of essential infrastructure, medical facilities, mosques, water and sanitation facilities, and refugee and displacement camps. 2.3 million Palestinians are deprived now of medicine, fuel, electricity, clean water, and internet access, leading to a horrendous humanitarian catastrophe.

So, I implore you, dear friends and colleagues, to please refrain from invoking the “two-sides” narrative each time we discuss Gaza or Palestine. The situation is inherently imbalanced; it defies reason and logic. Gaza is facing a dreadful butchery, that demands a resounding call for justice, an immediate ceasefire, and accountability for Israel’s crimes against humanity. 

And …by the way: it’s not an Israel-Hamas conflict, it’s simply an ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Israel’s colonial massive war machinery.

Nevine El Nossery is professor of Francophone Studies (Department of French and Italian) at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

UN Security Council Must Address the Root Causes of the Palestinian Struggle

and Protect the Palestinian People from Retaliatory Israeli Attacks

Date: 8 October 2023

Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights call on the UN Security Council to address root causes and protect the Palestinian people from Israeli attacks. As Member States of the UN Security Council (UNSC) convene to discuss the events unfolding on both sides of the Green Line in Palestine, which started on 7 October 2023, Member States must consider Israel’s 75-year settler-colonial apartheid regime, 56-year illegal occupation, and 16-year unlawful blockade and closure of the Gaza Strip as the root causes of the Palestinian plight. UN Member States hold primary responsibility for the violence in Palestine through their inaction and complicity in Israel’s systematic and widespread violations, and must protect the Palestinian people against Israeli retaliatory attacks.

On 7 October 2023, Palestinian armed groups in the occupied Gaza Strip carried out a number of military operations. Israel has been waging war against the Gaza Strip since its illegal occupation in 1967, and for over 16 years has declared the entire Gaza Strip a “hostile entity”, imposing a land, air and maritime closure, and subjugating Palestinians therein to measures of collective punishment, in violation of international law. In this time, Israel has carried out at least Six massive military offensives since 2008, which have rendered the Gaza Strip uninhabitable. Between 2010 and 2019, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recorded 3,624 Palestinians and 203 Israelis killed, and 103,207 Palestinians and 4,642 Israelis injured, in the decade.

While third States are fast condemning the military actions of Palestinian armed groups, UNSC Member States need to be reminded of the number of missed occasions they had to prevent the escalation of violence. For decades, since it established its illegal occupation, Israel has failed to uphold its duties as Occupying Power, has entrenched its settler-colonial apartheid regime, prevented the Palestinian people from exercising their right to self-determination and return, and has been committing systematic and widespread human rights violations, amounting to international crimes, against the Palestinian people.


The past two years have been marked as the bloodiest of Israeli violence since the second Intifada. Between January 2022 and 30 September 2023, Israeli occupying forces (IOF) and settlers killed 426 Palestinians, including 89 children from the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT).[1] As of 19 September 2023, Israel arbitrarily arrested 5,200 Palestinians, including 170 children, and 1,264 Palestinians are currently held arbitrarily under administrative detention. Between 2022 and 30 June 2023, OCHA recorded 1,449 settler attacks, while Israeli occupying authorities demolished 436 Palestinian homes, forcibly displacing 1,660 Palestinians, half of whom are children.

The International Court of Justice, in its Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2004), called on third States to uphold their international obligations, including through non-recognition of Israel’s wrongful acts, including the obligation to not contribute to the internationally wrongful acts and the obligation to cooperate to bring the illegal acts to an end. Two decades later, the Wall not only still stands, it has been expanded to appropriate more Palestinian land, creating facts on the ground which have become a fait accompli, de facto annexation. Meanwhile, third States have largely turned a blind eye to their obligations to bring to an end any impediment resulting from the construction of the wall, as well as other violations, which operate to deny the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable right to self-determination.

The failure by third States to uphold the ICJ’s advisory opinion, as well as the numerous UN resolutions, has resulted in Israel’s aggressive and unrestrained construction of illegal settlements, its entrenchment of a discriminatory apartheid regime underpinned by impunity for international crimes. For decades, Palestinians have been calling on the international community to take concrete and meaningful actions, beyond statements of condemnation, to put an end to these violations, including imposing sanctions, arms embargoes and countermeasures against Israel. The international community’s lack of political will to hold Israel to account only emboldens Israel to continue committing crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.

The ‘Question of Palestine’ remains the permanent responsibility of the UN. As previously reaffirmed by the UN General Assembly (UNGA), “the United Nations has a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy”. Notably, the UN General Assembly decision to partition Palestine under Resolution 181 (II) into an ‘Arab’ and a ‘Jewish’ state completely disregarded the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. When Israel sought membership in the UN in 1949, it promised to respect all relevant UN resolutions. However, Israel has failed to implement every relevant UN resolution, including UNGA Resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, which requires Israel to fulfill the right of return of Palestinian refugees, displaced persons, and exiles, UNSC Resolution 478 of 1980 prohibiting Israel from altering the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and UNSC Resolution 2334 of 2016 demanding Israel to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

We remind UNSC Member States of their obligation to protect the two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, who are at risk of retaliatory Israeli violence. So far, Israel has launched airstrikes, killing hundreds of Palestinians and wounding thousands, bombing residential buildings, has cut off electricity and asked Gaza residents to leave the besieged Strip, which, given the practical impossibility of such, may amount to threats to commit war crimes against civilians. We once more reiterate our call to the UN Security Council to refer Israel’s continuing acts of aggression, including its illegal occupation of the Gaza Strip for investigation to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

Sixteen consecutive years of Israeli closure and repeated military attacks have driven Gaza into the brink of collapse and produced disastrous socio-economic conditions. Given the current status of Gaza’s crippled infrastructure, that does not allow it to cope with long periods of hostilities, Netanyahu’s reprisals will have far reaching and grave consequences for the medical response, and may arise in grave breaches including willfully causing great suffering to the civilian population. Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship are also at risk of retaliatory Israeli Police and settler violence, and punitive mass arrests.

Given Israel’s decades-long illegal occupation and apartheid, the Palestinian people as a colonized people have a recognized right to exercise full external self-determination and independence from colonial, foreign domination and alien subjugation, as reaffirmed in UNGA Resolution 1514 of 1960 and Resolution 3246 of 1974.

Accordingly, Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights call on the Member States of the UNSC to:

  1. Recognize and condemn Israel’s illegal occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid regime as the root causes underpinning the continuous waves of conflict in the territory;
  2. Demand Israel’s immediate, unconditional and total withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territory, as required in UN resolutions since 1967;
  3. Call for the dismantling of Israel’s settler colonial apartheid regime on both sides of the Green Line;
  4. Take concrete steps to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip, facing retaliatory Israeli attacks;
  5. Sanction Israel’s illegal occupation, apartheid and acts of aggression through the application of an arms embargo, economic sanctions and countermeasures against Israel.

[1] According to Al-Haq’s documentation.
[1] According to Al-Haq’s documentation.


October 4, 2023
Crossing Borders: The Search for Dignity in Palestine

Mystery to Me Bookstore
1863 Monroe St, Madison

6:00 – 7:30 pm

Christa Bruhn will be reading from her recently released memoir Crossing Borders: The Search for Dignity in Palestine.

About the book
In her debut memoir Christa’s journey of curiosity beginning in Jerusalem and Gaza while studying abroad in her father’s homeland of Germany at the tail end of the Cold War. Christa’s experiences open up a world of joy and heartache that transforms into a lifetime pursuit to make a difference in a land two peoples call home. Through Christa’s unique perspective as an American and mother of three Palestinians, we become familiar with both current and historic challenges Palestinians face living in the shadow of the State of Israel. Christa poses thought-provoking questions that are a test to us all as we collectively grapple with how to come together in a place that is increasingly divided in the mind and on the ground.

Link to register
More information

Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition hosts Nelson Mandela’s grandson at launch of Nakba tour

Sandra Whitehead, Wisconsin Muslim Journal, May 23, 2023

Photos by Mouna Photography

Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, the grandson of globally respected icon of resistance against injustice Nelson Mandela, meets members of Milwaukee’s Muslim community.

About 40 community and interfaith leaders joined the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition at the Islamic Resource Center in Greenfield May 15 to welcome the grandson of anti-apartheid activist and South Africa’s first president Nelson Mandela on the launch of his six-city U.S. tour to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, the 1948 expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland.

Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition president Janan Najeeb (left) welcomes activist and South African parliament member Nkosi Mandela (center) to the Islamic Resource Center in Greenfield.

Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, the South African parliament member and chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council, repeated the well-known message of his grandfather: “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of Palestinians.” In his weeklong U.S. tour, Mandela spoke in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.

Following the dinner at the IRC, Mandela began his tour with a speech at Turner Hall in Milwaukee in which he called on the audience to consider what they could do individually and collectively to support the Palestinian cause. He spoke about how the BDS movement (boycott, divestment and sanctions) had been effective in South Africa and would work to liberate Palestinians.

“His message was uplifting,” said MMWC president and IRC director Janan Najeeb. “If it is possible for South Africa to be free after 350 years of colonialism and six decades of apartheid, it is possible for Palestinians to also one day be free.”

 MMWC president Janan Najeeb (left) welcomed community leaders to a reception for South African activist and parliamentarian Nkosi Mandela (right). Haitham Salawah (center) represented the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, which co-sponsored Mandela’s U.S. tour.

Continuing his grandfather’s legacy

Haitham Salawdeh, the U.S. Palestinian Community national treasurer and Milwaukee chapter co-chair, introduced Chief Mandela. The national tour was hosted by the U.S. Palestinian Community Network and the National Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression. Madison for Palestine was also instrumental in bringing Mandela for this tour.

Salawdeh thanked Mandela for visiting six U.S. cities “to tell the story of our people. Coming from the leadership of anti-apartheid and speaking on the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, your visit here today is historic.”

After thanking USPCN and Madison for Palestine for the invitation, Mandela said, “When the invitation came, I immediately accepted the call to duty.”

He shared a story about his first experience of meeting his grandfather “at the young, tender age of 9-years-old in Pollsmoor Prison “I met my grandfather at the young, tender age of 9-years-old in Pollsmoor Prison … It was in 1983. I didn’t know where I was going or who I was going to meet. Suddenly, I saw him coming down the corridor.”

After his grandfather hugged members of the family, he turned to Nkosi. “You must be my grandson.

“I had 100 questions in my head. I saw bars on every window and every door. This was clearly a prison and if my grandfather was in prison, he had shamed our family. For a 9-year-old boy, a prison is a place for those who have done wrong in society. I became very angry and very bitter from that experience.”

He learned later that his grandfather wrote a letter to his friend Helen Joseph, a white woman who was a South African anti-apartheid activist.

He told her he recently had a visit from his grandson whose English was bad and would she please assist him. “It was the only letter I ever saw from my grandfather that was not heavily censored,” he said.

Young Nkosi was embarrassed because “my grandfather thinks I can’t speak English,” but what his elder was really communicating to his comrade was that his grandson didn’t know who his grandfather was and the ideals and principles he stood for. He wasn’t familiar with the struggle for liberation. He was asking Joseph to educate his grandson about the cause.

In the 45-minutes a year that he was allowed to visit his grandfather in prison, much of his time was spent answering his “inquisitive” grandfather’s questions about what subjects he liked in school and which sports he wanted to play. But he also told stories.

“The ones that moved me most were about the heroes and heroines in Palestine, young people who braved the daily atrocities against them with just bare hands and stones. That inspired us during our darkest days in our struggle for liberation.

“It was Palestinians who stood side by side with us in our fight for freedom,” he said. That’s why after Nelson Mandela visited Gaza in 1995, he said, ‘Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinian people.’ My grandfather considered the Palestinian struggle the greatest moral issue of our time.

“It was only in 2017, when I visited occupied Palestine in person, I came to realize what the Palestinians experience on a daily basis. Like many of South African leaders who have visited occupied Palestine, we all come to one conclusion, that what Palestinians are experiencing is a worse form of Apartheid than we ever experienced.”

Milwaukee community and interfaith leaders turned out to learn from Mandela

It was a great honor to be invited to the reception and to meet others learning about what is going on,” said Sandy Pasch, former state representative and a member of the leadership of Jewish Voice for Peace Action, the political arm of JVP. “It is important to normalize the idea that we must free Palestine and do things to erase apartheid.” 

Pasch said she first heard about the Nakba when her daughter got involved with Jewish Voice for Peace. “The fact that I didn’t know about it for much of my life is a shame. Not too long ago, in a meeting with our congresswoman, she said she too had never known about it. That is really bad.

“I want to know as much as I can, bear witness to it and to the ongoing Nakba. I must educate myself more and educate others.”

Pasch said Mandela was “incredibly charismatic” and brought a valuable message to the United States “where when I talk to others about the apartheid in Palestine, they dismiss it and say it is not like South Africa.”

“I don’t believe Israel has any incentive to come to the table, Pasch added. “It is acting with increasing abandon without any repercussions. What is happening in Israel is apartheid. BDS worked in South Africa, it can work in Israel.”

Fellow JVP member Jodi Melamed, an associate professor of English and Africana Studies at Marquette University, said she “attended Chief Mandela’s talk hoping that he would give us the courage to believe that we would see the end of Israeli apartheid in my lifetime – as we’ve seen the end of South African apartheid – and give us a vision for how to struggle towards that success. He did all that and more. His call at Turner Hall for Palestinians in the U.S. to be ambassadors of the Palestinian struggle was powerful. I thought a lot about how I could do more to promote and defend Palestinians in America who speak up for a liberated Palestine. 

Reggie Jackson, the former griot (an oral historian) at America’s Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, said he “decided to attend because I was interested in the Nakba and how Mandela and his grandfather had a relationship with supporting the Palestinians in their long struggle.

When he spoke about his grandfather saying South Africa would not be free until the Palestinians had their freedom, it really meant a lot to me about the power of collaborative struggle and support.”

David Liners, the executive director of WISDOM, a statewide network of interfaith and social justice organizations that works to unite people of many faiths to stand against racial and economic injustice, said he wasstruck by Chief Mandela’s message of solidarity.”

“South Africa’s freedom movement was inspired by the Palestinian people’s struggle, and his work is a way of returning the favor. In a world where competing interests fight over whose need is the greatest, it is refreshing to hear him echo his grandfather’s commitment to the struggle for every human being and every community on the planet to be treated with justice and respect.”

About The Author

Sandra Whitehead

Sandra Whitehead is an author, educator, and nationally award-winning journalist. She teaches journalism and media studies at Marquette University, where she is a Center for Peacemaking Faculty Scholar and is developing internationally collaborative online journalism education.

Sandra taught in Lebanon from 2009-2016 at Rafik Hariri University, where she was chair of the Language and Humanities Department. She was senior editor and continues to serve as the senior editorial consultant to HOME Magazine Lebanon.

She is blessed with a loving family – her husband Abdulaziz Aleiou and three children, Ali, Aisha, and Adam.

Stop Nora’s Eviction أوقفوا تهجير نورة

Occupied Jerusalem, 2/18/2023

On 6 February 2023, the Israeli occupation’s high court rejected a request from the Ghaith-Sub Laban family to appeal an eviction order issued in March 2022 in favor of an Israeli settler organization. The family’s request for appeal, submitted through their lawyer Mohammad Dahleh, is the last legal intervention possible within the Israeli occupation’s legal system.

This latest decision comes after over 45 years of repeated lawsuits against the family by Israeli occupation and its settlers with the aim of seizing the family’ house that is rented from the Jordanian Government since 1953 under a protected tenancy lease. The High Court’s refusal to intervene means that the elderly couple, Nora Ghaith-Sub Laban (67) and her husband Mustafa (72) will be forcibly removed from their house after 15 March, clearing the way for an Israeli settler organization to seize the property.

The family house, located in Aqabat Al-Khalidiyeh in the Muslim quarter is part of a large building complex, seized by Israeli settlers over the years leaving the Ghaith-Sub Laban family the last Palestinian residents. In 2016, the Israeli high court partially accepted a previous appeal by the family against an earlier eviction order, granting them a partial “remedy of justice” whereby the house would remain with the family for additional ten years until 2026. That partial “remedy of justice” however, also ruled that elderly Nora and husband would be the only tenants, while their sons, daughter and grandchildren would not be permitted to live with them in the same house. Additionally, the settlers were allowed to file a new eviction case against the family two years following the high court ruling in 2016, which is the case that resulted in the current eviction order.

The forced displacement of the Ghaith-Sub Laban family is not an isolated case; several families in the same neighborhood are also facing proceedings initiated by Israeli settlers, in addition to dozens of families in Jerusalem’s Old City, Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah and other neighborhoods in the occupied city. According to the United Nations’ Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), at least 218 Palestinian families in Jerusalem are under the danger of forced displacement in favor of Israeli settlers, as well as dozens of other properties seized over the years. In the upcoming month, Israeli occupation authorities and courts are finalizing proceedings to prepare for the forced displacement of five other families in occupied East Jerusalem, in addition to the Ghaith-Sub Laban family, including four families in Sheikh Jarrah and Kubaniyet Um-Haron and one family in Batn Al-Hawa in Silwan.

Forced displacement of Palestinians and seizing their houses, along with the house demolitions policy that targets over tens of thousands of Palestinian houses and structures in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, are part of a systemic policy and practice of forcible transfer of Palestinians, settlement expansion and increasing Jewish presence in all the occupied Palestinian territory that Israel has been practicing non-stop since 1948. The aim of these policies is to create a Jewish majority and the slow transfer of Palestinians either through direct forced displacement and destruction of property or through creating a coercive environment that leads to their transfer.

The timing of the high court’s refusal to intervene in the Ghaith-Sub Laban’s case is not coincidental, as Israeli occupation authorities aim to forcibly displace the family before the beginning of the upcoming holy month of Ramadan. It also reflects well the current politicization of the court, as well as the role of the Israeli legal system in facilitating Israel’s expansion, annexation, and oppressive policies against Palestinians under the disguise of justice. Israel’s new government of settlers and extremists has been very vocal about its hatred and racism against Palestinians, and are accelerating measures of forced displacement, demolitions and collective punishment of the entire Palestinian population.

The family reminds Israel, the occupying power, that East Jerusalem is an occupied territory to which the Fourth Geneva Convention applies. The forced displacement and transfer of protected persons is a grave breach of international law and a war crime. The wanton destruction of civilian property is a war crime. The family also reminds the international community of their third state party obligations under the Convention and demands the international community to take all measures necessary to bring to a halt the impending forced displacement and demolitions of Palestinian families and civilian property, in all of the occupied Palestinian territory.

Finally, the family reminds the international community and the United Nations that Israeli measures and policies of systemic forced displacement and destruction of Palestinian property are catalyst for further escalation and violence. There cannot be peace or quiet while Palestinians are being killed displaced and dispossessed and their basic rights are trampled on a daily basis. It is time for justice and accountability.

Ghaith-Sub Laban Family

Jerusalem synagogue attack: Seven killed in shooting

Israeli emergency service personnel and security forces attended the scene (Getty Images)

BBC, 27 January 2023

Seven people have been shot dead at a synagogue in East Jerusalem, the most killed in an attack of this kind for years. At least three more people were injured.

The incident happened in the city's Neve Yaakov neighbourhood at about 20:15 local time (18:15 GMT).

Police described the attacker as a "terrorist" and said he had been "neutralised".

Local media identified him as a Palestinian man from East Jerusalem.

Speaking at the scene, Israeli police commissioner Kobi Shabtai called it "one of the worst attacks we have encountered in recent years".

Israeli worshippers had gathered for prayers at the start of the Jewish Sabbath in a synagogue in the Jewish settlement and were leaving when the gunman opened fire. Police say that officers then shot him dead.

Forensic teams are investigating a white car that appears to have been driven by the gunman.

Palestinian militant groups praised the attack, but did not say one of their members was responsible.

The attack was celebrated by Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with rallies and the handing out of sweets.

The attack happened on Holocaust Memorial Day, which commemorates the six million Jews and other victims who were killed in the Holocaust by the Nazi regime in Germany.

"To attack worshippers at a synagogue on Holocaust Memorial Day, and during Shabbat, is horrific. We stand with our Israeli friends," British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly wrote on Twitter.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: "The United States condemns in the strongest terms the horrific terrorist attack."

President Joe Biden talked with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and offered all "appropriate means of support", the White House said.

Shortly after the incident, Mr Netanyahu visited the site, as did the controversial far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Mr Ben-Gvir promised to bring safety back to Israel's streets but there is rising anger that he has not yet done so, says the BBC's Yolande Knell in Jerusalem.

Tensions have been high since nine Palestinians – both militants and civilians – were killed during an Israeli military raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.

This was followed by rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, to which Israel responded with air strikes.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is "deeply worried about the current escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory", a spokesperson said.

"This is the moment to exercise utmost restraint," said Stephane Dujarric.

Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war and considers the entire city its capital, though this is not recognised by the vast majority of the international community.

Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the future capital of a hoped-for independent state.


231 Palestinians were killed this year. These are their stories.

2022 has been the deadliest year for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in decades. We kept a record of all those who were killed by Israeli state and settler violence.


Some of the Palestinian martyrs from 2022. (Illustration: Yumna Patel/Mondoweiss)

2022 has been the deadliest year for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in decades. In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem specifically, this year marked the highest number of killings of Palestinians in the territories since the UN began recording fatalities in 2005. 

The killings began almost instantaneously, with the first two Palestinians killed within the first week of January — one by an Israeli soldier, and one by an Israeli settler. From then on, the killings did not stop. 

Since the start of the year, Mondoweiss has kept a record of all the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and settlers. As part of our documentation efforts, we have cross referenced the numbers and names of those killed with reports from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, local and international news agencies, and independent journalists.  

At the time of publication, the total number of Palestinians killed in 2022 stood at 231. This number also includes 53 killed in Gaza, 49 of whom were killed during Operation Breaking Dawn in August, and five Palestinians with Israeli citizenship who were killed inside the territory of the Israeli state. 

The vast majority of the deaths this year, however, came from the occupied West Bank, with 173 Palestinians killed. For the purpose of this report, we will focus on those who were killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, or those who were residents of the West Bank and Jerusalem but were killed in other parts of occupied Palestine. 

This list does not only include Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli soldiers, or run over by Israeli settlers. It also includes Palestinian political prisoners who died inside Israeli prisons as a result of “direct medical negligence,” or those who died while resisting Israeli apartheid and colonialism, and are thus considered “martyrs” — those who died for the cause — by the Palestinian public.

Among the 173 killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem were 39 children aged 17 and under, making them close to 27% of the total deaths in the territory. 

According to our documentation, the least amount of Palestinians killed in a month this year was six, and the highest number was recorded in October, when 30 Palestinians were killed — almost one person every day on average.

Within the West Bank, the highest number of casualties occurred in two specific regions: Nablus and Jenin, representing 19% and 34% of the total casualties, respectively. The particularly high number of deaths in the two regions of the northern West Bank can be attributed to the resurgence of armed resistance witnessed in both areas, which the Israeli military focused its efforts on quashing this year. 

In late 2021, the Israeli army amended its already loose open-fire regulations in the occupied West Bank, officially allowing troops to shoot at Palestinians who had thrown rocks or Molotov cocktails at civilian vehicles, even if the Palestinian no longer presented an immediate threat. 

The military spokesperson has maintained that the amended regulations only apply when rocks or fire bombs are thrown towards civilian vehicles, not when such objects are thrown towards forces during military raids, and that soldiers are to follow a protocol in which the use of deadly force is a last resort. The nature of the killings this year, however, tell a different story. 

According to documentation collected by Mondoweiss, the vast majority of those killed were shot by Israeli police, border police, and the military during confrontations with Israeli forces. While there was a significant rise in armed confrontation between Palestinians and Israeli armed forces this year, many of those killed were shot while unarmed, or while throwing stones or Molotov cocktails towards Israeli army vehicles and armed soldiers. In many cases, rights groups deemed that those killed did not pose an explicit threat to the lives of the Israeli soldiers when they were killed.  

These are the names and faces of every Palestinian who, according to our records, was killed or died as a result of Israeli military, settler, and colonial violence in 2022. 

Occupied West Bank & East Jerusalem

Total deaths: 173

1. Bakeer Hashash, 21

Date: January 6
Location: Balata Refugee Camp, Nablus, occupied West Bank
Cause of death: shot with live ammunition

Bakeer Hashash was shot in the head during an Israeli military night raid into Balata Refugee Camp in southern Nablus, where he lived. The military was conducting an arrest raid, and was met with resistance from armed groups in the camp. Hashash was reportedly confronting the soldiers when he was shot; it remained unconfirmed if he was armed. Hashash was the first Palestinian killed by Israeli forces in 2022. 

Editors’ Notes:

In several cases of the Palestinians who were killed, conflicting reports existed on people’s surnames and ages. Unless information was explicitly confirmed to Mondoweiss, we deferred to records provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
The photos included in this report were sourced from Mondoweiss reports, local Palestinian media outlets, social media networks, and other resources, including the Israel-Palestine Timeline.
Laila Warah contributed to the research and fact-checking for this report from the occupied West Bank.
Mariam Barghouti, Faris Giacaman, and Tareq Hajjaj also contributed to this report from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Yumna Patel is the Palestine News Director for Mondoweiss.

Salah Hamouri

Salah Hamouri photographed by Alain Bachellier

Jonathan Kuttab, Friends of Sabeel North America, December 9, 2022

Salah Hamouri is a Palestinian human rights lawyer, from Jerusalem, who has just been informed he will be deported to France in 3 days. He has appealed this decision, but the hope that Israeli court would provide him with justice is minimal. Salah is a lawyer with Addameer, a Palestinian human rights organization concerned with prisoners’ rights. He is currently in prison under administrative detention. Like more than 800 other Palestinians, he is kept in jail, on the basis of “secret evidence” without any charges or trial.  Just because some Israeli official considers it necessary “for public safety and security” that he be kept in jail, for 6 months’ (renewable indefinitely). Salah has been in administrative detention now for about 9 months, and he is convinced it is because of his human rights advocacy. The fact that the organization he worked with, Addameer, is one of the six civil society organizations Israel declared to be a terrorist organization is undoubtedly part of the “secret evidence” used to justify his detention, and threatened deportation before Israeli courts and tribunals.

Salah’s case is noteworthy, however, for additional reasons: First is that he has been stripped of his Jerusalem residency because of “secret evidence” (again), showing that he has failed in his “duty of loyalty” to the state of Israel which has occupied and annexed East Jerusalem, where he resides.  This bizarre charge would have been hilariously ridiculous if it were not so serious.  What “duty of loyalty” is owed by Palestinians to their occupiers? For Israel, This goes beyond the need to punish resistance to the occupation, by requiring the occupied people to have a “duty of loyalty” under threat of losing their residency, and facing deportation!

What makes this case particularly ominous is the new Israeli government with its far-right agenda and the open racism and hostility of some of its components, who are being given key positions of authority over the lives of Palestinians both in Israel, Jerusalem, and the rest of the occupied territories.  It is no secret that these newly empowered racists have made it clear that their ideology and agenda views Palestinian Arabs as a threat to the Jewishness of the state who need to be forcibly deported and removed from the state altogether. Like their mentor and hero Meir Kahana, they hold this view for Israeli Arab citizens in Israel and not just for West Bankers.  Now they are in a position of power to implement their program.

Under Israel’s system, such radical violations of human rights and international law are usually introduced slowly, with legal and judicial acceptance and justification. The courts play their role by presenting what looks like some independent restraining element of review and examination, but then approve the measures; Zionist supporters abroad  try to downplay these activities and seek to justify them as either temporary or needed for security.  They also work hard to shield Israel from any scrutiny or accountability for such blatant actions, which often go against their own professed values.  From torture, to house demolitions, to settlement activities, to administrative detention, to annexation of territory, deportations and extra-judicial killings, the pattern is always the same: Each of these activities were undertaken gradually, with trial balloons to test public reaction, and with judicial complicity and justification, all the while resisting any accountability or sanctions, and leading to a feeling of impunity.  Every effort is made to avoid any external pressure, or involvement by any international body or court.

Eventually, the effort to justify the actions is abandoned, and is replaced by strenuous attempts to prevent any sanctions or accountability, branding such efforts as anti-semitism, or biased and unfair targeting of Israel.

It is therefore important to carefully note what happens with Salah Hamouri. His bizarre case may well be the first step towards mass withdrawal of residency status as well as citizenship,  leading to a forcible deportation of Palestinians. We need to create and demand sufficient international reaction and pushback before this too  becomes a regrettable but acceptable norm of how Israel behaves towards the Arabs under its control.

Israel has deported Palestinian lawyer to France

Move constitutes a war crime

, 2022-12-18

Ramallah, 18 December 2022

Today, Sunday, 18 December, the Israeli settler-colonial authorities are unlawfully deporting French-Palestinian lawyer and human rights defender Salah Hammouri from his hometown, Jerusalem, to France for “breach of allegiance” to the occupying state. Such a move constitutes a war crime under international humanitarian law of forcible deportation of a civilian from occupied territories. It stands as a horrifying escalation in Israel’s systematic practices of ethnically cleansing Palestinians from illegally annexed and occupied Jerusalem (al-Quds).

Despite decades of harassment, Salah has never surrendered his dignity and his basic demand to remain in his beloved hometown. His tenacity and love for al-Quds represents the unwavering Palestinian connection to the city in the face decades of the most brutal policies against its residents.

In his own words from Hadarim prison, Salah Hammouri emphasized that “Wherever a Palestinian goes, he takes with him these principles and the cause of his people: his homeland carried with him to wherever he ends up.” Despite the heartbreak of exile that Israel is imposing on Salah, it has lost morally, and has only reinforced his attachment to his homeland and strengthened the will and determination of millions of others to remain. 

Salah’s forcible deportation is only the latest stage in Israel’s long standing judicial and administrative harassment of him, his family and his crucial human rights work advocating for Palestinian political prisoners. He has been made a prime target of Israel’s policies of intimidation and silencing of those who challenge its regime of institutionalized racial domination and oppression. This has included repeated arbitrary arrests and detention (often without charge or trial), physical violence, separation from his family (including the deportation of his wife a few years ago), spyware attacks and surveillance, and most recently, the stripping of his permanent residency rights in Jerusalem under “breach of allegiance.”

The decision is yet further evidence of the Apartheid nature of the Israeli regime. Salah has sought remedies at every level of the Israeli political and legal system but has been met only by racist policies that operate with the pretense of the rule of law but that exist in reality to maintain Israeli racial domination over Palestinians. Israel’s emboldened Apartheid regime is increasingly brazen in its racism and is now on the cusp of inaugurating the most fascistic government in its history.

Israel’s expulsion of him is a dangerous precedent for all Palestinians in Jerusalem. Hence, on 16 May 2022, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) submitted communications to the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on behalf of Salah Hammouri, which details years of persecution and new tactics to forcibly transfer Palestinians from occupied Jerusalem in the context of the ongoing investigation into the Situation in the State of Palestine.

This expulsion, and Israel’s wider apartheid policies, are possible due to the complicity of states and companies that provide the regime with political, economic and military support despite its ongoing breaches of international law. This is evident in France’s failure to use any of the leverage at its disposal in order to prevent the war crime of forced deportation and ongoing abuse of one of its own citizens. 

Salah will soon be reunited with his wife and children from whom he has been cruelly separated for some time.

Like the millions of other Palestinians now in exile, Salah will struggle for his right to return to his homeland.

For more information:

Salah has arrived in France

Photo Credit: Palestine Online

Press releases 

Continue to follow and share @JusticeforSalah and @LiberezSalah accounts for updates in English, Arabic and French

Zoom: Playing With Fire — Jerusalem and the Incoming Israeli Government

Zoom 11:30 am Central

Alarming developments in coalition agreements and promised ministerial appointments following the Israeli elections in November have left many of us rightfully worried about the future of Israeli democracy and human rights in the region.

The incoming government, comprised of far-right extremist and Jewish supremacist politicians, is shaping up to give their parties profound power and control over a wide range of politically sensitive and explosive issues in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and within the Green Line.

What does this mean for Jerusalem and the prospects for peace?

Ir Amim (“City of Nations” or “City of Peoples”) invites you to join us for a virtual event exploring the implications of the incoming government on Jerusalem and what it means for civil society organizations active in pursuing justice, equality, and the end of the occupation.

Professor Naomi Chazan – Professor Emerita of Political Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Former Member of the Knesset
Nivine Sandouka – Regional Chief of Staff, Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) & Board Director, human rights NGO Hoqoqna (“Our Rights”)

This zoom event by Ir Imim explores the implications of the incoming Israeli government on a wide range of politically sensitive issues in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and within the Green Line and what it means for civil society organizations active in pursuing justice, equality, and the end of the occupation.

Expulsion of Palestinian tests the waters for future deportations

Legal experts fear Israel’s deportation of Salah Hammouri could set a precedent for similar moves against Palestinians holding foreign citizenship

Salah Hammouri’s mother (left), alongside Attorney Leah Tsemel (center) and Munir Nuseibeh (right), holds up a photo of him at an emergency press conference in Jerusalem, December 2, 2022. (Oren Ziv)

Oren Ziv, +972 Magazine, December 7, 2022

Israel announced last week that it has revoked the Jerusalem residency of Palestinian human rights lawyer Salah Hammouri and intends to deport him to France. Hammouri, who has been held in administrative detention without charge or trial since March, was informed that the appeals he filed to the District Court and Supreme Court in the past year have been rejected, leading outgoing Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to order his deportation.

The 36-year-old lawyer was born in Jerusalem to a French mother and a Palestinian father, and has French citizenship. He works at the prisoners’ rights NGO Addameer, one of the six Palestinian civil society groups declared “terrorist organizations” by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz in October 2021), based on unsubstantiated allegations of ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) that failed to convince European governments. Hammouri is also one of six Palestinian human rights activists whose phones were hacked with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, according to an investigation by Amnesty International and Citizen Lab last year. 

In October 2021, Shaked ordered to revoke Hammouri’s Jerusalem residency on the grounds of “breach of allegiance” to the state, on the basis of confidential material supposedly proving that he is a PFLP activist. His lawyers denied the charges. About five months ago, the Supreme Court ruled that a renewed status revocation process needed to be conducted in his case, which was completed at the end of November. Meanwhile, Hammouri’s administrative detention ended on Sunday, and he has been transferred to the custody of the Immigration Authority. (Update: On December 7, Hammouri’s legal team announced that the deportation has been successfully delayed until at least January 1, pending further legal challenges.)

‘Breach of allegiance’

When Israel annexed East Jerusalem after occupying the territory in 1967 — in a move not recognized by the international community — it gave the Palestinians living there “permanent residency” permits rather than full citizenship (Palestinian Jerusalemites can apply for citizenship, but face many economic and bureaucratic barriers in the process; the vast majority refuse to apply in opposition to the state’s illegal annexation). The state can revoke these permits for several reasons, including if someone moves their so-called “center of life” away from Jerusalem. Around 15,000 Palestinians have had their Jerusalem residency revoked since 1967.

Attorney Leah Tsemel speaks at an emergency press after Israel announced it would deport Salah Hammouri, Jerusalem, December 2, 2022. (Oren Ziv)

Attorney Leah Tsemel speaks at an emergency press after Israel announced it would deport Salah Hammouri, Jerusalem, December 2, 2022. (Oren Ziv)

The revocation of Hammouri’s residency was made possible by an amendment to the Entry into Israel Law in 2018, under then-Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, authorizing the minister to deprive permanent residents of their status for committing “an act that constitutes a breach of allegiance to the State of Israel.” Shaked, who ordered Hammouri’s revocation, did not specify which actions constituted a “breach of allegiance,” nor did she reveal evidence on which the allegation was based. It should be noted that international law prohibits an occupying power from forcing the subjects under occupation to swear allegiance to it.

The state claims that it has new information about Hammouri regarding “terrorist activity,” His lawyers, however, believe that he is mainly being deported because of his past conviction for involvement in a plan to murder Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the longtime spiritual leader of the Sephardic Orthodox party Shas, during the Second Intifada. In 2005, Hammouri was sentenced to seven years in prison after accepting a plea bargain, before being released in 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal with Hamas in Gaza. 

Since then, Hammouri has repeatedly been placed under administrative detention, including for 13 consecutive months during 2017-2018. Because of the residency revocation last year, Hammouri’s latest administrative detention procedure was conducted according to military law, as is customary for Palestinians who live in the occupied West Bank without Israeli residency status. In 2016, Israel prevented Hammouri’s wife, a French citizen, and his children from entering the country, and deported them back to France from Ben Gurion Airport; the family has been geographically divided ever since.

Interior Minister Shaked claimed in a statement that “from a young age Hammouri promoted terrorist acts and took advantage of being a resident of Israel for these acts,” including “conspiracy to carry out an attack on Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.” Attorney Danny Shenhar from the NGO HaMoked, who represents Hammouri together with Attorney Leah Tsemel, told +972 that Israel’s attempt to deport him is “a double punishment and retroactive application of the law.”

“This is the first case I know of where a resident of East Jerusalem faces forced deportation to another country,” said Shenhar. “As a member of the indigenous population of Jerusalem, Hammouri owes no allegiance to the State of Israel,” he added. “The fact that this decision was made largely on the basis of secret evidence only exacerbates the injustice.”

A critical case

Last Friday, an emergency press conference was held in East Jerusalem in an attempt to prevent his deportation, attended by his parents, Attorney Tsemel, and Munir Nuseibeh, an expert in international law from Al-Quds University, who emphasized at the event that Hammouri’s deportation would constitute a war crime. The fear, according to the speakers, is that the attempt to deport Hammouri will be used by Israel as a test case to later deport more Palestinians who hold additional citizenships on grounds of “disloyalty.”

The father of Salah Hammouri holds a photo of him at an emergency press conference in Jerusalem, December 2, 2022. (Oren Ziv)

The father of Salah Hammouri holds a photo of him at an emergency press conference in Jerusalem, December 2, 2022. (Oren Ziv)

“Hammouri’s case is important because it is critical for the future of [Palestinian] Jerusalemites,” said Attorney Tsemel. “Soon it will be 30 years since the great deportation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to Lebanon [415 Palestinians in the occupied territories were expelled in December 1992]. This was the last mass deportation. Salah’s case affects all Jerusalemites, who are not citizens, who did not ask for status from Israel but received it, and the interior minister and justice ministry claim that they have to show absolute loyalty to the state.”

Salah’s mother, Denise Hammouri Guidoux, said during the conference: “We were waiting for his release [from detention] at the end of the week, but we heard that he would be deported — it was a shock. We knew about this possibility, but we didn’t think it’s possible to send someone from his homeland. He is French with citizenship, but he is more Palestinian. He was born in Jerusalem, lived here, studied here, [and] has roots here.”

Since the announcement that Israel intends to deport him, several human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty, have called on the French government and President Macron to prevent the move. A campaign against his deportation has also gained momentum online under the hashtag #JusticeforSalah. The UN Special Rapporteurs on the occupied territories and on counter-terrorism have also called on France and the international community to take concrete actions to stop the expulsion.

In response to +972’s question at the press conference, Attorney Tsemel said that she cannot predict how Hammouri will react when they try to put him on a flight, but noted that international law forbids transferring a person to another country against their will. “I hope we don’t get there,” she added.

The French Foreign Ministry stated: “France is following Salah Hammouri’s situation very closely and at the highest level… [he] must be able to have a normal life in Jerusalem, where he was born and where he lives, and his wife and children must be able to travel there to find him.”

The New Ecological and Social People’s Union (NUPES), an alliance of left-wing parties in the French parliament, said in a statement: “France cannot allow the most basic rights of one of our compatriots to be violated… It is high time that France raises its tone against Israel; its credibility depends on it.”

This is no “terrorist wave,”
it is an uprising

Gush Shalom, October 18, 2022

The State of Israel is going
to general elections,
but in the election campaigns
there is virtually no mention
of the main, existential problem
facing all who live in this country.

The West Bank is on fire,
as are the neighborhoods
of East Jerusalem.

This is not “a wave of terrorism”.

This is an uprising
of young people
making a simple
and self-evident demand:
to be a free people
in their country.

Armed with stones
and a few light arms,
young Palestinians are facing
the strongest army
in the Middle East.

Many of them pay
with their lives —
and they are not deterred.
They continue their struggle.

Two soldiers were killed this week.
A young man and a young woman,
Israeli contemporaries of
the Palestinians they face.

These soldiers were not “murdered”.
They were not “victims of terrorist attacks”.
They fell in the battle to which
the State of Israel sent them.

They fell in an unjust war,
a war for maintaining
an oppressive occupation regime,
a war for the settlers
who steal Palestinian lands.

A war which is not worth fighting
and certainly not worthy
of sacrificing one’s life.

The real heroes
of Israel 2022
are the refusers and
conscientious objectors,
held behind bars
at the Kfar Yona military prison.

The prison to which the army gave
the Orwellian name “Abode of Justice”.

Young men who refuse to wear
the uniform of
an army of occupation and oppression
and prefer to go to prison.

Young women who reject with disgust
the distorted idea that for Israeli women,
taking part in the oppression of
Palestinian women and men
is some sort of
“Women’s Empowerment”.

They are the last remaining Israelis
in whom one can take pride.

Gush Shalom (Hebrew: גוש שלום, The Peace Bloc) is an Israeli peace group founded by Uri Avnery, a former journalist and Irgun and Knesset member. The organization has been controversial for sending a relief convoy to Gaza under Hamas administration, and the mainstream Israeli media has described it on occasion as “radical” and “extreme”. In 2010 the American Friends Service Committee said the group was “one of Israel’s most influential peace organizations”.

Israeli Apartheid: A Breakdown

Israel applies an oppressive, separate, and unequal regime on Palestinians. There is only one word for this: Apartheid.

Omar Baddar, Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), Oct 14, 2020

Omar Baddar is Director of Communications for the Institute for Middle East Understanding, and past Deputy Director of the Arab American Institute.