The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

Family members of Gazan activist Ahmed Abu Artema killed in Israeli airstrike

Ahmed came to Madison and spoke at First Unitarian and on WORT Radio.

Ahmed Abu Artema


October 27 

Our friend, the poet Ahmed Abu Artema, whose social media post inspired the Great March of Return in 2018, has been targeted in an Israeli airstrike that shelled his home in Tel al Sultan, Rafah, Gaza, killing five members of his family.

Ahmed was also seriously injured in the attack on October 24, suffering second degree burns. He is now in a stable condition. Ahmed’s 12-year-old son, Abdullah, two of his brothers and mother-in-law were killed. His other son and Ahmed’s sister are in a critical condition.

His home was one of many targeted despite being in the southern region of the Gaza Strip, where people from the north were ordered to go by the Israeli army for their ‘safety’. There is no safe place in Gaza.

Commenting on the targeting of Ahmed’s family, Neta Golan, a co-founder of ISM and Return Solidarity, said: “In the weeks leading up to the attack, Ahmed had used his voice to call for global protests to stop Israel’s genocide and criminal bombing campaign of the Gaza Strip.


“It was Ahmed’s words in 2018 that inspired thousands of Gazans to march unarmed towards the fence besieging the Gaza ghetto, to demand their right to return to the lands from which they’d been expelled. The Israeli occupation forces killed Ahmed’s family because Israel feared the power of his words.”

On top of cutting off electricity to the Strip, voices of dissent are being extinguished by Israel’s brutal bombing campaign. Since October 7, Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 24 Palestinian journalists. Family members of Gazan journalists have also been targeted. On October 25, an Israeli airstrike killed wife, son, and daughter of Al Jazeera correspondent Wael Al-Dahdouh.

Israeli attacks have massacred 7,028 Palestinians, including 2,913 children, in Gaza.

In an audio recording to ISM days before the attack on his family home, Ahmed said: “This did not start on October 7. Unfortunately, the world has been blind to the suffering of the Palestinians for decades. Only when Israel lost people, did the outside world pay attention here.

“What’s happening now in Gaza is exactly the same thing Israel started in 1948. The Israeli government is not targeting Hamas. As all of can see on the TV and internet, the vast majority of the targets in Gaza are civilians, neighbourhoods, hospitals, churches and mosques. And it’s not only Gaza, in the West Bank there is the Smotrich plan to displace Palestinians. This confirms how it’s an Israeli strategy of genocide and completing the Nakba of 1948.”

Golan added: “Help us to spread Ahmed’s message, and put an end to Israel’s massacre in Gaza. We need you to raise your voices, so that Palestinians and those facing genocide, will not be silenced.”


Notes to editors:

The International Solidarity Movement is a Palestinian-led non-violent direct-action movement, founded in 2001. Read more about ISM here.

Return Solidarity is a group of anti-Zionist Israelis working in solidarity with Palestinians in support of the Great March of Return. Learn more about their actions here.

A video of Ahmed Abu Artema calling on the international community to put an end to Israel’s bombing of Gaza here.

” The man behind Gazan’s Great March of Return” – Al Jazeera documentary.

“The Gazan leading a popular uprising against Israel”, CNN.






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