URGENT! Stand with Masafer Yatta today!

MRSCP has decided to join in an emergency campaign sponsored by Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) and Stop the Wall Coalition to provide emergency shelter and schools for the families of Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron hills area.

You will hear more from us in the coming week about our portion of the campaign, and about the experiences of MRSCP member Cassandra Dixon who is currently in the area.

MECA has a deadline of March 31 to raise $25,000 to begin the work and we want to encourage all our supporters to give what you can now.

As always, we thank you for your support.

They can demolish our houses, schools, and clinics but they can’t destroy these caves nor our determination to keep steadfast until we have achieved justice and freedom.
— Abu Mahmoud of Masafer Yatta

Dear Madison-Rafah,

I’m sure, like all of us at MECA, you have watched in horror these last few months as Israeli settler and military violence gets more severe and more widespread every day.

Give now for emergency shelter & schools for the families of Masafer Yatta.

Meanwhile, the people in the villages of Masafer Yatta of have suffered some of the worst abuses of Israeli Apartheid. The Israeli government designated Masafer Yatta as a “military zone.” The government and illegal settlers are intent on expelling the Palestinian families who have lived there for hundreds of years.

Last year, after an Israeli court order, bulldozers entered several of the small, rural communities in Masafer Yatta, smashing homes, clinics, and schools to rubble.

While Israeli leaders and US politicians alike watch—even encourage and support—Israeli violence there IS something you can do now to support the people of Masafer Yatta who are steadfast in defending their land and fierce in their commitment to the education of their children.

Masfer Yatta has two very significant resources. They have natural caves which, with your support now, will be turned into homes and schools. They also have the solidarity of people like you who stand against the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Your contribution to MECA now for our joint campaign with Stop the Wall will help to renovate 36 caves to create homes and schools in Masafer Yatta and provide 10 tents and 10 electricity generators as temporary shelter in case of demolition.

This is part of the Defend Masafer Yatta Campaign, and the goal is to raise an initial $25,000 by March 31 to begin the work. Please give the most you can afford today.

Shukran (Thank you),

Zeiad Abbas Shamrouch
Executive Director

P.S. The Defend Masafer Yatta Campaign must eventually raise a total of $70,000 to complete the renovation of caves for homes and schools.  Please make the most generous contribution you can now to start this work immediately and support the steadfastness of the people of Masafer Yatta. Many thanks.

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I Witnessed a Shocking Attack on Palestinian Civilians

What I Saw May Be a Sign of What’s to Come

Mourners march with the body of Abdel Fatah Hussein Khroushah, a 49-year-old Palestinian who was killed and was accused of killing two Israeli settlers in the Palestinian town of Huwara on Feb. 26. The funeral was held the Askar camp for Palestinian refugees east of Nablus in the occupied West Bank on March 8. (Zain Jaafar/AFP—Getty Images)
Mourners march with the body of Abdel Fatah Hussein Khroushah, a 49-year-old Palestinian who was killed and was accused of killing two Israeli settlers in the Palestinian town of Huwara on Feb. 26. The funeral was held the Askar camp for Palestinian refugees east of Nablus in the occupied West Bank on March 8. (Zain Jaafar/AFP—Getty Images)

Rula Salameh, Time, March 18, 2023

Salameh is the Education & Outreach Director of Just Vision

Israeli settlers thronged my car as I drove slowly ahead, hands shaking. I tried to reassure my colleague Eman, who lay on the back seat floor. She began muttering a prayer for protection. Heart racing, I hoped that Eman was well-hidden, and that my Israeli license plates would hide our identity. If the settlers realized we’re Palestinian, we might be their first victims.

On Feb. 26, 2023 at approximately 9:00 am, I parked my car in the northern West Bank village of Huwara, close to Nablus, then headed with Eman to organize a film screening in a village further north, as part of my work as Just Vision’s Palestine Education and Outreach Director. At 2:00 pm, I learned that a Palestinian man killed two Israeli settlers, brothers, in a shooting ambush in Huwara. This shooting took place against a backdrop of increasing violence in recent weeks, including Israeli military raids in Nablus and Jenin in which 21 Palestinians were killed.

Once I heard the news, I told Eman that we needed to immediately head back to my car and drive home to Jerusalem. If tensions escalated and the area was locked down, I didn’t want to be trapped in Nablus, unable to return to our families.

The first three taxi drivers flat-out refused to take us. The Israeli army had closed the roads to and from Huwara, and Israeli settlers were calling for a large demonstration that evening in retaliation. It was too dangerous, they explained. The fourth finally agreed, winding through villages to avoid the main road. As we neared Huwara, the driver pointed out Israeli settlers climbing the distant hills, wisps of smoke visible. Shouts in Arabic rose up. Perhaps they were calls for help? I couldn’t hear clearly.

I was witnessing the beginning of one of the most shocking attacks on Palestinian civilians from Israeli settlers in recent years—one in which a 37-year-old Palestinian man was murdered, 350 more injured, and dozens of homes and cars smashed and torched. This pogrom on Huwara was far from isolated. Settlers, backed by the Israeli military, have attacked Palestinians communities for years, violence which has been rapidly spiraling. But the assault on Huwara may prove to be a terrifying harbinger of new levels of violence yet to come. Indeed, on March 1, 2023, Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for the entire town of Huwara to be wiped out and three days later, a group of settlers pledged to do just that.

Daylight was fading by 5:55 pm as we reached my car—the news reporting that Israeli settlers were already gathering on the road ahead. Eman is easily identifiable as Muslim in her headscarf; I told her to lie down on the backseat floor of my car and began to drive, managing to convince an Israeli soldier at the temporary checkpoint erected at Huwara’s entrance to let me pass. All around me, Israeli settlers parked cars and mini-buses in the middle of the road and then proceeded on foot, swelling in volume, and shouting angrily as they streamed past me.

I knew I couldn’t rely on the handful of Israeli soldiers that I saw for protection; they were standing around, or, for reasons I could not ascertain, taking photographs of the settlers. The Palestinian homes I could see from the road were dark and silent. I wished I could do something to protect the families inside, who I imagined huddled in fear, awaiting attack.

By 6:20 pm, Huwara was behind me. Eman and I were headed south toward Ramallah. But even once out of the fray, the smell of burning cars filled my nostrils and rage-filled Hebrew shouts lingered in the air. The street lights were dark. The settlers casually strewing their vehicles across the road came to mind. The settlers controlled these roads.

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“A Closed, Burnt Huwara”

How Israeli Settlers Launched A Pogrom

With Israeli politicians constantly fanning the rhetorical flames, last month’s violence—and actual arson—didn’t exactly come as a surprise.

Smoke and flames rise after Israeli settlers went on a rampage in the West Bank town of Huwara, setting fire to several homes and cars and injuring dozens of Palestinians, on February 27, 2023.
Smoke and flames rise after Israeli settlers went on a rampage in the West Bank town of Huwara, setting fire to several homes and cars and injuring dozens of Palestinians on February 27, 2023. (Hisham K. K. Abu Shaqra / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Fatima AbdulKarim, The Nation, March 16, 2023

    EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was produced in collaboration with +972 Magazine and Local Call, two media outlets run by Palestinian and Israeli journalists.

He lives right next to the station in central Nablus city, in the northern occupied West Bank, and within minutes he paired with ambulance driver Yaser Antar and was on the move.

They were responding to a call for an elderly man whose health deteriorated at the same time and place as the shooting of two Israeli settlers traveling on the main road in the Palestinian town of Huwara, just outside Nablus. The Israeli army had already sealed the area off after the Palestinian shooter had fled, preventing the entry of the ambulance.

“We reached the elderly man by foot, but we asked the army for protection,” said Hawah, who found that the man’s condition had improved. “The tension and the hatred was very clear, and we knew we would not be safe.”

In recent months, Huwara—where the Israeli army is in charge of security while the Palestinian Authority is responsible for civil affairs—has become a site of regular friction between Israeli settlers and Palestinians, who both use the town’s main road. Israeli soldiers have frequently been documented standing by or protecting settlers during attacks on Palestinian residents, which tend to increase in the aftermath of attacks on Israelis across the West Bank.

Understanding the intensity of the situation and the likelihood of settler violence in the area, a second ambulance was sent off by the PRCS minutes later to the same location with another two paramedics, Khalil Qadoumi and Khaled Be’ara.

Qadoumi, a 35-year-old father of two young children, had known Hawah from their teenage years, before the pair started training together two years ago. But nothing could have prepared the four-person medical team for the situation it would be forced to respond to in Huwara that evening.

“We arrived into Huwara through dirt roads off the main street, because the army did not let us through,” Qadoumi told The Nation. By the time they got there, “flames were coming out of the cars that were blowing up in the garage that had been set on fire on the main street.”

In what came to be known as the “Huwara pogrom”—a reference to Tsarist Russia’s organized mob violence against Jews—as many as 400 Israeli settlers rampaged through the town as retribution for the killing of the two Israeli men.

Over the course of several hours the settlers burned dozens of cars and over 35 houses—many with families inside them that had to be rescued. One man was killed and at least 390 others injured that night, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Continue reading

20 years later: Remembering Rachel Corrie

WORT 89.9FM Madison

Twenty years ago today, on March 16, 2003, word came to us that our daughter Rachel had been killed in Gaza. She had been run over by an Israeli military-operated and U.S. made and funded Caterpillar D9R bulldozer, as she stood to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home in Rafah. Members of the family watched the bulldozer approach through a hole in their garden wall.

Our family’s journey without Rachel, but with her spirit large in our lives, began on that day.
—excerpt from a letter from Rachel Corrie’s parents

Cindy and Craig Corrie join us on A Public Affair to share their daughters story and tell us how they continue to fight for justice and peace in Palestine and the middle east. More information about Rachel and the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Justice and Peace can be found here: rachelcorriefoundation.org

‘Who hits a 64-year-old woman with a bat?’

Cassandra Auren, an American peace activist, was visiting the Palestinian village of Tuba when settlers attacked her with a bat and fractured her skull.

Yuval Abraham, +972 Magazine, March 13, 2023

Cassandra Auren seen following a settler attack in the village of Tuba in the South Hebron Hills, West Bank, March 7, 2023.Cassandra Auren seen following a settler attack in the village of Tuba in the South Hebron Hills, West Bank, March 7, 2023.

In partnership with
A 64-year-old American citizen was attacked last Tuesday by a group of masked settlers in the South Hebron Hills of the occupied West Bank. Cassandra Auren, a peace activist from Wisconsin, was standing with an Italian activist on land that belongs to the residents of the Palestinian village Tuba, when a group of settlers from a nearby outpost, Havat Ma’on, ran toward them. Auren said that one of the attackers stood behind her, and as she was turning to face him, he hit her in the head with a weapon that she described as looking “like a baseball bat.” She immediately passed out from the blow and was hospitalized with a fractured skull and internal bleeding in her head.

Tuba is an unrecognized village in the Masafer Yatta region of the South Hebron Hills. Like other villages in the area, it is slated for demolition, and its residents, who suffer routinely from harassment by settlers and soldiers, are prevented from building or using infrastructure. Long before the demolition and expulsion orders were issued, and green lit by the Supreme Court, residents were routinely denied building permits and any ability to develop the hamlet. Residents also report that, in recent weeks, settlers from Havat Ma’on have been coming to the village to graze their sheep on Palestinian land, destroying the village crops.

Auren said she came to Masafar Yetta out of a sense of responsibility. “[The United States] sends so much support money to Israel,” she explained, “but without knowing how it is being used to violently push Palestinians from their land. This is money that the U.S. gives with no parameters.”

Auren contacted the U.S. Embassy about the incident, which confirmed to +972 that an American citizen had been attacked near Tuba, and that the Embassy was providing her with assistance. “These settlers come and hit a 64-year-old woman from Wisconsin with a big bat. Who does that?” she said during our conversation. “And in a place where people live, so close to the village. If this had been my home, [it would be as if the attack was] occurring in my driveway. It’s shocking to me that that kind of violence happens so close to where someone lives. Children have to travel that exact path in order to get to their school.”

Cassandra Oren. (Courtesy)Cassandra Auren.

“I have tended to this land with my family ever since I was a child,” said Ali Awad, a local resident, +972 contributor, and one of the victims of the settler attacks. “This is my grandfather’s land. We have never faced anything like this. Suddenly these settlers are coming. They are a group of shepherds from Havat Ma’on who for three weeks have been coming in every day with their flock to destroy our agriculture.”

Israeli authorities have yet to make any arrests for the assault. A police spokesperson told +972 that the police opened an investigation, which is still ongoing. According to Yesh Din, an anti-occupation organization that monitors settler violence in the West Bank, between 2005-2022, police closed 92 percent of cases of settler attacks on Palestinians without filing any indictments.

Correction: An original version of this article used a misspelling of Cassandra Auren’s last name. 

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

Upcoming Events: March 12-16, 2023

Sunday, March 12: WORT interview with Masafer Yatta Activist
Thursday, March 16: Cindy and Craig Corrie on WORT
Thursday, March 16: Tantura Film and Discussion

On Sunday March 12 at 5 pm, tune into WORT’s World View program for a taped interview with Masafer Yatta activist Ali, who will discuss the current situation of Israeli army and settler attacks and Palestinian resistance there.  (The interview will be aired after the news.)

Thursday March 16, 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the killing of Rachel Corrie in Rafah. We continue to mourn her loss and celebrate her life. We will never forget her.

Locally, we invite you to tune in to WORT Radio’s A Public Affair with host Allen Ruff at 12 noon on Thursday March 16, 89.9 FM or listen on line for a live conversation with Rachel’s parents Cindy and Craig. 

A Public Affair with host Allen Ruff
WORT 89.9 FM Madison

Live Interview with Cindy & Craig Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie
Thursday, March 16, 2023 10-11 am PDT; Noon-1pm CDT; 1-2 pm EDT

The Corries will talk with host Allen Ruff about their daughter, 20 years of the Rachel Corrie Foundation, RCF’s kinship with the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, and the foundation’s commitment to Gaza and to Palestinian rights today, as startling events continue to unfold in the region.

The hour-long program can be heard live at the WORT 89.9 FM website here. The program will be archived at the WORT 89.9 website for later listening, as well.

At 9 pm CT on March 16, we also invite you to join a zoom showing and discussion of the new film Tantura, about the 1948 massacre in that village, co-sponsored by the Rachel Corrie Foundation as part of a year-long commemoration. 

Mideast Focus Ministry 10th Annual Film Series
Break the Silence – Stories of Occupation
Tantura: Film & Discussion

Thursday – March 16, 2023, 7 pm PT

Zoom only: Register for a link to this film and discussion by requesting a link at seattlemideastfocus@gmail.com

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Why there are no two sides to the Huwara pogrom

Huwara is not a story of ‘two sides fighting each other.’ It’s the story of a regional superpower that tramples over millions of disenfranchised people.

Nawal Domedi looks at the entrance to her house after it had been burned in a settler pogrom in the Palestinian town of Huwara, West Bank, February 28, 2023. (Oren Ziv)

Haggai Matar, +972 Magazine, March 2, 2023

This article originally appeared in “The Landline,” +972’s weekly newsletter. Subscribe here.

On Sunday morning, a Palestinian man shot dead two Israeli settlers — the young brothers Hillel and Yagel Yaniv — as they drove through the Palestinian town of Huwara in the occupied West Bank. Later that day, hundreds of settlers went on an hours-long rampage through Huwara and several neighboring villages, burning dozens of cars and houses (some with people inside), throwing stones at ambulances, wounding Palestinians, and killing livestock. One Palestinian man, Sameh Aqtash, was shot dead, either by settlers or by soldiers who protected them.

The attack on Huwara, which many are calling a pogrom, has generated a public outcry in Israel against the settlers who committed it. Thousands took to the streets in several cities on Monday night to protest against the occupation and in solidarity with the people of Huwara. Israelis donated over a million shekels within 24 hours to support the victims. News commentators and members of Knesset from the opposition sharply criticized the settlers, the army that did not act to stop them, and senior government ministers who encouraged wiping out the town (one of those ministers, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, doubled down on those messages of ethnic cleansing after the event as well). Political leaders from around the world promptly followed suit. On Wednesday, during the massive “Day of Disruption” protests across the country, demonstrators chanted “Where were you in Huwara?” at police officers.

In response, many on the Israeli right and their lackeys in the hasbara world have argued that it is biased to “only care” about attacks by Jews on Palestinians, and ignore the killing by a Palestinian of the two Israeli brothers. There’s a lot to say in response to that claim, and the following is an attempt to do so, briefly:

1. It is tragic that people are killed. All people. Being human means caring and hurting when lives are lost. That is always true, and certainly in the case of young brothers. My heart goes out to the parents who lost two children in one fell swoop. If that is not clear to anyone, it ought to be, and to claim that people “don’t care” about these deaths is to dehumanize them. The claim is even more outrageous when it comes — as it so often does — from the same politicians who justify Israeli onslaughts against Palestinians and show little or no regret for the deaths of the latter.

2. There is an entire system in place designed to prevent and respond to the killings of Israeli Jews. An army, a police force, a Border Police force, a Shin Bet, even a Mossad if needed, and a whole state built exclusively to protect Jews. Palestinians, on the other hand, have no one to protect them. The army is often either silent in the face of settler terror or joins in and backs it up, as we have shown in the past in the case of joint settler-soldier militias attacking and killing Palestinians.

In rare and extreme cases, as with Huwara this week, soldiers may intervene and rescue Palestinians from their burning homes so they don’t die. Still, those same soldiers would never think to shoot the rioters, as they would have undoubtedly done had they been Palestinian, or even carry out mass arrests; only seven settlers out of the hundreds who participated in the attack were arrested — not for attacking Palestinians, incidentally, but for attacking soldiers — and all of them were quickly released (for the sake of comparison, more than twice that number were arrested in last Saturday’s nonviolent protest against the government in Tel Aviv, and more than four times that number was arrested during the demonstrations on Wednesday).

Even now, three days later, the army continues talking about the “hunt for the terrorist,” i.e. the Palestinian man who shot the Israeli brothers, but no one is talking about the hunt for whoever killed Sameh Aqtash, or for those who set fire to family homes in Huwara. That is why we need to scream out especially loudly against Jewish terrorists.

An Israeli settler tries to attack Palestinians in the town of Huwara a day after the pogrom, February 27, 2023.

An Israeli settler tries to attack Palestinians in Huwara a day after the pogrom, February 27, 2023. (Oren Ziv)

3. There is a difference between actions by individuals from an oppressed group who kill people from the powerful group, and violence from the strong side that is carried out by the state or backed up by it. Pogroms like we saw in Huwara, just like the Israeli Air Force’s bombings in Gaza that wipe out entire families, are not a bug but a feature of the regime that we have created here.

4. Accordingly, our responsibility as Israelis for the actions of other Israelis, from the side that holds all the power, is not the same as our responsibility for the actions of Palestinians.

5. There is something deceptive in framing the story exclusively around the killing of the Israeli brothers in Huwara that morning, as if the settlers’ actions were a mere “response,” a tit-for-tat initiated by Palestinians. Just a few days prior, the Israeli army killed 11 people in Nablus, some armed and several not, in a brutal daylight raid; there’s no reason to “start the clock” only with the Yaniv brothers’ killing. Besides, Palestinians have been denied basic rights under the Israeli regime for decades — but this rarely, if ever, factors into the way these events are framed.

6. Which leads me to my final point: this is not a story of “two sides fighting each other.” There is no equality under apartheid. There is one regional superpower that has one of the strongest and most sophisticated armies in the world, and which enjoys tremendous international support while trampling millions of disenfranchised people under a racist military regime. The ultimate responsibility for everything that happens in this country, including the killing of the brothers, lies with the state that perpetuates this injustice and oppression, and on all of us as its citizens.

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The Huwara pogroms by Israeli settlers and military

Demolition Report

Good Shepherd Collective, 3 March 2023

Palestinians walking across the desert after the Israeli military demolished their homes.
Over $5,000,000 in reported damages after the Huwara pogroms — a collobrative night of violence organized by the Israeli settler movement and the Israeli military. Over 30 homes and 100 cars were burnt, as well several injured and one Palestinian killed.

Demolition Data

It’s critical to remember that while Israel’s use of home demolitions is a constant tool for indigenous displacement and erasure, the ebbs and flows of this formal policy’s execution are shaped by different political formations. A rise in home demolitions almost always corresponds to the power of the most fascist, right-wing elements in Israeli society. Therefore, it is no surprise that demolition metrics are up across the board. There is a 155% increase in displaced people compared to last year’s timeframe (January 1 through March 2, 2022, compared to January 1 through March 2, 2023). These numbers don’t account for the number of demolitions that happen inside the Green Line in places like the Naqab or the Galilee regions as well as other non-Jewish communities.

Organizations like Regavim, Ir David, the Hebron, and Ateret Cohanim have all funneled hundreds of millions of charitable donations through channels in the United States, Canada, and the U.K. to develop political programs that ushered in more robust, aggressive, and permanent policies that structured to erase Palestinian communities and replace them.

These financial structures have been essential in financing the ultra right-wing government, with members of the aforementioned organizations all utilizing their previous organizations to make inroads into the government and ultimately gaining MK positions — like Bezalel Smotrich — the co-founder of Regavim.

Dismantling the financial mechanisms that underpin the settler movement must take an elevated position within the Palestinian movement for liberation if we want to prevent the next Huwara. Learn more at defundracism.org

 Data from January 1, 2023 to March 2, 2023.
 35  226  93
Impact on Palestinian Lives
 Type  Displaced  Affected  Structures
Households  59  1,778  Residential: 60
People  318  10,851  Agricultural: 73
Males  163  5,704  Livelihood: 35
Females  143  5,159  WASH: 21
Children  150  4,724  Infrastructure: 4
 Others: 12

March 1st Yemen Day of Action:
Congress Must End the Yemen War

The death toll from the war in Yemen1 has reached nearly 400,000 and, despite diplomatic progress, 2022 was one of the deadliest years since the beginning of the conflict eight years ago. While President Biden’s February 2021 announcement2 that “we are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen including relevant arms sales” was welcome, the U.S. has continued to provide critical maintenance, logistical support, and spare parts to the Saudi coalition.

Since April 2022, Saudi Arabia has ceased its airstrikes on Yemen. Unfortunately, despite sluggish peace talks, bombings can resume at any point — Saudi Arabia could deploy its U.S.-serviced fighter jets into Yemen once more. If Congress acts to end U.S. support, the fragile pause in hostilities is much more likely to endure and move closer to an official ceasefire and peace deal.

Last December, Senator Bernie Sanders moved efforts to end U.S. support for the war by calling for a vote on his Yemen War Powers Resolution. However, the Biden administration successfully derailed the effort.3 Sanders withdrew his measure and began direct talks with the White House to find a compromise. However, Sanders promised to bring the measure back “in the near future” if discussions did not result in concrete action to end U.S. support after eight years of war.

Congress Can End U.S. Support for the War in Yemen & In Turn Pressure the Saudis to Pull Back

    • U.S. support for the Saudi Air Force infrastructure enables attacks and a deadly blockade. While the Saudis have currently paused airstrikes, their brutal air and naval blockade continues. This blockade has prevented the reliable flow of food, water, and health services, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths. Saudi Arabia still prevents the free flow of fuel and commercial goods into the country. In 2023, an estimated 21.6 million people,4 or two-thirds of the population, will need humanitarian assistance.

    • Congressional action to end U.S. support puts pressure on the Saudi government to end a calamity that has killed hundreds of thousands and driven 17 million Yemeni people5 to the brink of starvation.

    • The most effective way for Congress to ensure that the United States is not engaging in Saudi-led hostilities that are part of this tragic war is to invoke its war powers.

Steps Members of Congress Can Take

    Introduce or cosponsor a Yemen War Powers Resolution, which would direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.

    Publicly call on Saudi Arabia and the UAE to lift the blockade and fully open airports and seaports. Additionally, call on President Biden to insist he use his leverage with Saudi Arabia to press for the unconditional and immediate lifting of the devastating blockade.

Urge Your members of Congress to help end the war in Yemen!

Sign the Petition



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Between army invasions and settler ‘pogroms,’ the West Bank rises

Palestinians inspect the destroyed cars at a scrapyard in the town of Huwara near Nablus in the West Bank on February 27, 2023 after they were torched overnight. Photo by Shadi Jarar’ah/ APA Images

Key Developments (February 20 – 27)

  • 14 Palestinians killed by Israeli violence in the span of the week.
    13 of the casualties were in the Nablus district, with 11 of them taking
    place in one day.
  • 11 Palestinians were killed in a massive Israeli army invasion on Nablus city on February 22. 10 were killed by Israeli army gunfire, while one person, an elderly man, died of tear gas inhalation. Among the dead were seven Palestinian resistance fighters, while four were civilian non-combatants, including three elderly men and a child.
  • One Palestinian, Mohammad Abu Sabbah, 30, from the Jenin refugee camp succumbed to wounds he sustained in an Israeli army raid two weeks prior.
  • On February 24 Israeli settlers attacked the village of Qusra in Nablus, injuring at least two Palestinians with live ammunition. (source: MOH)
  • Two Israeli settlers were killed by an unknown Palestinian gunman in the town of Huwwara, south of Nablus in the northern West Bank on February 26.
  • Israeli settlers launched a ‘pogrom’ on the night of February 26, attacking Palestinian homes and property in Huwwara, Burin, and across the Nablus area, burning homes, cars, vandalizing property, and assaulting Palestinians.
  • One Palestinian was killed during the settler violence in Nablus on the night of February 26. He was identified as Sameh Aqtash, 37, from the Nablus area village of Zaatara. Palestinian media reported that Aqtash was killed during a settler raid on his town, though it was unconfirmed if he was killed by Israeli army or settler gunfire.


The West Bank was under a two-pronged attack last week.

The first was carried out by the Israeli state’s army in a massive military invasion of Nablus that killed 11 Palestinians and injured over 100. The second was carried out by its nominally civilian wing — gangs of colonial settlers that went on a rampage last night in response to a resistance attack that killed two Israeli settlers in Huwwara, just south of Nablus.

The raid on Nablus was one of the bloodiest in recent months, aiming to assassinate wanted resistance fighters from the Lions’ Den, Muhammad Juneidi and Hussam Isleem. Israeli special forces killed them and their comrade, Walid Dakhil, a cousin of one of the co-founders of the group. Four other fighters from armed resistance groups around Nablus were also killed in the fighting, in addition to four bystanders in the city (three elderly men and a teenage boy).

Nablus was in mourning, and the Lions’ Den put out a call asking the people to show their support at midnight, February 23:

“Do no despair and fall into sorrow, we need you all, as you have accustomed us…to take to the streets if you can, to come out in every major square, in every city in the West Bank, Jerusalem, the beloved [Gaza] Strip, and in every refugee camp in the homeland, to hear those who would pledge loyalty to the blood that has been spilled.”

Everyone responded to the call of the Lions’ Den. From Ramallah to Hebron, to Nablus and Jenin, to Bethlehem and its camps and Tulkarm and Jericho, people were out in the thousands at midnight, in a show of mass support unknown to any Palestinian political faction.

Neither Fatah nor any other faction has been able to muster this kind of spontaneous mass support since the First Intifada. Political legitimacy, it has become clear, is not to be found in summit halls and security deals, but rather sprouts from the barrel of a rifle when pointed at the colonizer.

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