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Friday: Israeli Soldiers Kill 15 Palestinians In Gaza, Injure 1416

World  (tags: Palestine, ethnic cleansing )

- 383 days ago -
1416 Palestinians have been wounded. 758 were shot by live ammunition, 148 injured by rubber-coated steel bullets. The others were injured by tear gas, concussion grenades and other so-called non-lethal weapons.


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. (0)
Friday March 30, 2018, 2:49 pm
Grimly S&N. Thx for posting Gienia. Damn the murdering cowards!

Freya H (345)
Friday March 30, 2018, 4:04 pm
Israel has some very bad karma coming its way. I'm sorry about how Jews have been treated over the centuries, but that does not justify Israel's atrocities in the tiniest way.

Colleen L (3)
Friday March 30, 2018, 5:22 pm
Sick of them being so violent. It must be stopped. Thanks Gienia

fly bird (26)
Friday March 30, 2018, 9:58 pm
Sickening. There is no such thing as 'the greatest army in the world"!!

Nor, does the Israeli racist regime have any respect for human rights, or the rights of Palestinians and THEIR LIVES, FAMILIES AND RIGHT TO LIVE FREE OF TYRANNY!!
Thanks for sharing, Gienia.
Very sorry to see this news, and it is a disgrace - Israeli Zionists and pro Israel supporters are not willing to call a spade a spade.. The Zionist hasbara swill is disgusting.

As for the 'exodus' from Egypt... what hypocrisy!! Genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestine has been executed by the newly arrived usurpers for over 70 years, thanks to $Billions of U.S. military aid, every years.

That gravy train will end. Israel crying wolf has long gotten, and is, old!

fly bird (26)
Friday March 30, 2018, 10:16 pm
In Gaza, Israel turned Good Friday into bloody Friday.
30 March 2018

My 15-year old cousin Muhammad Abu Loz just got injured by gunfire from Israeli occupation forces at the Great March of Return, east of Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

He was among thousands of Palestinians from all generations who have joined these marches in commemoration of Land Day, protesting against the longstanding Israeli colonial occupation and the denial of our inalienable political rights.

Israel met them with 100 military snipers.

My cousin survived, but my grandfather’s neighbor, Muhammad Kamal al-Najjar, 25, was shot dead. He is one of at least 12 people who had been killed by Friday evening.

More than 700, including 130 children, had been injured.

Since 30 March 1976, when Palestinian citizens of Israel led a popular uprising against Israel’s confiscation of huge swaths of their land in the Galilee, the anniversary has been marked as Land Day.

On that day in 1976, Israel also met civilian protesters with lethal gunfire, killing six and injuring and arresting many more.

Popular resistance

Four decades later, Land Day remains one of the most significant dates in the Palestinian political calendar – a day commemorated by popular resistance to ongoing Israeli colonial oppression, land theft and systematic policies of erasure.

In Gaza, Land Day demonstrations are held near the Israeli-imposed buffer zone, a strip of land inside the Gaza boundary that eats up 30 percent of the small territory’s farmland.

This buffer zone only tightens the Israeli chokehold over Gaza’s two million residents who are besieged by the Israeli military from land, sea and air.

From the north and east, Gaza is surrounded by Israeli artillery, tanks, snipers and military checkpoints. From the sea it is blockaded by Israeli warships that constantly fire on Gaza’s fishers, and from the south, the Egyptian military collaborates with Israel to maintain the closure of the Rafah crossing, the only lifeline to the outside world for most people in Gaza.

Sick with worry as I followed the day’s events from a distance, I called my mom in Gaza. I knew she had been looking forward to this evening’s celebration of her nephew Abed’s wedding, with drums banging as people joyfully sing and dance dabke.

My mom sounded overwhelmed over the phone. When I asked if the wedding was still on, she said yes.

“But given our neighbor’s devastating loss and your cousin’s injury, the zaffa [the celebratory procession] is canceled and the wedding songs will be substituted with revolution songs celebrating freedom fighters,” she said.

My parents, like other Palestinians, anticipated Israel’s violence today, but for them Israeli violence is constant, so carrying on with the wedding is not as strange as it might sound. It’s a way to show that life goes on.

They also went to the place of protest in eastern Jabaliya yesterday to help set up the “return tents” which will remain rooted there until 15 May – Nakba Day – to call for our long-denied right of return to the lands from which we were expelled by Israel in 1948.

That right that remains at the core of our anti-colonial struggle.

This morning, they went to my grandfather’s house, where the wedding lunch was set to take place, not knowing that it would turn into a funeral.

Far from home

Our short conversation left me feeling further detached from my current place of residence in the UK, where the majority of people are celebrating Good Friday with their families in safety and happiness.

But in Palestine, Good Friday was stained with bloodshed and brutal violence, thanks to Israel.

There is no justification for Israel to open fire against protesters posing no threat whatsoever.

Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups warned that this is a crime.

There is no justification for suppressing people whose right to resist colonial oppression is guaranteed by international law. The fact that Israel has been able to continue this brutal violence against Palestinians with total impunity for 70 years reflects a deep-seated moral problem in our world.

fly bird (26)
Friday March 30, 2018, 10:24 pm
To be gassed or not to be gassed: that is the question.
March 30, 2018

It is a question that the international community must answer about Friday’s ‘March of Return’ in Palestine.

The stated intention of Israeli authorities to flagrantly breach international law by dropping tear gas from riot control drones inside Gazan territory on this event is deplorable – and preventable.

The ‘March of Return’ sit-in is an entirely non-violent peaceful event being held at several locations along the Gaza border, at a distance of 700 meters from the border fence. Thousands of women and children are participating, along with their menfolk

Organisers have assured that there will be no weapons or guns used during this civilian protest; even stones will not be allowed to be thrown at Israeli soldiers.

Official statements reported in the Israeli and international media leave little doubt that the presence of law-abiding Palestinian women and children exercising their right to assemble in their own country will be met with a wildly disproportionate – and illegal – response from Israeli authorities.

Snipers, army battalions, and the afore-mentioned drones and tear gas have all been readied, and a practice attack using the drones was conducted by the Israeli Border Police on 09 March, 2018 at Shujeiyeh – an attack which was both indiscriminate in its effect, and conducted well inside the Gaza border in a blatant breach of Palestinian sovereignty.

Who knows what gases are being used in these drones? The effects of Israeli tear gas on Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza strongly indicate that they have not merely been using CR, CN, CS and OC gases – what new chemical weapons are being tested on us? And now launched from drones?

Israeli authorities have widely and clearly made known their intention to repeat similar acts and more, in defiance of the prohibition by the traditional Charter system of the use of force in the sovereign territory of another, and in breach of the Geneva and Hague Conventions preventing the use of indiscriminate weapons, particularly against civilians.

These Israeli threats should be condemned by all who uphold the rule of law.

The international community is on notice, and must respond.

Their response must be immediate, and unequivocal: the use of drones to breach sovereignty in order to use indiscriminate weapons which may cause injury to civilians must be soundly, roundly and loudly rejected, and condemned by all with a genuine commitment to international law.

To do otherwise is to invite another holocaust.

fly bird (26)
Friday March 30, 2018, 10:40 pm
The number of Palestinians killed and gravely wounded by Israel's soldiers firing into #Gaza is shocking. @HRW statement

fly bird (26)
Saturday March 31, 2018, 11:37 am
Thank you, Gienia, for sharing. **********************************

"On Friday, Palestinians will demand their right of return in a six-week mass march in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. "

(I just posted in 'offbeat'.)

fly bird (26)
Saturday March 31, 2018, 9:25 pm
"No justice under occupation!"

fly bird (26)
Saturday March 31, 2018, 9:41 pm
VIDEO - Israel admits, then deletes, responsibility for Gaza killings.
31 March 2018

The Israeli army posted a statement on Twitter on Saturday apparently accepting full responsibility for the killings a day earlier of 15 Palestinians as thousands took part in the Great March of Return in Gaza.

The army then quickly deleted the admission – as more evidence of war crimes by its soldiers came to light – but not before a copy was made by the human rights group B’Tselem.

The now-deleted tweet from the official @IDFSpokesperson account stated: “Yesterday we saw 30,000 people; we arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.”

Sarit Michaeli, B’Tselem’s international advocacy officer, characterized the statement as meaning that the “Israeli army takes full responsibility for the killing of all unarmed protesters and the injuring of hundreds with live ammunition.”

The army’s deletion of the tweet is hardly surprising. The admission that its killings of demonstrators were premeditated down to the last bullet means it cannot deny responsibility for apparent war crimes, such as the lethal shooting of Abd al-Fattah Abd al-Nabi, 19, as he ran away from the Israel-Gaza boundary fence. Abd al-Nabi was reportedly shot in the head.

Video of the slaying, widely shared on social media, shows Abd al-Nabi running alongside two other Palestinians far away from the boundary fence when the crack of a gunshot is heard and he falls suddenly.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a video of the same incident from another angle:

Another video apparently shows a man being shot and injured as he prayed with a group of Palestinians, with the boundary fence visible in the far distance.

Times of Israel reporter Jacob Magid commented that the Israeli army is “gonna have a hard time saying this guy fell off his bike.”

This is a reference to the army’s transparently false claims that Muhammad Fadel Tamimi, the 15-year-old boy shot in the head by one of its soldiers in the occupied West Bank in December, had merely had a bicycle accident.

On 29 March, B’Tselem’s Michaeli noted that Ofir Gendelman, an Israeli government spokesperson, used a video of an unarmed Palestinian being shot in the leg while standing still to “threaten Gazans” on the day of the planned Great March of Return.

The Israeli army’s admission of responsibility accorded with reports prior to Friday that the military had prepared for the protests by deploying dozens of snipers with orders to shoot demonstrators entering an Israeli-imposed no-go zone extending hundreds of meters inside Gaza along the boundary.

In addition to the slayings, at least 1,400 Palestinians were injured as Israeli forces used live ammunition, drones firing tear gas and even artillery along the Gaza-Israel boundary where Palestinians had gathered Friday to commemorate Land Day and protest Israel’s refusal to allow them to return to lands from which Palestinians were ethnically cleansed.

The charity Medical Aid for Palestinians called Friday “the bloodiest day in Gaza since Israel’s 2014 offensive.”

According to the health ministry spokesperson in Gaza, at least three more people were injured with live ammunition on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, the human rights groups Adalah and Al Mezan issued an urgent call on Israel to allow medical teams to enter the no-go zone to search for two missing Palestinians whose condition is unknown.

“The Israeli military’s use of 100 snipers against unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters in the Gaza Strip is illegal,” Adalah stated Friday. “Live gunfire on unarmed civilians constitutes a brutal violation of the international legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants” – in other words war crimes.

UN calls for inquiry

As Human Rights Watch on Friday condemned as “shocking” the number of Palestinians killed and injured by Israeli gunfire, the UN Security Council met that night to discuss the situation. Israel’s representatives boycotted the session.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an independent inquiry into the violence.

Although such inquiries in the past have uncovered evidence of Israeli war crimes, they have never led to effective action to hold Israel to account.

Guterres himself, acting under US pressure, last year suppressed a UN report that found Israel practices apartheid against Palestinians.

It took until Saturday for the European Union to issue a statement that “mourns the loss of life.”

The EU acknowledged that Israel used “live ammunition during clashes and demonstrations” but endorsed Israel’s “right to protect its borders” with “proportionate” force.

The EU also endorsed the UN’s call for an investigation and, equating occupier and occupied, urged that “those concerned need to exercise restraint.”

Corbyn tones down criticism

In Canada, Hélène Laverdière, foreign affairs spokesperson for the center-left opposition New Democratic Party, condemned the “shocking situation” and demanded that Israel “must abide by its responsibilities under international law and respect human rights.”

After 24 hours of silence, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK’s main opposition Labour Party, posted a statement on Twitter that the “killing and wounding by Israeli forces of civilians demonstrating for Palestinian rights in Gaza is appalling.”

But Corbyn – who has been under sustained attack from Israel lobby groups that have justified the massacre in Gaza – did not call for any action to hold Israel accountable.

Previously, Corbyn has called for an arms embargo on Israel and endorsed some tactics of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign for Palestinian rights.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the left-wing political leader in France who has also faced an Israel lobby smear campaign in recent days, offered condolences to the families of Palestinians killed and called for the deployment of UN forces.

But apparently secure that it will not face calls for real accountability – even from lifelong supporters of Palestinian rights such as Corbyn – Israel is issuing new threats to escalate its violence against Palestinian protesters.

Given ongoing official silence, complicity and inaction, Palestinians will be counting on a major escalation in grassroots support through boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns to finally bring Israel to account.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Sunday April 1, 2018, 1:37 am
Noted and shared ALL the above over social media.

Evelyn B (63)
Sunday April 1, 2018, 4:05 am
Tell Israel to Stop Firing at Peaceful Protesters!

Evelyn B (63)
Sunday April 1, 2018, 4:07 am
A reminder:

Great Return March
27 March at 11:13 ·

General Principles of the Great Return March (GRM)
The Palestinian refugees issue is the core of the Palestinian cause. It is the issue of the expulsion of a nation from its original land 70 years ago usingterrorism, to be replaced by a nation who denies the existence of the expelled indigenous nation. Ownership of the land was given to the replacing nationunder the claim that “A land with no people for a people without land’. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homes and forced to leave their properties to become refugees in various surroundingArab countries and around the world. A new foreign entity was established on the ruins of their societies and homeland known as ‘Israel’. Despite therecognition of the international community of the right of Palestinian refugeesto return and compensation, as guaranteed by the principles of the International law and international conventions and treaties and relevantUnited Nation’s resolutions, the International community has failed to enforce the relevant resolutions on the return of refugees. Despite the Palestinian refugees’ continuous struggle to secure their rights, the Israeli occupation continues to deny their right of return to their homelands which they were expelled from. Therefore, the refugees decided to take the initiative through peaceful movements and through the Great Return March. This comes as a continuation of the struggle of the Palestinian people for their right of return, the most important of which was the Return March in 2011, the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) in 2012 and the Palestinians’ marches in the areas occupied in 1948 on the 19th of April each year.
Definition of the Great Return March (GRM):
It is an organised public action, based on legitimate legal foundations and clear humanitarian principles, in which the masses of refugees embark on peaceful marches to implement paragraph 11 of UN Resolution 194 and to achieve thereturn of the refugees who were displaced in 1948 to their land, homes and properties. They are armed with firm faith that rights are not lost if pursued and that rights do not diminish with time. They base their movement on the legitimacy of the UN resolution 194 and their right to its application as officially registered refugees in the international organisation.
The GRM adopts the following general principles:
1. It is a sustained and cumulative struggle, not a seasonal or a one-day event. It will only end with the actual return of Palestinian refugees and the sit-in may last for weeks or months.
2. It is a national march in which Palestinians of all ages and various political and social groups and their supporters from the free world meet around the universal issue of the return of refugees and their compensation as a national consensus.
3. It is a humanitarian march calling for the human right of the return of refugees, failure to achieve that right is a justification to continue the march regardless of how long it takes. It has nothing to do with any political deals or offers from any side.
4. It is a legal march based on international resolutions, most notablyparagraph 11 from the UN Resolution 194, which explicitly calls for the return of Palestinian refugees as soon as possible to their villages and towns from which they were forcibly displaced and to be compensated.
5. It includes the various locations of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jerusalem, the areas occupied in 1948, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and other countries around the world. It aims to peacefully protest at the nearest points to their homes which they were forcibly displaced from.
6. Participants will be from all components of the Palestinian civil society and all political parties or factions that believe in peaceful public resistance as an effective way to contribute to achieving peace and justice based on the restoration of the national rights of Palestinians,foremost of which is the right of return.
7. It is a fully peaceful march from the beginning to the end. It adopts the style of open sit-ins, gradual progress, the construction of tents and the establishment of a normal life near the separation fence with their lands, homes and properties which they were forcibly removed from in 1948. The organisers are keen to invite international media to cover their message to all the world and are keen on the participation of international and human rights organisations to monitor and ensure the
march is peaceful.
8. The organisers are keen to spread the culture of public resistance through the peaceful nature of the march and all accompanying events both inside and outside Palestine, and affirm that it is a new form of resistance different to confrontations and throwing stones. To ensure that the march does not deviate from its mission and to prevent anypretexts from stopping it, it is prohibited for the participating individuals and organisations to carry out any acts that violate the law. In Gaza Strip, as a central arena of the movement, it is preferable to start a sit-in 700 meters away from the separation fence to prevent the clash of young people with the occupation forces. Progress will be gradual and in accordance with the discretion of the committees and national bodies in charge, which can be done in stages to prolong the duration of internal and external mobilisation.
9. The civilian bodies supervising the management of the march are decentralised units established in each location/country appropriately. The various units in all locations should coordinate to ensure the success of the project.
10.The only flag to be raised during the march is the Palestinian flag with no partisan slogans, in addition to the UN General Assembly Resolution 194 and humanitarian slogans explaining the just cause of refugees in Arabic, English and Hebrew.
11.Refugees are the responsibility of the United Nations. Therefore, human rights organisations have the task of contacting the United Nations and its international institutions to request their supervision for the marches and to send warning messages to the occupation not to target them.
12. Communication should be made with various activists and solidarity organisations supporting Palestinian rights around the world to create global support for the initiative of the Great Return March. All media, political, legal and solidarity efforts should be mobilised to protect the march from the potential Israeli violence.
The International Coordination Committee of the GRM
March 15th 2018

fly bird (26)
Monday April 2, 2018, 5:19 am
2 April, Washington, DC: Rally for Gaza – Speak Out Against Israel’s Criminal Actions.

Monday, 2 April
4:00 pm
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC


Organized by CODEPINK

fly bird (26)
Monday April 2, 2018, 2:57 pm
VIDEO. Massacre in Gaza: Israeli Forces Open Fire on Palestinians, Killing 18, Wounding As Many As 1,700.
(Wilde posted - New/World)

fly bird (26)
Monday April 2, 2018, 9:26 pm
In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence.
January 16, 2018
By Ramzy Baroud

Not a day passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.

Just recently, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.

“What is this special weapon we have that we fire and see pillars of smoke and fire, but nobody gets hurt? It is time for there to be injuries and deaths as well,” he said.

Ariel’s calling for the killing of more Palestinians came on the heels of other repugnant statements concerning a 16-year-old teenager girl, Ahed Tamimi. Ahed was arrested in a violent Israeli army raid at her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

A video recording showed her slapping an Israeli soldier a day after the Israeli army shot her cousin in the head, placing him in a coma.

Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison”.

A prominent Israeli journalist, Ben Caspit, sought yet more punishment. He suggested that Ahed and girls like her should be raped in jail.

“In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”, he wrote in Hebrew.

This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.

Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett and Caspit are not angry statements uttered in a moment of rage. They are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for over 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.

This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘incremental genocide.’

Throughout this long legacy, little has changed except for names and titles. The Zionist militias that orchestrated the genocide of the Palestinians prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948 merged together to form the Israeli army; and the leaders of these groups became Israel’s leaders.

Israel’s violent birth in 1947- 48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years. It was the time when Zionist teachings of prior years were put into practice and the outcome was simply horrifying.

“The tactic of isolating and attacking a certain village or town and executing its population in a horrible, indiscriminate massacre was a strategy employed, time and again, by Zionist bands to compel the population of surrounding villages and towns to flee,” Ahmad Al-Haaj told me when I asked him to reflect on Israel’s past and present.

Al-Haaj is a Palestinian historian and an expert on the Nakba, the ‘Catastrophe’ that had befallen Palestinians in 1948.

The 85-year-old intellectual’s proficiency in the subject began 70 years ago, when, as a 15-year-old, he witnessed the massacre of Beit Daras at the hands of Jewish Haganah militia.

The destruction of the southern Palestinian village and the killing of dozens of its inhabitants resulted in the depopulation of many adjacent villages, including al-Sawafir, Al-Haaj’s home village.

“The notorious Deir Yasin massacre was the first example of such wanton killing, a model that was duplicated in other parts of Palestine,” Al-Haaj said.

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine at the time was orchestrated by several Zionist militias. The mainstream Jewish militia was the Haganah which belonged to the Jewish Agency.

The latter functioned as a semi-government, under the auspices of the British Mandate Government, while the Haganah served as its army.

However, other breakaway groups also operated according to their own agenda. Two leading bands amongst them were the Irgun (National Military Organization) and Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang). These groups carried out numerous terrorist attacks, including bus bombings and targeted assassinations.

Russian-born Menachem Begin was the leader of the Irgun which, along with the Stern Gang and other Jewish militants, massacred hundreds of civilians in Deir Yassin.

‘Tell the soldiers: you have made history in Israel with your attack and your conquest. Continue this until victory. As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest,” Begin wrote at the time. He described the massacre as a “splendid act of conquest.”

The intrinsic link between words and actions remain unchanged.

Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.

Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.

Shamir served as the Prime Minister of Israel from 1986 – 1992. In 1941, Shamir was imprisoned by the British for his role in the Stern Gang. Later, as Prime Minister, he ordered a violent crackdown against a mostly non-violent Palestinian uprising in 1987, purposely breaking the limbs of kids accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.

So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbors.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His forthcoming book is ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’ (Pluto Press, London). Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara.

fly bird (26)
Tuesday April 3, 2018, 10:30 am
Palestine Towards Return and Liberation: The Land Day Massacre and the #GreatReturnMarch.

The Martyrs of the Land and the Prisoners of Return: A Call to Action for Liberation on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.

Send your events and actions to us at, on Facebook, or use the form to tell us about your actions in response to the Land Day Massacre and for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. We will be publishing an international list of events and actions that will be regularly updated.

The 30th of March, Land Day, was first inscribed in Palestinian history in 1976, when a mass, popular uprising in occupied Palestine ’48 confronted land confiscation and expropriation at the hands of the settler-colonial Zionist state.

On that day in 1976, six Palestinians were killed as they protested in a general strike against the ongoing Nakba, after thirty years of repression and dispossession. Their names have become indelibly inked in Palestinian history and the history of those who struggle around the world – Kheir Mohammad Salim Yasin, Khadija Qasem Shawahneh, Raja Hussein Abu Rayya, Khader Eid Mahmoud Khalayleh, Muhsin Hasan Said Taha and Raafat Ali Al-Zheiri – shot down as they marched to defend their land.

Today, in besieged Gaza, occupied Palestine, tens of thousands of marchers rose up once again in a mass, popular march commemorating that day 42 years ago with today’s demand to liberate the land, centering the right to return of Palestinian refugees – the Great March of Return. Over 70 percent of the Palestinian population in Gaza are refugees denied their right to return to their homes, lands and villages for 70 years.

And once again, the Israeli state revealed its nature, shooting down 16 martyrs of the land and return in another Land Day massacre, 42 years after the first. The day began with the killing of Palestinian farmer Omar Samour by an Israeli tank shell. This latest murder of a Palestinian farmer further illustrates the unending drive to seize Palestinian land and attack Palestinian productive capacity and self-sufficiently, farmers in Gaza have been under severe attack. The so-called “buffer zone” imposed on farmers in Gaza has seized 30 percent of the land, including the most fertile. Indeed, Palestinian fishers and Palestinian farmers have particularly borne the brunt of repeated Israeli fire, attacks and murders, aimed at eliminating Palestinian self-sufficiency even in the narrow Gaza Strip, hemmed in by sky, land and sea by deadly occupation forces.

And as thousands of Palestinian refugees in Gaza massed in a popular march near the illegitimate colonial barrier and so-called “borders” imposed by the occupation state, occupation forces and sharpshooters opened fire directly on popular demonstrators calling for their rights – for return, liberation, an end to the siege. Their names are now also immortal in Palestinian history and the history of those who struggle – Naji Abu Hajir, Mohammed Kamal Al-Najjar, Wahid Nasrallah Abu Samour, Amin Mansour Abu Muammar, Mohammed Naeem Abu Amr, Ahmed Ibrahim Ashour Odeh, Jihad Ahmed Fraina, Mahmoud Saadi Rahmi, Abdel Fattah Abdel Nabi, Ibrahim Salah Abu Shaar, Abd al-Qader Marhi al-Hawajri, Sari Walid Abu Odeh, Hamdan Isma’il Abu Amsha, Jihad Zuhair Abu Jamous, and Bader al-Sabbagh.

They were farmers, students, talented artists, fathers, sons and loved ones, who loved their people, their land, and their vision of freedom, and their loss is painful and immense. It must also be an urgent call to action to honor the sacrifices of the martyrs of the land and return, to demand the freedom of the prisoners and the freedom of all of Palestine – the implementation of Palestinian refugees’ right to return, at the heart of the Palestinian cause.

Of course, this is far from the first such massacre. It comes in a long line of massacres and attacks targeting Palestinian popular resistance, especially that of Palestinian refugees demanding their right to return. We remember the murders of Palestinian refugees from Lebanon and Syria who marched to the borders and braved the crossing to their long-denied homeland in May and June 2011. We also recall the decades of killings of Palestinians labeled “infiltrators” for seeking to return to their own stolen land from exile.

These deaths must not be allowed to pass unnoticed and unremarked, and the movement for which their lives were taken must be supported with the widest popular mobilization. Let us take to the streets in every city in response to this massacre. Land Day has lived on to become an eternal anniversary because, everywhere, Palestinians, Arabs and supporters of the Palestinian cause responded to the land confiscation and the massacres with intensified struggle and resistance. Today’s sacrifices demand the same response.

Infamous IDF general and war criminal Gabi Eizenkot, the promoter of the “Dahiyeh Doctrine” for its murderous assault on the people of the southern suburbs of Beirut in a (failed) attempt to smash the resistance, personally commanded the attacks on Palestinian marchers in Gaza. Of course, Eizenkot and his gunmen did not act alone – they are the vicious arm of an entire state project attacking the Palestinian people’s very existence. And their weaponry is backed up by the United States, Canada European states and other imperialist and colonialist powers, with the complicity of Arab reactionary regimes.

These 16 precious lives deserve all of our mourning, but more urgently, all of our action. Demonstrations, mobilizations, artistic, cultural and legal actions to hold war criminals accountable and to end international imperialist backing for the ongoing war crimes in Gaza and against the entire Palestinian people are all urgently needed – today, tomorrow, in the coming week.

April 17 is Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, a national and international day of action for the freedom of all Palestinian political prisoners, the prisoners of freedom, the prisoners of return and liberation, behind Zionist bars because of their commitment to the freedom of their people and their land. This year, April 17 can and must be a day of mobilization to liberate Palestinian prisoners, free the land and people of Palestine, break the siege on Gaza and confront all imperialist and Zionist attacks.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges supporters of Palestine around the world to mobilize in immediate and ongoing response to the Land Day massacre in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and the entire Palestinian people – including all of the millions of Palestinian refugees in exile and diaspora who struggle for their right to return home, the key to Palestinian liberation.


Send your events and actions to us at, on Facebook, or use the form to tell us about your actions in response to the Land Day Massacre and for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. We will be publishing an international list of events and actions that will be regularly updated.


Friday, 30 March:
•30 March, New York City: Emergency rally: solidarity with Gaza #GreatMarchofReturn

Saturday, 31 March:
•31 March, London: Land Day: Protest British imperialist support for Israel!
•31 March, Milan: Denounce the Zionist crimes and support Palestinian resistance
•31 March, Helsinki: Palestinian Land Day
•31 March, Amsterdam: Palestinian Day of the Land
•31 March, Istanbul: Palestinian Day of the Land
•31 March, Bray: 1916 Easter Rising Commemoration
•31 March, Paris: Salute to Ahed Tamimi
•31 March, Athens: Appeal for Action for the Palestinian People
•31 March, Belfast: Protest the slaughter of Palestinians by apartheid Israel
•31 March, Edinburgh: Demo in Support of the Great March of Return
•31 March, San Francisco: Emergency Protest of Israeli Massacre in Gaza
•31 March, San Diego: Emergency Protest of Israeli Massacre in Gaza
•31 March, Charlotte: Land Day in Palestine

Sunday, 1 April
•1 April, Berlin: Candlelight Demonstration Against Israeli Aggression in Gaza
•1 April, Montreal: Stand with Palestine, Stand with Gaza
•1 April, Paris: Rally of Solidarity with Gaza
•1 April, Lille: Rally – Stop the Massacre in Gaza

Monday, 2 April
•2 April, Copenhagen: Protest for a Free Palestine!
•2 April, Lyon: Stop Israeli Crimes, Sanctions on Israel Now!
•2 April, Zaragoza: Demonstration against the massacre in Gaza
•2 April, Waterford: Expel All Israeli Diplomats from Ireland
•2 April, Boston: Emergency Rally in Solidarity with Gaza and the #GreatMarchofReturn
•2 April, Washington, DC: Rally for Gaza – Speak Out Against Israel’s Criminal Actions

Tuesday, 3 April
•3 April, Strasbourg: Rally in Solidarity with Gaza, Palestine
•3 April, Saint-Etienne: Rally to Support the Palestinian People
•3 April, Manchester: Vigil Against Israeli Army Killings in Gaza
•3 April, Victoria: Support the Palestinian March of Return

Wednesday, 4 April
•4 April, Cagliari: Planning for Actions of Solidarity with Palestine
•4 April, Bristol: Protest for Gaza: Stop The Killing

Thursday, 5 April
•5 April, Copenhagen: Write a letter of solidarity to Palestinian child prisoners
•5 April, Boston: Put Israel on Trial, Not Ahed & Palestine!
•5 April, Brussels: Rally: This one is for Gaza!
•5 April, Albertville: Rally in Solidarity with Gaza

Friday, 6 April
•6 April, Albany: Emergency Protest of Israeli Massacre in Gaza
•6 April, Vancouver: Solidarity Vigil with Palestine – Denounce Land Day Massacre

Saturday, 7 April
•7 April, Melbourne: Protest Israel’s Massacre in Gaza
•7 April, Manchester: Boycott Barclays – Protest British Imperialist Support for Israel
•7 April, Manchester: Emergency Protest – Stop the Massacres! Stop Arming Israel!
•7 April, London: Protest for Gaza – Stop the Killing
•7 April, Derry: RALLY – Solidarity with Murdered Land Day Protesters in Gaza
•7 April, Dublin: Expel All Israeli Diplomats from Ireland Protest
•7 April, Copenhagen: Boykot Israel on the Streets at Norreport
•7 April, Jersey: Vigil to Support the Great Return March – Gaza
•7 April, Bordeaux: Rally to Support Gaza!

fly bird (26)
Wednesday April 4, 2018, 9:22 am
Israeli leaders ordered “calculated” killings of Gaza protesters.
3 April 2018

Israeli leaders who ordered troops to open fire on Palestinians taking part in the Great March of Return rallies in Gaza last Friday, even though marchers posed no threat, bear personal responsibility for the deaths and injuries, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

They are responsible for “calculated” killings of unarmed civilians in violation of international law, the human rights group states, warning that Israeli leaders could face prosecution abroad.

In a detailed report on Israel’s violence against the marches that coincided with the Palestinian commemoration of Land Day, Human Rights Watch dismantles Israeli claims that the use of military snipers against civilian demonstrators was justified by a “terrorist” threat.

Human Rights Watch reaches two key conclusions: the Israeli violence against Palestinians was premeditated, illegal under international law, and ordered at the highest level; and Israel has presented no evidence whatsoever of any credible threat that would justify the violence it used on the day.

The report points to evidence of numerous instances in which troops targeted Palestinians far from the Gaza-Israel boundary fence.

The death toll from 30 March has now risen to 18 – the bloodiest single day for Palestinians since Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza.

These include 14 Palestinians killed when Israeli forces opened fire on thousands of people taking part in rallies along the Gaza-Israel boundary protesting Israel’s siege of the territory and demanding the right for refugees to return to lands from which they were expelled by Israel.

Approximately 1,400 were injured, including around 800 people hit with live ammunition.

On Monday, an additional protester died from injuries sustained on Friday. The first killing on 30 March was of Omar Samour, a farmer tending his field at dawn. The same day, two Palestinian resistance fighters were killed in a separate incident in the north of Gaza away from the protest rallies.

And on Tuesday, Israeli forces killed 25-year-old Ahmad Omar Arafa with a bullet to the chest during a demonstration east of al-Bureij refugee camp, near the boundary with Israel.

“Acting on orders”

“Israeli soldiers were not merely using excessive force, but were apparently acting on orders that all but ensured a bloody military response to the Palestinian demonstrations,” Eric Goldstein, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Middle East director, said of Friday’s bloodshed. “The result was foreseeable deaths and injuries of demonstrators on the other side of a border who posed no imminent threat to life.”

“The killings highlight the importance of the International Criminal Court prosecutor opening a formal investigation into serious international crimes in Palestine,” Human Rights Watch said.

The ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has however for years been refusing or dragging her feet about whether to place Israeli leaders and commanders under formal investigation, despite a mountain of evidence turned over to her office by human rights investigators.


Human Rights Watch notes that in the days before the planned marches, “Israeli officials repeatedly proclaimed their intent to fire on ‘instigators’ and those approaching the border fence.”

Israeli army chief Gadi Eisenkot announced the deployment of 100 snipers and declared that “The orders are to use a lot of force.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arabic spokesperson Ofir Gendelman posted a video of a man shot in the leg, stating, “This is the least that anyone who tries to cross the security fence between Gaza and Israel will face.”

And on the morning of 30 March, defense minister Avigdor Lieberman tweeted in Arabic that “Anyone who approaches the border puts his life in jeopardy.”

“Entering a zone declared off limits should not be a crime considered punishable by death,” Human Rights Watch said.

No evidence of threat

Tens of thousands of people are reported to have taken part in the Land Day rallies.

“While some protesters near the border fence burned tires and threw rocks, Human Rights Watch could find no evidence of any protester using firearms or any IDF [Israeli army] claim of threatened firearm use at the demonstrations,” the group’s report states.

Even the footage of demonstrations published by the army “includes no evidence of firearms.”

Israel did publish a video it claims showed two men firing at Israeli troops that day, but Human Rights Watch notes that “this took place in northern Gaza Strip, not on the eastern border where the Land Day demonstrations took place,” and that no demonstrators can be seen in that footage.

Israel also claims that some demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails.

“The Israeli government has not shown that the demonstrators throwing rocks or Molotov cocktails posed a grave threat to the well-protected soldiers deployed on the other side of the border fence, nor has Israel claimed that any Palestinian crossed the border on 30 March,” Human Rights Watch states.

Israel has reported no injuries to any of its personnel.

Evidence reviewed by Human Rights Watch includes a video that “appears to show a demonstrator shot in the leg while praying and another video showing a man shot while throwing a rock.”

Other videos the group cites show demonstrators shot while slowly walking toward the border empty-handed or holding only a Palestinian flag or retreating from the border.

Some of these videos have already been widely circulated by media and human rights organizations.

Attempts at justification.

In the days since the massacre, Israel has attempted to justify the killings by painting the mass civilian rallies as a provocation instigated by Hamas.

In a tweet, the army alleged that the dead included “10 known terrorists with track records of terror activity.”

But by making such claims, Human Rights Watch states, “the military appears to be trying to justify otherwise unlawful killings in a law enforcement situation based on alleged past activity.”

Human Rights Watch recalls that last year it documented senior Israeli officials inciting soldiers and police to kill alleged Palestinian assailants in the occupied West Bank “even when they are no longer a threat.”

And last December, Israel’s killing with a bullet to the head of Ibrahim Abu Thurayya, a disabled wheelchair user who was holding nothing but a Palestinian flag as he took part in a protest near the boundary, caused global revulsion.

The UN human rights chief called that slaying “incomprehensible” and a “truly shocking and wanton act.”

Journalists attacked

Journalists covering Friday’s rallies did not escape the extraordinary level of Israeli violence.

Ten journalists were injured, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

They include Ahmed Salem Muammar, who was hit in his lower abdomen by a live bullet, east of the city of Khan Younis, and Wisam Mousa, a photographer who was hit by live bullets in both legs while he was covering the protests from afar at the al-Bureij refugee camp.

Mahmoud Adnan Mdouj, a photographer for the production company Media Town, was hit by a live bullet in his right leg while he was covering the march behind the protesters, about 500 meters from the border fence.

The Committee to Protect Journalists urged Israel to “independently and credibly investigate” the incidents – something Israel has no history of doing.

More impunity?

Despite the clear evidence of premeditated slaughter and maiming of civilians, governments that support Israel – particularly the European Union and its members – are publicly feigning a high level of ignorance about what happened Friday.

In the United States, it appears that only two of 535 members of Congress have condemned the Israeli violence – Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Betty McCollum.

The EU and many of its states failed to condemn Israel’s actions. Instead, they backed a call by the UN secretary-general for an independent investigation.

While on the surface that appears like a robust stance, it gives the false impression that the main thrust of what happened is disputed or in doubt. As the Human Rights Watch report confirms, there can be no such doubt.

Israel has for its part already stated that there won’t be an internal inquiry and it won’t cooperate with any international investigation.

Moreover, Lieberman and Netanyahu have praised soldiers for their roles in the slayings.

Israel has threatened Palestinian civilians with even more violence.

On past experience, there’s little reason to believe that either the calls by the UN secretary-general or EU for an investigation were anything other than meant to deflect demands for effective action.

Asked if the European Union planned any action to hold Israel accountable in light of its rejection of an investigation, a spokesperson for the 28-member bloc indicated that no such action was planned.

“We continue to believe an independent and transparent investigation as requested in the statement is needed,” the EU spokesperson told The Electronic Intifada Tuesday, referring to the EU’s response to the killings issued on Saturday. “And that to prevent further loss of life and promote return to negotiations, restraint is needed.”

The spokesperson did not respond to a question about whether the EU accepts the findings of Human Rights Watch.

This official shrug is in keeping with the EU’s longstanding policy of complicity with Israel.

Prosecution abroad

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch is warning Israeli leaders that despite the impunity they enjoy at home and from governments around the world, they may yet face justice.

More rallies are planned by Palestinians in the weeks leading up to Nakba Day on 15 May – the 70th anniversary of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Human Rights Watch states: “The Israeli government should recognize that, even in the absence of serious domestic oversight, officials who order unlawful lethal force may become subject to prosecution abroad as a matter of universal jurisdiction or in international judicial forums.”

fly bird (26)
Thursday April 5, 2018, 10:39 am
Take Action: Petition to Bernie Sanders: Condemn the Land Day Massacre — No Arms for Apartheid Israel

The following petition to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders was initiated by Jews for Palestinian Right of Return. You can sign on to the petition here:

April 4, 2018

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Letter from a Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

On April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. courageously condemned the Vietnam War, declaring, “For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”

On this, the 50th anniversary Dr. King’s assassination, we follow his example by condemning Israel’s premeditated massacre of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza on March 30, 2018, which left at least 17 dead and 1,400 wounded — some of them shot in the back by snipers while fleeing.

They were among 30,000 participants in the Great Return March demanding their right, enshrined in UN Resolution 194, to return to homes from which they were expelled during the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe) that created the Israeli settler-colonial state.

“I will not whitewash colonial violence by describing it with benign terminology,” says Palestinian-American scholar Steven Salaita about the massacre. “It is cruel, depraved, gratuitous, racist, and genocidal.”

The massacre took place on Land Day, which commemorates Israel’s 1976 killing of six Palestinians during mass protests against land theft, and is part of Israel’s crippling twelve-year siege on Gaza, including the military assault in 2014 that murdered 2,200 Palestinians, including 500 children.

By weaponizing Israel to the tune of $3.8 billion a year, the U.S. government — with virtually unanimous bipartisan support — shares full responsibility for all these crimes.

Evoking memories of racist violence at Sharpesville, South Africa in 1960 and Selma, Alabama in 1965, this latest massacre exposes the innate inhumanity of the entire Zionist project, while only strengthening refugees’ resolve.

“Being a Palestinian and standing up for our rights has meant sacrifice since our first displacement in 1948,” explains Rana Shubair. “My family and I will not back down.”

More than ever, in solidarity with this popular resistance, we call on all people of conscience to support the full Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions platform, which demands an end to Israeli occupation and apartheid, full equality for Palestinians, and — what BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti describes as “absolutely the most significant right in the BDS call” — refugees’ right to return to their homes and lands.

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return

fly bird (26)
Friday April 6, 2018, 11:43 pm
Rally in solidarity with Gaza Events for April 2018
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