There are many forms of resistance as I’ve often written about here. Palestinians have always used a variety of such methods. And indeed it took decades before they resorted to their right to armed resistance against the Jewish settler colonists and the British who imposed this colonial context on them vis-a-vis the Zionist project of dispossession forced them off their land. But regardless of the form of resistance the British, the Zionists, and later the Israelis used various methods to squash all forms of resistance: literature, music was banned; non-violent protests or strikes curtailed; armed resistance always outmatched militarily. Americans and Israelis love to pretend like there is not a history of non-violent resistance in Palestine–or a present for that matter. They often characterize such protests in their military and media as violent in order to rationalize their always violent and lethal responses to such protests. Today we see this in Jenin where Palestinians protested against illegal Israeli settlements:
The protest took place near the evacuated settlement of Homesh located between Jenin and Nablus. When the demonstrators reached the abandoned area Israeli soldiers attacked them with rubber bullets, tear gas and sound bombs.
Note: those rubber bullets are always more accurately described as rubber-coated steel bullets.
For a glimpse into what people in Jenin were protesting, here is a report by Jacky Rowland on illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and what it costs Palestinians’ continued dispossession:
Interestingly, as Rowland reports in the Al Jazeera clip, Israelis break all sorts of laws all the time–both their own and international. There was a report today in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz on Ehud Barak’s lawbreaking behavior in relation to continuing illegal settlement expansion in spite of the so-called “roadmap” to “peace.”
In January Barak asked that all construction projects in the West Bank be brought to him for authorization. Data received by Haaretz suggests that since April, Barak has authorized the following construction projects in the West Bank:
* The marketing of at least 400 housing units and plots, of which 315 homes and 32 plots are in Beitar Ilit, 48 homes and 19 plots in Ariel, and 40 housing units and and a commercial center at Efrat.
* The construction of some 60 homes in a neighborhood that is several kilometers away from its mother settlement of Eshkolot, in southern Mount Hebron, but is included in its municipal jurisdiction.
* The registration and publication of construction projects in Ariel, Modi’in Ilit, Ma’aleh Adumim, Mevo Horon, Oranit, Efrat, Givat Ze’ev, Beit El, Neveh Daniel, Alon Shvut, Har Adar, Kochav Ya’akov and Talmon. The two latter settlements are situated to the east of the separation fence.
* Mekorot, the Israeli water company, was given permission to prepare plans in Kiryat Arba, which is also situated east of the fence.
* Authorization to plan “an experimental electricity production farm” in southern Mount Hebron.
* Renewal of authorization for the marketing of 31 homes and commercial properties in Beitar Ilit.
* The planning of a cemetery in the area of Ma’aleh Adumim.
* The allocation of 4.6 dunams (just over one acre) for the development of a nature reserve in the Prat stream in Wadi Kelt, which is east of the fence.
* The allotment of plots for the construction of public buildings in the neighborhood of Matityahu-East in Modi’in Ilit (which has been partially built on lands of the Palestinian village of Bil’in). Similar allotments were made in Elkana, Kfar Oranim, Kedumim and Beit Aryeh.
Note: fence=26 foot tall apartheid wall. How is it that the world can continue to look away, to deny facts, to pretend like it is Palestinians who break laws, when it is the occupying Zionist Jews who stole and who steal land, who massacred and who massacre Palestinians on a regular basis? Palestinians are incarcerated in the world’s largest open-air prison that is Gaza and are subjected to forced starvation once again and they resist this militarily as is their right under international law:
In response, the Israeli army launched an airstrike against the area they believed the projectile to have been fired. The Israeli army said two Palestinians were wounded in this attack.
The brigades are the armed wings of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and the armed wing of Hamas respectively.
According to Israeli media eight projectiles landed in the western Negev Friday morning and reported that one Israeli woman in Sderot was lightly injured.
To get a glimpse into the bigger picture related to what is happening in Gaza right now–yet again–Al Jazeera’s “Inside Story” yesterday had a good discussion that highlights the overall context:
While the U.S. may be slow in catching on to this humanitarian crisis that continues unabated for decades and worsens by the year, month, week, day, minute, other countries, thankfully, are slowly (unfortunately at a snail’s pace) catching up:
Relations between Israel and Britain remained strained on Thursday over Downing Street’s intention to label products manufactured in West Bank settlements, a week before the expected arrival of British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, David Miliband, to the Middle East.
Miliband, who will visit Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Syria and Lebanon next week, is expected to talk to Israeli officials over the settlements in the West Bank and his country’s proposed plan to label products manufactured in them. “This initiative is a serious and substantial problem in relations between the two countries, and is generating a sense of crisis,” a senior diplomat in Jerusalem said.
And can you imagine any American leader even coming close to what came out of Switzerland today?:
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lars Knuchel said the demolitions violated the 1949 Geneva Conventions, regarded as the cornerstone of international law on the obligations of warring and occupying powers. The Fourth Convention states that occupying powers must respect the property of civilian populations under their control.
Switzerland said it lodged a formal protest with the Israeli Foreign Ministry over recent demolitions, which now bring the tally to more than 600 destroyed homes in East Jerusalem and 1,600 altogether in the West Bank since 2000.
The Swiss statement, using unusually harsh language, said the neutral country regards the recent incidents as violations of international humanitarian law and notes no military need to justify the destruction of these houses.
The Swiss statement called East Jerusalem an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory – a phrase that could anger hardline Jewish groups that believe Israel should maintain control over the entire city. Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War, but Palestinians claim the territory as the capital of their hoped-for state.
Note: actually, Palestinians don’t “claim” the territory: it is legally theirs. Just like all of 1948 historical Palestine. Every square inch.