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  • Writer's picturePartners for Palestine

Postings on Palestine

May 20, 2022

Indelible Memories The pain of those who have experienced expulsion from their native land is still fresh for many Palestinians in the diaspora. Anniversaries of events that were part of Israel’s ethnic cleansing are especially evocative. We share one recent letter from a close friend of P4P Board members: A small town in Florida, May 2, 2022 - “Seventy-four years and one day ago, my whole family were forced to leave our hometown, Jaffa, Palestine by three Jewish terrorist gangs and leave everything we owned behind, following bombings going on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and a massacre that took place four months earlier. We were defenseless following 30 years of enforced British military occupation that was masquerading as a Mandate system of temporary government acting as preparing Palestinians for a British promised self-rule.

I have a photo of the northern quarter of Jaffa called Manshieh adjoining Tel Aviv before and after the Nakba.

Al Manshieh in 1936 Source, Library of Congress

Al Manshieh after bombing in 1948 Source, Institute for Palestine Studies

The three Jewish terror gangs did not move along the streets, they used explosives to tear a large hole from one house to another large hole in the adjacent house killing anyone who was in the way. Right after forcing all the residents of Manshieh out, they proceeded to destroy the whole area, leveled every home, school, store, bus or train station down to the ground, leaving only one building standing, the large Mosque named Hasan Beit Mosque. Later on they built a new small museum in memory of the Jewish members who led this act of mass murder and terror. I’m reposting this story as Justice has been denied and an illegal creeping annexation of the rest of Palestine is going on day and night…. (Click here to read this remarkable survivor’s account from a Florida friend and neighbor.)

Eyes on the Ground Partners for Palestine is fortunate to have many friends living and working in the region. These friends provide trusted sources of information about current conditions, sharing realities that the main news outlets do not cover. Names may have been changed or removed to protect identities. A Week in the Life of the Palestine West Bank The coinciding holy seasons of Easter, Pesach, and Ramadan have come and gone….So now …my focus centers once again on life for the people living here in (town name removed) and throughout the Palestine West Bank.

It is Friday, May 13, 2022, here …. It is the holy day of the week as most people living here in the West Bank are Muslim. Today large numbers of men will gather in the mosques for midday prayer. I do not know exactly what will happen here in the West Bank this afternoon, this evening or next week so I reflect on some of what has happened here throughout the past week.

I think first of the Israel Supreme Court decision against the 1300 Palestinian Bedouins living in 12 villages in the region known as Masafer Yatta. This large region is in the south of Palestine in Area C. This was the last legal decision of a multiyear court battle which has now exhausted every legal claim the Bedouins have to live on this land even though they were herding their flocks of goats, sheep and camels in this region before Israel declared it a closed military firing zone …. 30% of Area C Palestine is declared a closed military zone where the Israel military often train and practice firing their military equipment. Within days after this decision came the demolition of eight homes in three villages in Masafer Yatta. The demolition also included a number of sheep pens. And then there was the Israel decision to promote the plan to build 4500 units in settlements within the Palestine West Bank. These include the Oz Ve Gaon outpost, Givat HaBooster outpost, [and] Shvut Rachel outpost. As you may know, Israel will lay claim to a Palestinian hilltop, ridge or mountain to build their settlements. As this space fills with settlement construction, Israel often places a caravan or three (vision a mobile home) on the most suitable neighboring hilltop, ridge or mountain in which Israelis come to live and lay claim to their new Palestinian territory. These new outposts are then eventually approved by Israel as new neighborhoods belonging to the existing nearby settlements. This process allows Israel to claim there are no new settlements on Palestinian land. Also, this decision included the expansion of industrial zones. There was the day in my … class when fellow students and my teacher…. announced Israel had shut off electricity for three hours mid-day on the previous day claiming tax payment from [the municipality] was overdue. There was the day Israeli forces suppressed the Al-Rajbi family as they watched Israeli forces demolish their home in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem. As you may know, not only is the family displaced in these demolition instances but they must pay Israel for Israel’s expenses involved with the demolition. There was an announcement by Israel of new restrictions to become effective in July for foreigners who wish to marry Palestinians, work, volunteer, study or educate in the West Bank There was the shooting death of Thaer Khali Yazouri, an 18-year-old young man shot dead by Israel military in the Al-Bireh area of Ramallah.

And of course there was the incident that became world news, the shooting death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while reporting on an Israeli military operation in Jenin, a city in the north of Palestine. Shireen is Palestinian with dual citizenship (USA) and an icon to most of the students … who have known her their entire life as she worked to reveal to the world the reality of life in Palestine.

Her shooting death was immediately followed by an incursion into her home by Israeli forces and subsequently by the Israeli summons of her brother Anton. We have all seen the videos but etched in my mind is the horror on the face of her fellow journalist while Israeli soldiers continued to fire, wounding another journalist and a paramedic.

The following day, I gathered with other …. students around the campus fountain as they paid tribute to this Al Jazeera television news icon whom they had watched on television for their entire life. Within days in Palestine a newborn baby girl was named Shireen and a street was renamed in her honor. As it has been … years since I last lived in [this region], to me the ongoing resilience demonstrated by the Palestinian West Bank people in the face of the continuing colonization, the forced displacement and the suppression by Israel imposed on the people and the land of the Palestine West Bank is remarkable.

Protests and Events

  • Several of the P4P board members took part in the May 15 commemorations of the Nakba in Tampa and Orlando. The events also remembered the slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. It is remarkable and revealing to look at the difference in coverage by the New York Times of the deaths of two journalists that occurred the same week. We should all write the editors of the Times to protest. The address is:

  • We are distributing literature about Palestine and Partners for Palestine at the United Methodist Women’s Conference in Florida this week.

  • Some of our members attended a Zoom forum this week on the differing treatment of the military aggression in Ukraine and Palestine. The comparisons were remarkable.

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