Some quick, brief thoughts on the ongoing repression and resistance in occupied Palestine:
The consecutive brutal raids on al-Aqsa during Ramadan by the fascist government of Israel shouldn’t been seen as isolated incidents. Nearly 100 Palestinians have been killed so far this year by Israeli forces, including massacres in Jenin and Nablus. Harsher conditions have been imposed on thousands of Palestinian political prisoners. Laws from banning the flying of the Palestinian flag to allowing Israel to strip Palestinian citizens of Israel of citizenship have been passed.
Relatedly, other measures, such as the revocation of the 2005 law removing settlements from the northern West Bank, to the loosening of gun ownership regulations, to the creation of a National Guard specifically designed to target Palestinians and under the control of Kahanist Itamar Ben-Gvir, all point to a government desiring and planning for conflict and escalation as a means to continue the Zionist settler-colonial project.
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Israeli occupation forces walk past a mural of Basil al-Araj in al-Aroub refugee camp near Hebron.
Shortly after arriving in Palestine in 2012, a comrade invited me to a demonstration in front of al-Muqata’a in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank. It was a significant symbolic event, being the first protest against the PA directly in front of its headquarters with about 100 people holding signs on the sidewalk condemning PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to hold negotiations with Israel. Nothing much happened, but that nothing much clearly irritated the PA.
Following the protest, several people met at a nearby café. That was the first time I met Basil al-Araj. Similarly, nothing much happened, but the more time I spent in Palestine, the more and more frequently I found myself in Basil’s company. He spoke passable English, and aside from translations by others, that was how we communicated given that I embarrassingly managed to live there for more than a year and not learn Arabic.
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