What do Israel’s protests mean to Palestinians?

29 Mar

VIDEO REPORT by Al Jazeera English, 29 March 2023

Palestinians have been absent for much of Israel’s protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul plans. Zena Al Tahhan, Al Jazeera English’s digital correspondent in Jerusalem, explains that while the protesters see the judiciary as a balancing force to the government, Palestinians see it as a system which oppresses them.

Palestinians uphold traditional Ramadan rituals – despite the Occupation

23 Mar

By Wafa Aludaini, Gaza, 23 March 2023

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims from all corners of the globe come together to celebrate. Each country has its own traditional rituals. In Palestine, Ramadan is more than just a month of fasting and worship; the month is an important opportunity to connect with the stolen culture of Palestine’s ancestral heritage. Although the occupation’s restrictions and technology impact the normally festive atmosphere of the holy month, Palestinians still preserve the practices and traditions which make the celebrations uniquely Palestinian.

In the days leading up to the announcement that the month of Ramadan has commenced, Palestinians begin to prepare. Streets, mosques, homes are decorated with lanterns and lighting, and merchants prepare their shops with several kind of dates, sweets, pickles, juices and more. [See more photos from Gaza below]

Continue reading

VIDEO: Ramzy Baroud on the 20th anniversary of Israel’s murder of Rachel Corrie

18 Mar

VIDEO: Israel killed American peace activist Rachel Corrie 20 years ago. Before then and since then thousands of Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military in Occupied Palestine. This needs to stop 🛑

(Video recorded by Palestine Chronicle at a memorial event at Rachel’s former school, Evergreen College, Washington, 18 March 2023)

See also earlier KOG post: https://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2023/03/17/peace-activist-rachel-corrie-killed-by-israel-remembered-20-years-on/

Using the right language: The ‘Incremental Genocide’ of the Palestinians continues

17 Mar
A Palestinian woman examines damage caused by the Jewish settler pogrom in the town of Huwwara, in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: Oren Ziv, via ActiveStills.com)

By Ilan Pappe, the Palestine Chronicle, 17 March 2023

I am writing this op-ed on March 10, 2023. Seventy-five years ago, on this date, the military command of the Zionist leadership publicized Plan Dalet, or Plan D, which, among other guidelines, instructed the Zionist forces on their way to occupy hundreds of Palestinian villages and several towns and neighborhoods in historical Palestine, to carry out:

“Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously.

“Mounting search and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be destroyed and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.”

Similar guidelines were given to the urban areas. This was a softer version of the real commands that were given to the units on the ground. Here is one example of an order sent to a unit entrusted with occupying three large villages in Western Galilee as part of Plan D commands:

“Our Mission is to assault for the purpose of occupation…to kill the men, destroy and set fire to Kabri, Umm al-Faraj and An-Nahr”

So, there is nothing new when Bezalel Smotrich, the minister of finance of Israel calls for the erasure of Huwwara. He apologized because such comments were only meant to be said in Hebrew, but he forgot that this is 2023 and his words were immediately translated into English. Smotrich apologized because it was translated, not because he said it.

Continue reading

Peace activist Rachel Corrie, killed by Israel, remembered 20 years on

17 Mar

The American activist’s legacy of devotion to human rights lives on 20 years after she was killed by Israeli occupation forces while trying to defend a Palestinian home in Gaza from demolition.

Rachel’s parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, have visited the occupied Palestinian territories several times since their daughter's death and continue her peace work through the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.

Rachel’s parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, have visited the occupied Palestinian territories several times since their daughter’s death and continue her peace work through the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice. (Reuters Archive)

It has been 20 years since American peace activist Rachel Corrie was killed by Israeli occupation forces in southern Gaza as she tried to protect Palestinians from losing their homes to demolitions.

On March 16, 2003, two years before Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, Corrie acted as a human shield in hopes of stopping a bulldozer operated by Israeli forces from flattening a home in the Palestinian Rafah refugee camp.

Israeli forces operating the 60-tonne D9 bulldozer built by Caterpillar Inc continued moving toward Corrie as she stood her ground, running her over and leaving her crushed.

Continue reading

Ramzy Baroud at Adelaide Writers’ Week

9 Mar

Dr Ramzy Baroud, Palestinian author, at the Adelaide Writers Week event this week, on the centrality of international solidarity in the struggle for freedom in Palestine. (Video by the Palestine Chronicle, 9 March 2023.

Israeli forces kill six Palestinians in raid on Jenin

8 Mar

AlJazeera report, 8 March 2023

Israeli forces have killed at least six Palestinians and wounded 11 others during in a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, according to the Palestinian Authority’s health ministry.

Two of the wounded people had serious injuries, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.


Continue reading

Terror in Huwara: Israeli settler violence has no limit

7 Mar

Israeli settlers enjoy impunity when they commit crimes against the Palestinian people.

Israeli forces intervene Palestinians as Jewish settlers celebrate Sare Day in Hebron, West Bank on November 19, 2022. It’s reported the settlers made a scene and damaged Palestinians’ properties. [Photo by Anadolu Images.]

OPINIONBY YOUSEF M. ALJAMAL, Politics Today, 7 March 2023

When hundreds of Israeli settlers burned 15 Palestinian homes and 100 Palestinian cars in the West Bank’s town of Huwara near the city of Nablus on February 26, 2023, some analysts, government spokespeople, and political commentators expressed their shock at the magnitude of organized violence against Palestinians. Unfortunately, this violence comes as no surprise to the Palestinian people and has been building up for the years.

The town of Huwara has been repeatedly attacked by Israeli settlers and it has almost become the norm to read news about such attacks. What is different this time, however, is that formerly convicted settlers are now ministers in Netanyahu’s fragile coalition such as Itamar Ben-Gvir, who serves as Israel’s National Security Minister and who openly incites violence against the Palestinian people.

Continue reading

Solidarity with those effected by the earthquake

1 Mar

Coalition statements / By zohar, 25 February 2023.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) expresses solidarity with the victims of the recent earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria, including the large number of Palestinian refugees stuck in the quake zone.

Our hearts go out to those who have been affected by this disaster and we extend our sincerest condolences to those who have lost loved ones and are coping with extreme hardship.

The FFC calls on all organisations working to end the illegal blockade of Gaza to support organisations providing aid and relief.

We pay tribute to everyone involved in respectful relief efforts and delivery of humanitarian aid. As global citizens, it is our responsibility to stand in solidarity with those who are facing hardship and suffering. Let us show our support and compassion for the victims of the earthquake by coming together as a collective to offer whatever support we can.

[Kia Ora Gaza is a member of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. The FFC website: https://freedomflotilla.org -Ed]

‘Truth, no matter what’: Why watering down Palestinian reality is a crime

1 Mar
circa 1963: American civil rights leader Malcolm X (1925 - 1965) at an outdoor rally, probably in New York City. (Photo by Bob Parent/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

American civil rights leader Malcolm X (1925 – 1965) [Bob Parent/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

By Dr Ramzy Baroud, Middle East Monitor, 25 February 2023

On 20 February, the United Nations Security Council approved a statement, described in the media as a ‘watered-down’ version of an earlier draft resolution which would have demanded that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

The intrigues that led to the scrapping of what was meant to be a binding resolution will be the subject of a future article. For now, however, I would like to reflect on the fact that the so-called international community’s relationship with the Palestinian struggle has always attempted to ‘water down’ a horrific reality.

Continue reading

Tensions high in West Bank after deadly Israeli settler rampage

28 Feb

A Palestinian is shot and killed as settlers backed by the Israeli army burn dozens of houses and cars in the occupied West Bank in revenge attacks.

Loading video

By Al Jazeera Staff, 28 February 2023

Ramallah, occupied West Bank  Israeli settlers have carried out at least 300 attacks, including shootings and arson, in a rampage through Palestinian villages in the Nablus area of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials say, in what has been described as a “pogrom”.

A 37-year-old Palestinian man identified as Samih al-Aqtash was shot in the stomach on Sunday night by settlers protected by the Israeli army in the village of Zaatara south of Nablus. He died of his injuries. The father of five returned home five days ago after volunteering to help earthquake survivors in Turkey.

Settlers carried out the rampage shortly after a shooting by a Palestinian that killed two Israeli settlers in Huwara on Sunday [Shadi Jarar’ah/Al Jazeera]

At least 390 Palestinians were injured in the settler rampage across the villages of Huwara, Zaatara, Burin and Asira al-Qibliya – all south of Nablus, the Palestinian Red Crescent said, adding that the majority were wounded from tear gas fired by the Israeli army as well as smoke inhalation from widespread fires set by the settlers.


Continue reading

Solidarity Aid Convoy Sends Message: ‘Gaza is Not Alone’ (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

23 Feb

A delegation of the Miles of Smiles 41st solidarity aid convoy enters besieged Gaza. (Photo: Miles of Smiles, Supplied)

By Roger Fowler, The Palestine Chronicle, 23 February 2023

A delegation of the Miles of Smiles 41st solidarity aid convoy recently entered Gaza to deliver over $US200,000 of much-needed medical supplies, including  250 new wheelchairs and walking frames, a range of crucial medical equipment, including monitors and defibrillators, and special equipment for people with disabilities.

This humanitarian convoy, hailed as an ‘important breakthrough’, is the first international civil society delegation to breach Israel’s illegal siege of the war-ravaged Gaza Strip via Egypt for many years.

Israel’s tight 15-year siege and naval blockade has resulted in a dire scarcity of vital medical equipment and other goods. Gaza’s Ministry of Health will distribute the convoy’s supplies to health agencies throughout the impoverished enclave. 

The Miles of Smiles 41st convoy has been organized in partnership with Turkiye-based Medics Worldwide, and supported by donor organizations in many countries including Algeria, Malaysia, Turkey, UK and Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Convoy delegates, led by Dr Essam Youssef, visited many services in the Strip last weekend, including the Benevolent Society for People with Disabilities in Gaza City.

As shown in the video below, Dr Essam viewed the society’s ambulance for disabled patients, which is one of 37 new ambulances delivered by the Miles of Smiles medical aid convoy to besieged Gaza in November 2021.

This specialized ambulance was sponsored by several Freedom Flotilla Coalition campaigns, included those in Canada, USA, Norway, South Africa and Aotearoa/New Zealand (Kia Ora Gaza).

Kia Ora Gaza, which also raised $NZ10,000 towards the current MoS convoy, stated that “the practical humanitarian responses of the international solidarity convoys and freedom flotillas are important components of the growing global movement to support the Palestinian struggle for human rights and to end Israel’s attacks and occupation of Palestine, and their illegal blockade of Gaza.”

Head of the convoy, Dr Essam Youssef, said in a press conference after crossing into Gaza last week, that the campaign seeks to express solidarity with the besieged people of Gaza.

“Our message is: Gaza is not alone,” Youssef said.

(All Photos: Miles of Smiles, Supplied)

Link to Palestine Chronicle post:


– Roger Fowler is the coordinator of Kia Ora Gaza (Aotearoa New Zealand), a member of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. Website: kiaoragaza.net He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Palestinian/US comedian is coming to Auckland

22 Feb

One NZ show only: 7pm Tuesday 28 February – Get your tickets here: http://www.amerzahr.com

Hosted by Palestinian Youth Aotearoa

VIDEO: Gaza solidarity convoy visits the ambulance sponsored by Freedom Flotilla campaigns

19 Feb

VIDEO REPORT: Gaza City, 19 February 2023

Dr Essam Youssef, leader of the 41st Miles of Smiles solidarity convoy currently in the Gaza Strip, visited the Benevolent Society for People with Disabilities in Gaza City yesterday.

As shown in the above video, Dr Essam viewed the society’s specialised ambulance for patients, that was sponsored by Freedom Flotilla campaigns – one of 37 new ambulances delivered by the Miles of Smiles international aid convoy to besieged Gaza in November 2021.

The current Miles of Smiles aid convoy, now in Gaza, has delivered 250 new wheelchairs and walking frames, a range of much-needed medical equipment, including monitors and defibrillators, and special equipment for people with disabilities. Gaza’s Ministry of Health is distributing these items to health agencies throughout the enclave. Kia Ora Gaza raised $10,000 towards this project.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition campaigns that sponsored the Gaza Benevolent Society ambulance included those in Canada, USA, Norway, South Africa and Aotearoa/New Zealand (Kia Ora Gaza).

Link to a post about the 2021 Miles of Smiles ambulance convoy:


International solidarity convoys and freedom flotillas are important components of the growing global movement to support the Palestinian struggle for human rights, and build humanitarian and practical responses to end Israeli attacks and occupation of Palestine and illegal 15 year blockade of Gaza.

Medical aid convoy arrives in Gaza

16 Feb

Our message is: Gaza is not alone’

A warm welcome for the convoy team at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt today.

Sally Ibrahim, Gaza, The New Arab, 16 February, 2023

Speaking to The New Arab, Ghazi Hamad, the undersecretary of [Gaza’s] Ministry of Social Development, said that the medical convoy came after two years of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dubbed, the “41 Miles of Smiles,” the aid campaign includes medical equipment, medicines, devices, and aid for people with disabilities. [Kia Ora Gaza is one of the convoy’s international donors. See previous post. Ed]

The impoverished coastal enclave received a medical aid convoy on Wednesday that crossed through the Rafah border crossing, the only gate linking the Gaza Strip with the world through Egypt.

[Hamad] added that the convoy aims to alleviate part of the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza due to the “illegal” Israeli blockade.

Called the “41 Miles of Smiles”, the aid campaign includes medical equipment, medicines, devices, and aid for people with disabilities, according to Hamad.

For over 16 years, Israel imposed a land, air, and sea blockade on the coastal enclave after the Islamic Hamas movement, which won the legislative elections in 2006, seized the territory.

Since then, Israeli authorities denied entry into Gaza of various essential goods under the pretext that they have “dual” [civilian and military] capabilities; these include goods like building materials, specific medical equipment and agricultural tools.

To break the Israeli blockade on the medical sector, pro-Palestinian Arab and foreign activists launched a medical aid convoy in 2009 to deliver needed healthcare supplies to the Gaza Strip.

For his part, the head of the campaign, Issam Youssef, said in a press conference after crossing into Gaza today that the campaign seeks to express solidarity with the besieged people of Gaza.

“Our message is: Gaza is not alone,” Youssef said.

He added that “a six-member relief delegation plan to visit the impoverished coastal enclave soon.”

Ghazi Hamad, the undersecretary of Gaza’s Ministry of Social Development welcomes Miles of Smiles convoy leader Dr Essam Youssef, at the Rafah border crossing.
Ghazi Hamad, representing Gaza’s Ministry of Social Development, welcomes members of the Miles of Smiles aid convoy to Gaza.

Photos supplied by Miles of Smiles

[Slightly abridged]


Gaza medics protest Israel controls on medical imports

International solidarity convoy prepares to deliver medical aid to besieged Gaza

15 Feb
Humanitarian aid workers in Egypt today with a Kia Ora Gaza banner and some of the wheelchairs bound for besieged Gaza.

An international solidarity convoy is currently preparing to travel from Cairo to Gaza to deliver a consignment of urgently needed medical aid.

Headed by a small delegation from Miles of Smiles and Medics Worldwide, the aid convoy will be the first civilian humanitarian group to breach Israel’s illegal blockade of the war-ravaged Gaza Strip since Covid restrictions were applied in 2020.

A variety of crucial medical and disability supplies worth over $US200,000, including over 250 new wheelchairs and walking frames, have been sponsored by organisations in countries from around the world such as Algeria, Malaysia, Turkey, United Kingdom and Aotearoa/New Zealand. The aid will be delivered to the Ministry of Health in Gaza to be distributed to health agencies.

Kia Ora Gaza raised $10,000 towards this project from supporters throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Kia Ora Gaza and several Freedom Flotilla campaigns also sponsored an ambulance on the Miles of Smiles convoy of 37 new ambulances that reached Gaza in 2021.

Kia Ora Gaza banner in the convoy compound in Cairo
Miles of Smiles convoy leader Khalid Al-Yousef organises the medical aid in a compound in Cairo
Wheelchairs bound for besieged Gaza
Logos of the main international organisations supporting the solidarity convoy to Gaza

Israeli Navy attacks Palestinian fishing boats in northern Gaza

14 Feb

International Middle East Media Centre, 14 February 2023

On Monday evening, Israeli navy ships attacked Palestinian fishing boats with live fire and gas bombs near the shores of the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

Media sources said the navy attacked the boats near the shores of the Al-Waha, As-Sudaniyya, and Beit Lahia by firing many live rounds, high-velocity gas bombs, and flares, forcing them to leave.

The attacks did not lead to casualties but forced the fishermen to return to the shore without being able to fish to provide for their families.

On Monday dawn, the Israeli army fired many missiles and shells, targeting several areas in the northern and southern parts of the Gaza Strip, and alleged it was “retaliating to a shell fired from Gaza.”

The attacks are part of constant Israeli violations against the Palestinians, especially the fishermen, farmers, shepherds, and workers in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip, and resulted in dozens of casualties, including fatalities, in addition to severe property damage and the confiscation of many boats after abducting the fishermen.

In March of 2021, the Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza said Israeli mines were responsible for an explosion that led to the death of three fishermen.

Link to original post: https://imemc.org/article/israeli-navy-attacks-palestinian-fishing-boats-in-northern-gaza-11/

Superfund investments in Palestinian oppression soar – PSNA demands govt action

12 Feb
Free Palestine campaigners’ earlier picket outside NZ Superfund office in Auckland [Photo: Kia Ora Gaza]

PSNA Statement, 12 February 2023

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta demanding the government direct the New Zealand Superfund to end investments in Israel’s brutal oppression of Palestinians.

“The Superfund must withdraw its investments in the 112 companies identified by the United Nations Human Rights Council as complicit in the building and maintenance of illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land”, says PSNA National Chair, John Minto.

Continue reading

Palestinian NGO Network calls for serious pressure to end the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip

2 Feb

Palestinians gather at the Unknown Soldier’s Square to protest the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Gaza Strip [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Non-Government Organisations Network (PNGO) statement, 2 February 2023.

The Palestinian Non-Government Organisations Network (PNGO) warns of the serious repercussions of the continued deterioration of the economic, social, and humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip as a result of the continued Israeli blockade for the sixteenth year in a row. The Humanitarian Response Plan for 2023 launched by the United Nations and its local and international partners stressed the need for more than $500 million to cover the humanitarian needs in the occupied Palestinian territory and to allocate more than 70% of it to the Gaza Strip.

Continue reading

Gaza patients at grave risk as Israel bans diagnostic medical equipment

2 Feb
Palestinian medics in Gaza staged a protest of ambulances along the boundary fence with Israel recently. [Arab News video]

‘Slow death’: Gaza’s health workers protest Israeli blockade

The Palestinian health ministry says Israeli import restrictions on medical equipment are putting people’s lives at risk.

Amid increasing tensions in the occupied West Bank and Israel, health workers in Gaza have been fighting their own struggle to procure vital medical equipment for hospitals in the beleaguered coastal territory.

[Recently] a convoy of about 25 ambulances from Gaza drove along the Israeli border to protest import restrictions on medical equipment that the Palestinian health ministry says are crippling hospitals in Gaza.

Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Asraf al-Qudra calls for ‘direct pressure on the Israeli occupation’ to end the restrictions on the import of medical supplies to besieged Gaza. [Middle East Eye video]

“Preventing the entry of medical devices means the slow death of Gaza patients,” read a banner on one of the ambulances in the convoy. “Medical equipment is crumbling,” another said.

Continue reading
%d bloggers like this: