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The killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

20 May

VIDEO REPORT: One week after the Palestinian-American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, was shot dead, what do we know about what happened? And why did her work at Al Jazeera mean so much to so many? #AJStartHere with Sandra Gathmann explains. [Al Jazeera, 19 May 2022]

Palestinian rights group challenges Wellington Mayor & Ministry of Foreign Affairs

19 May

Pro-Palestine activists project images on Te Papa museum in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. (Photo: Supplied)

By Neil Ballantyne, Palestine Chronicle, 18 May 2022

A Palestinian rights organization in Aotearoa New Zealand has challenged Mayor Andy Foster of Wellington City Council for his refusal to light up a local council building in the colors of the Palestinian flag.

DomPost front page. #Wellington Mayor Andy Foster vetoed a plan to light up the Michael Fowler Centre in the colours of the #Palestinianflag after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade expressed concerns about Israeli sensitivities. (Twitter post)

Councillor Tamatha Paul, a Wellington city councilor and supporter of Palestinian rights, arranged for the Michael Fowler Centre, a concert hall in the capital city, to be lit in the colors of the Palestinian flag to mark Nakba Day and as a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

In an unorthodox approach to a local issue, Mayor Foster took advice from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) who strongly urged him to cancel the arrangement as it “could be construed as state recognition” of Palestine, and was reported as advising this “could result in complaints from the Israeli ambassador and other Israeli groups”.

Councillor Paul, commenting on the fact that the council building had previously been lit in the colors of the Ukrainian flag said, “We are more than comfortable to recognize injustices in Ukraine, but we are reluctant to show solidarity with Palestine”.

The human rights organization Justice for Palestine responded defiantly by organizing a guerrilla projection on the walls of Te Papa, Wellington’s national museum. The projection included images of the Palestinian flag and of the slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

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The imperial curse that continues to haunt the Middle East

16 May
Renowned AlJazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed while reporting on an Israeli military raid on the Jenni refugee camp in occupied West Bank last week.

By Donna Miles, Dominion Post and Stuff, 16 May 2022

Donna Miles is an Iranian-Kiwi columnist and writer based in Christchurch.

OPINION: As I sat down last Wednesday evening to jot down ideas for this column, news came that veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a household name in the Arab world, had been fatally shot.

Al Jazeera has accused Israel of “deliberately targeting and killing” Abu Akleh, who was wearing a clearly marked press vest. She was reporting on a military raid of Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

The killing of Abu Akleh bubbled up lots of emotions in me. Those of us who come from the Middle East know only too well that much of our history, and the everyday violence that happens there, are shaped by imperial interests.

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Debunking Israeli Myths about the Nakba:

16 May

Denial Does Not Overwrite History

The Nakba continues today with Palestinian families still scattered across the globe, with most Palestinian families not having met in a single place since 1948.

Palestinian Mahmud Ebu Diyb (81), who witnessed “Nakba” meaning “catastrophe” in Arabic, to refer to 1948 expulsions by Zionist gangs in historical Palestine, holds a key to his house in Bi’r Muin town, which he and his family were forced to leave, in Beni Suheyla al-Rifaiyye town of Gaza City, Gaza on May 12, 2020. [Photo by Ali Jadallah. Anadolu Images.]

By Yousef Aljamal, Politics Today, 16 May 2022

The Palestinian mass displacement in 1948 known as the Catastrophe, or Nakba, which proceeded the creation of the state of Israel after Zionist forces depopulated 532 Palestinian villages and carried out dozens of massacres, continues to be denied by Israel today.

For the founders of Israel, these massacres and forcing between 750,000 to one million Palestinian refugees out was merely a process that happened when “the war broke out” between the Palestinians and forces from seven Arab countries, on one side, and Jewish militias, on the other. In this article, I present and debunk a number of myths about the Israeli narrative of the Nakba events and the creation of Israel.

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Why no accountability, but impunity for Israel’s crimes?

15 May

The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah spoke to Al Jazeera English on 12 May about the killing of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh. How countries, especially the United States and European Union states, contributed to her death because they guarantee Israel’s impunity.

Aotearoa rallies for Palestine

14 May

Details of Nakba Day protests tomorrow – Sunday 15 May

Rallies and protests around the country will take place tomorrow to mark Nakba Day (Nakba is Arabic for “catastrophe”) which remembers the ethnic cleansing of up to a million Palestinians from their land and homes by Israeli militias in 1948.  

 This ethnic cleansing has continued every day since. Within the last two weeks an Israeli court has given the go ahead for further ethnic cleansing and the continuing building of illegal Jewish-only settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

 The protest will also focus on this week’s murder of Shireen Abu Akleh and the barely believable attack on pall-bearers and mourners at her funeral yesterday.

The New Zealand government is complicit in this murder and mayhem against Palestinians through their wall of silence.

Auckland: Aotea Square at 2pm. Facebook event page here

New Plymouth: Puke Ariki Landing 2pm to 3pm. Facebook event page here

Christchurch: Bridge of Remembrance 12 noon, Facebook event page here

Christchurch speakers include:

Palestinian students Shams Elhanafy and Rawaa Elhanafy

Anglican Bishop of Christchurch Peter Carroll

Press columnist Donna Miles-Mojab

Christchurch Central MP Duncan Webb

 A minute’s silence will be held for Shireen Abu Akleh and everyone who has been killed in the struggle for Palestinian human rights this year.

Protests in Nelson and Napier are taking place today and the Dunedin protest took place last weekend.

In Wellington Justice for Palestine is holding a Palestinian cultural event at the Thistle Hall in Cuba Street from 1pm to 3pm. Further details on the poster below. Facebook event is here

Video: Israeli forces attack funeral procession for Shireen Abu Akleh

14 May

‘This is an Israeli War on the Truth’

12 May

Palestine Chronicle statement on the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh

Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces in Jenin. (Photo. Abu Akleh FB Page)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff, Palestine Chronicle, 12 May 2022

The murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli occupation forces is another Israeli crime where journalists are shot in broad daylight. Shireen, 51, is a Palestinian from Jerusalem and is a long-time correspondent for Al Jazeera news network. 

Shireen was known for her courageous and accurate reporting. She was as principled as she was professional.

VIDEO: Palestine Deep Dive interviews Dr Ramzy Baroud on the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh. 12 May 2022
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Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh assassinated by Israeli occupation forces in Jenin

11 May

Samidoun, Palestine, 11 May 2022

Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, a prominent reporter for Al Jazeera who has been one of the most well-known faces conveying the current situation in Palestine in Arabic-language media for over 20 years, was shot dead in the early morning hours of Wednesday, 11 May by Israeli occupation forces invading Jenin. She was shot in the head as she wore her “Press” vest, sparking outrage at her murder and at the systematic attacks directed against Palestinian journalists.

Al Jazeera report on the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh today.

The assassination of Abu Aqleh drew comparisons to the killing of Palestinian journalist Yasser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein in Gaza during the Great March of Return in 2018, as well as the 50 Palestinian journalists killed since 2000 by the Israeli occupation. There are also dozens of Palestinian journalists held behind occupation bars, including Bushra al-Tawil, jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention. Abu Aqleh was a fixture on Al Jazeera, famed throughout the Arab region for her reporting of four wars on Gaza, the Israeli war on Lebanon, and the ongoing Palestinian liberation struggle. On many occasions, she covered the stories of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners, their families, their lives and their resistance. Indeed, her final tweet reported on the death of the mother of one of the longest-serving Palestinian prisoners, Karim Younes, only eight months before his scheduled release:

She joins a long line of Palestinian martyrs whose lives have been taken by a colonial force attempting its futile effort to defeat the Palestinian people. Her legacy, like that of all of the martyrs of Palestine, must inspire all to organize, struggle and resist for the liberation of Palestine, its prisoners and its people, and to turn our eyes to Jenin, a daily site of assassinations, extrajudicial killings, armed raids, home demolitions and relentless occupation assaults — and a daily site of an undaunted and undefeated resistance that continues to struggle for justice and freedom, to defend the land and people from colonial aggression.

We urge all to salute the martyrs of Palestine and their aspirations by joining the marches and rallies for Palestine around the world marking the 74th commemoration of the Nakba, the Day of Palestinian Struggle, and the ongoing movement for liberation and return. See the list of actions here.

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Samidoun is the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

Whose Turn to Die? – One Year after Israel’s War on Gaza (Photo Essay)

11 May

The abandoned residential building adjacent to the non-existing Hanadi tower is seen through a window of a trailer used to guard the premises. (Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Mahmoud Nasser, Gaza, Palestine Chronicle, 11 May 2022

Anniversaries are not necessarily always associated with fear. But in the case of Palestine, this is different as some of these anniversaries are associated with war. 

Over the past 14 years, Israel has launched four large-scale military offensives targeting the besieged Gaza Strip. Each war was equally horrific, equally destructive.

May 10 marks the first anniversary of the latest Israeli war on Gaza, dubbed by Israel as Guardian of the Walls and by Palestinians as The Sword of Jerusalem.

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Rally for Palestine this weekend

10 May

Sunday May 15 is Nakba Day – this is the day marking the ethnic cleansing of over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and off their land by Israeli militias in 1948.

For 74 years Israel has refused to allow them to return to their homes and land in Palestine despite dozens of United National resolutions requiring them to do so.

The Nakba has continued every day since 1948 as Israel seizes more Palestinian land and creates more Palestinian refugees every day.

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa are holding Nakba Day rallys around the country – see above poster for details.
Please remember to wear a mask, or kaffiyeh!Check out PSNA Facebook events page for events throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand here.

In Wellington Justice for Palestine is holding a Palestinian cultural event at the Thistle Hall in Cuba Street from 1pm to 3pm on Sunday. Further details on the poster below. Register for attendance here. Facebook event is here

Sign this Petition:

Call on the Aotearoa New Zealand government to condemn Israeli aggression against peaceful Palestinian worshippers and protestors in Al Aqsa Mosque

Watch: Inside Israeli Apartheid

(Video: duration 22 mins) Learn what Apartheid means and how it applies to Israel’s control over Palestinian lives whether located inside Israel, the occupied Palestinian territory, or the Palestinian diaspora.

Video: Inside Israeli Apartheid

9 May

BY YUMNA PATEL, Mondoweiss, 7 May 2022

For decades Palestinians have accused Israel of the crime of Apartheid, imposing two different systems on the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea: one system that that privileges Jews, and another that discriminates against Palestinians. Now, the rest of the world is catching up.

In this 22-minute video, Palestinian human rights experts break down what Apartheid means, and how it applies to Israel’s control over Palestinians, while ordinary Palestinian citizens of Israel, residents of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, and to refugees in the diaspora taking us inside their homes and towns, and tell us what it’s like being a Palestinian living under Israeli rule.

This is a look Inside Israeli Apartheid.

A Mondoweiss production, produced & presented by Yumna Patel. Filmed by Palestine Productions. Illustrations by Dahlia Attoui. Duration: 22 minutes.

Premiered on 6 May 2022.

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A selective concern for human rights

6 May
A Palestinian refugee in 1948. Its people have been subject to an occupation for the past 74 years. Photo: Getty Images
A Palestinian refugee in 1948. Its people have been subject to an occupation for the past 74 years. [Photo: Getty Images]

Richard Jackson and John Hobbs, Newsroom, 6 May 2022

New Zealand has made a concerted effort to support the Ukrainian people. But Richard Jackson and John Hobbs ask why Ukraine, and not other situations where the application of the rule of law is equally urgent? 

That New Zealand has taken proactive steps and played its part in putting pressure on Russia to reverse its course, as much as a small state might do, is admirable given the horrific events unfolding in Ukraine.

New Zealand has passed legislation targeting Russian individuals, placed tariffs on Russian imports, provided military and intelligence support to its Western allies, and provided financial support to the Office of the Human Rights High Commissioner, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court (ICC). It is one of a number of states requesting that the ICC consider the atrocities against civilians in Ukraine as war crimes.

In justifying these measures, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that the New Zealand Government is motivated by its values and rightly argues that the rule of law be applied to those who ignore it, in this case Russia. She also argues that this is the right thing to do, as it aids stability in the region.

While some might question the extent to which such measures genuinely promote stability, few would question that New Zealand has made a concerted effort to support the Ukrainian people.

However, this country’s spirited response does beg the question of why Ukraine, and not other situations where the application of the rule of law is equally urgent. The large-scale human suffering in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Western Sahara and Palestine are equally pressing but have never been given anything like the attention given to Ukraine now.

The issue of Palestine is particularly pertinent. Its people have been subject to a harsh and illegal occupation for the past 74 years, along with military rule, land confiscations, home demolitions, invasive search procedures, occupation walls and fences, military assaults, restrictions on movement, and almost daily killings by Israeli settlers and the Israeli Defence Force.

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Video: Rapper Lowkey talks with Ramzy Baroud

24 Apr

Jerusalem: Al-Aqsa In The Snipers Scope w/ Lowkey & Dr. Ramzy Baroud, 22 April 2022

Video/podcast: UK activist rapper Lowkey is joined by Palestinian/US author Dr. Ramzy Baroud to discuss the latest Israeli attacks against al-Aqsa mosque and worshippers, the Temple Movement, media coverage and the hypocrisy of Arab countries’ responses to Israeli crimes who have made peace agreements with Israel.

Published by MintPressNews.

Petition to NZ government:

22 Apr
Condemn Israeli aggression against peaceful Palestinian worshippers and protestors in Al Aqsa Mosque

Condemn Israeli aggression against peaceful Palestinian worshippers and protestors in Al Aqsa Mosque


Click on the above box. Campaign created by Palestinians in Aotearoa Coordination Committee

We call on the New Zealand Government to condemn the recent Israeli aggression against peaceful Palestinian worshippers and protestors in Al Aqsa Mosque.

Why is this important?

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‘Our Vision for Liberation’ reviewed by Lois Griffiths

22 Apr


Book review by Lois Griffiths, The Daily Blog, 22 April 2022

OUR VISION FOR LIBERATION is a fascinating book, a beautiful book, a real treasure. Twenty-seven Palestinians, distinguished in a variety of fields, tell their narratives: who they are, what it means to be Palestinian, their efforts to keep alive knowledge of the past, and to maintain and grow their cultural heritage.

Being given the opportunity to contribute to this book has allowed the writers to say to the outside world and to Palestinian youths that, inspite of discouragingly unhelpful political leadership, freedom and liberation will come.

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Another Ramadan attack on Gaza

20 Apr
Flames rise during Israeli air strikes in the southern Gaza Strip, April 19, 2022. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Flames rise during Israeli air strikes in the southern Gaza Strip, April 19, 2022. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

BY TAREQ S. HAJJAJ, Gaza, Mondoweiss, 20 April 2022

Mothers checked on their sons and told them to stay home Monday night in Gaza as the sound of Israeli warplanes spread terror across the sky. 

After the warplanes arrived so did photos on Facebook showing people protecting their windows from breaking from the sound of bombs, as others started telling their friends the safety steps to take during wars. In Gaza, we link the holy month of Ramadan with the two devastating wars that have happened during that month. Even when nothing happens every valuable and pleasurable moment is scarred by the memories of recent years.

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Invitation to join this live webinar on Saturday

14 Apr

To join the webinar, click:
Webinar ID: 840 7133
Live Streaming on:

Note Aotearoa/NZ time: 6pm Saturday 16 April

Webinar includes book launch of ‘Our Vision for Liberation’: These twenty-nine different accounts tell the story of the many faces of the Palestinian struggle for liberation. The stories jointly narrate an incredible tale of trauma, resilience, resurgence, struggle and redemption against all odds. From the beginning of the Zionist project, the Palestinians faced a formidable coalition that supported the colonization of their homeland and their dispossession later on.

Men and women, from inside and outside of the homeland, young and old, are presented. The impact of the 1948 catastrophe on their lives is the beginning. Their way coping with the trauma but not allowing it to define them – by rebuilding their lives combining personal ambitions of career and interest with full commitment for the liberation of Palestine. They share a vision of liberation and are a testimony that the struggle will continue relentlessly until liberation comes.

Israel kills lawyer & labourer as military ramps up aggression

14 Apr

Palestinians protest against the Israeli invasion of the West Bank city of Nablus on 13 April 2022.

By Tamara Nassar, Electronic Intifada, 14 April 2022

The Israeli military has killed two Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Israel in under 48 hours.

A Palestinian lawyer was killed by Israeli occupation forces during a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday morning while dropping his three nephews off to school.

Muhammad Hasan Assaf was fatally shot in the chest, making him the 12th Palestinian killed by Israeli fire since the beginning of the month.

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Ahmad Al-Manasra: A Palestinian child who grew up behind Israeli bars

13 Apr

Israeli prisons, where Palestinian prisoners are held, lack the minimum standards of human dignity.

Ahmad Al-Manasra is escorted by Israeli security during a hearing at a Jerusalem court on October 30, 2015. (Photo by Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images.)

By Yousef M. Aljamal, Politics Today, 13 April 2022

A video of an Israeli interrogator violently interrogating then 13-year-old Palestinian child prisoner Ahmad Al-Manasra went viral in November 2015. In the video, Al-Manasra repeatedly told his Israeli interrogator that he couldn’t remember as his interrogator screamed at him, accusing him of not telling the truth. Ahmad was referring to the day his cousin Hassan, 15, was killed in Jerusalem, and he himself was injured and left to bleed on the ground after being run over by an Israeli car.

The ramming attack took place after Israeli settlers accused both Ahmad and Hassan of attempting to carry out a knife-stabbing attack. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers cursed him, damning him to death, and the Israeli police—as seen in videos of the incident—kept watching.

The issue of Palestinian prisoners impacts every single Palestinian family, with nearly a million Palestinians arrested by Israel since 1967. By the end of February 2022, 4,400 Palestinians have been arrested by Israel, of whom 160 are children and 33 women, while 490 have been placed under administrative detention without a charge or trial.

A separate military judicial system

The Israeli occupation authorities have a separate military judicial system before which Palestinians are brought to court, unlike Israelis who live in the same area in illegal settlements in the West Bank. Palestinians brought before military courts are handed tough sentences and their conviction rates are extremely high. Since Israeli law does not allow convicting children below 14, the Israeli authorities waited for Al-Manasra to turn 14 before convicting him, handing him a sentence of 12 years. Al-Manasra’s sentence was later reduced to 9.5 years.

Following much physical and psychosocial violence, Al-Manasra’s mental health has deteriorated significantly—a process that only got worse when he was placed in solitary confinement. The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has isolated Al-Manasra since November 2021, claiming that his mental health is not stable and putting him with other inmates might cause harm to them!

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