Gaza

Palestinians in Gaza had hardly begun their “Great March of Return” campaign before Israel responded with a level of violence and brutality not seen for some time, writes Lisa Gleeson. Yet their protests continue.

What began as a protest in 1976 after a rash of land confiscations by Israel — met by Israel with the killing of six unarmed Palestinians — Land Day each March 30 is an annual focal point for Palestinian frustration at being forcibly displaced and unable to return home.

Israel’s massacre of peaceful protesters in Gaza on March 30, in which 18 people died and almost 1500 were injured, has spread outrage across the world.

At least 18 Palestinians have died in Gaza after Israeli forces opened fire on Friday, March 30 on a protest near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel. As many as 1700 Palestinians were wounded, with videos posted online showing unarmed Palestinians being shot in the back while taking part in a protest that day.

Faten Ahmed was a 26-year-old with a rare form of cancer. She died in August while awaiting an Israeli permit to travel for chemotherapy and radiotherapy not available in the Gaza Strip, which has been subjected to a crippling Israeli siege since 2007.

She had previously missed eight hospital appointments after Israeli “security approval” was delayed or denied, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Ahmed was one of five women who died from cancer in that month alone while waiting for Israeli permission that never came.

Every Friday for nearly a decade, the villagers of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank have gathered to walk across a road to a water spring.

The water spring has long been a part of Palestinian life, but the villagers of Nabi Saleh are prevented from accessing it by illegal Israeli settlers, who take more and more land every year.

As the water spring is now for settlers only, every Friday the soldiers prevent the villagers from walking across their own land to access what was their own water.

The decade-old Israeli blockade on Gaza has dramatically undermined the coastal strip’s agriculture sector.

The electricity crisis has exacerbated this problem. With electricity available for only three to four hours a day, most productive sectors in Gaza are debilitated to the point of paralysis.

Activists from Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance (WACA) blockaded the entrance to the office of Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems in Port Melbourne on July 7 as part of international week of action.

Sarah Ayoub was baking bread. She was putting a loaf into a clay oven when she heard the explosions.

That was on June 5, 1967, the day Israel declared war against Egypt.

As Israel’s tanks drew closer, Sarah grew increasingly worried about Munther, her husband. He had gone out to work, transporting goods along with a merchant.

After an hour passed, he made it back to their home in Beach refugee camp, part of Gaza City.

The Australian captain of a women-crewed boat, which tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza last month, firmly believes the mission was worthwhile.

“The Women’s Boat to Gaza managed to reignite the spotlight on Gaza and on the terrible conditions that the Gazan people suffer”, Madeline Habib told Green Left Weekly.

A flotilla bound for Gaza carrying food, medicine and other humanitarian aid was intercepted and seized by the Israeli Navy on October 5. The Women’s Boat to Gaza had set sail from the Spanish port city of Barcelona in mid-September in an effort to break the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza, Democracy Now! said on October 12.

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