Archbishop Atallah Hanna. Photo: al-Araby al-Jadeed. Israel arrested a prominent Palestinian Christian leader on June 27 during a demonstration in the Hebron area of the occupied West Bank.
Patrick O. Strickland
Sami Ziadna, who died as a result of excessive tear gas inhalation on Jaunary 18, was the 50th Palestinian citizen of Israel to be killed by Israeli police since October 2000. Then, as protests spread throughout Palestinian communities in Israel, 13 unarmed demonstrators were shot and killed by police officers in northern Galilee. About 1.7 million Palestinians carry Israeli citizenship, but dozens of discriminatory laws stifle their political expression and limit their access to state resources, including land and education.
The summer sun beat down on August 21 as thousands of Palestinians set out on a silent march in al-Rama, a Palestinian town in the northern Galilee region of present-day Israel, honouring the recently deceased poet and activist Samih al-Qasim. The 76-year-old al-Qasim, who battled cancer for three years, died late on August 19. Placards bearing verses of al-Qasim’s poetry and Palestinian flags bobbed above the marching crowd, which eventually arrived at the town’s main amphitheater. Al-Qasim’s relatives, prominent religious figures and politicians all spoke.
As a Palestinian political activist living in present-day Israel, Tareq Yassin, 23, has grown accustomed to racist intimidation and threats of violence. Yassin, secretary of the left-wing Hadash political party’s student wing at the University of Haifa, has been repeatedly targeted for his activism. Yet last month was the first time he was subjected to vigilante violence by right-wing Israelis.