Stories from Quick Reads and Palestine
Palestinian Sayel tweets to his 1,800 plus followers on Twitter the following photograph of Gazans planting flowers in Israeli shells. He notes:
— صايل (@Falestinianism) July 26, 2014
Today is Day 19 of an Israeli offensive on the Palestinian enclave, which has claimed the lives of at least 1,000 Palestinians and injured 6,000 others.
CrowdVoice, a user-powered service that tracks voices of protest from around the world, lists a timeline of Israeli air attacks on Gaza in 2014. Here's an excerpt from their “explore the backstory” section:
A series of abductions and murders has inflamed age-old tensions and sparked armed unrest in Gaza. It began on May 15, 2014, when two Palestinian youths were shot dead during clashes with Israeli security forces during a demonstration in the West Bank. Outrage grew when video footage of the killings emerged, showing that the unarmed teens were shot with live ammunition, despite Israeli assertions that only non-lethal munitions were used against protesters. Later, on June 12, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped as they hitchhiked home from the West Bank. An Israeli military operation was launched to find the missing teens, and on June 30, their bodies were recovered. The government of Israel has blamed Hamas for the murders, and vowed swift retaliation. Hamas praised the kidnapping, but did not claim responsibility. In an apparent act of retribution, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, aged 16, was abducted near his home on his way to morning prayers and burned alive. Israeli authorities have arrested six people in connection with the teen's death. Tensions from the murders have boiled over into indiscriminate Palestinian rocket attacks into Israeli territory, and relentless aerial bombardment of Gaza.
Palestinian Al Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, unveiled three models of unmanned drones today, which it said it flew into Israeli skies.
Journalist Dima Khatib tweets:
— Dima Khatib أنا ديمة (@Dima_Khatib) July 14, 2014
The drones, made in Palestine, are called Ababil – after a type of birds mentioned in the Holy Quran, which protected Mecca during a war with Yemen in the year 571.
Gaza-based blogger Jehan Alfarra exclaims:
— Jehan Alfarra (@palinoia) July 14, 2014
Sixteen international authors who participated at the Palestine Festival of Literature, held from in several Palestinian cities from May 31 to June 5, released a statement condemning Israel's continued settlement construction and applauding the efforts of the Boycott Divest and Sanction (BDS) campaign. The statement, shared on Facebook, reads:
“Having personally witnessed the injustice visited upon the Palestinian people in the territories occupied by Israel, it is with the utmost sadness and dismay that we – the undersigned international authors and artists – note Benjamin Netanyahu's approval this week of yet another 1,500 new illegal settlements units in the West Bank. This is particularly unfortunate at a moment when the Palestinians have formed a unity government that has been recognized by the international community.
Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories have long since been pronounced illegal by international law. The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is itself illegal, and declared so by the international community through various UN resolutions.
Additional settlements can be seen only as an act of aggression, showing utter disregard not just for the human and civil rights of the Palestinian people, but for international law.
We applaud the non-violent efforts of the BDS campaign (www.bdsmovement.net) and express our solidarity with its demand that Israel should comply with the precepts of international law by:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab land and dismantling the Wall
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
We thus call for the Israeli Government to respect international law and reverse the approval of the thousand plus additional settlements units in the West Bank.
We furthermore call on the International Community to work to induce Israel to uphold basic principles of international law.
Sharif Abdel Khouddous
6th of June 2014.”
From Gaza, Palestine, Mohammed Al-Agha tweets:
— Mohammed Al- Agha (@MZa_94) December 11, 2013
He continues [ar]:
الزلمة اللي بطلع يجيب الكهربا شكله ماخد إجازة ؟ حنطبق ال24 ساعة كمان شوية . #الحكومة_تخاف_على_صحة_موظفيها
— Mohammed Al- Agha (@MZa_94) December 11, 2013
It seems that the person responsible for providing electricity is on leave. We will soon complete 24 hours without electricity. The government is concerned with the welfare of its employees
From outer space, astronaut Alexander Gerst watches as Gaza erupts in flames. He tweets:
— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) July 23, 2014
This photograph has been retweeted 33K times so far.
Marcelino Torrecilla N. has started a series in Spanish called Stories from Gaza. The first installment by this United Arabe Emirates based Colombian was published on El Tiempo of Bogotá and tells a story of two Gulf News journalists in Abu Dhabi.
Taking pictures in the Gulf is challenging and even when trying to take pictures of women. But Palestinians are used to be photographed. The media are friends of the Palestinians and they know that. as Torrecilla translates:
In Gaza it is very different. With one of the highest concentrations of media in the world, the people of Gaza are used to being photographed. Not only this, but they welcome the eyes of the world. The Palestinians don't have an army to fight with. They have the rocks they throw at Israeli soldiers and they have their tears.
For more stories about the Gaza Strip in Spanish told by an eye witness, follow Marcelino Torrecilla's updates on Twitter.
More than 100 Palestinians, many of whom were women and children, were killed since Israel launched Operation Defense Edge against Gaza last week
At +972, Michael Omer-Man lists their names in this post entitled “Nobody should be a number: Names of those killed in Gaza.”
No Israelis have been killed in the operation. Teju Cole comments:
A hundred have died, on one side.
— Teju Cole (@tejucole) July 11, 2014
What happens when a Palestinian is “discovered” on a train in Israel? They send him back home with the message, “Go to your people and tell them that we want peace.” Read Hamze Awawde's inspiring account here.
In a video released in July 2011, Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon offered his version of the “Israel Palestinian Conflict: The Truth About the West Bank”. In the video he explained the meaning of terms such as Palestine, the West Bank and the Occupied Territories based on the official Israeli narrative that denies the existence of Palestine. In response, on November 6, 2013, two Palestinian young women react to Ayalon with historic facts and sources, from Herodote and Aristotle to Ariel Sharon´s birth certificate that identifies him as born in Palestine.