Palestinian youth defiant despite retaliation, mass arrests

Hundreds of Palestinians have been arrested in retaliation for the May 2021 uprising across Palestine, including prominent twin activists Muna and Muhammed al-Kurd. Now 23, they have have documented Zionist aggression in Palestine since childhood.

The two activists again showed the world the true face of the occupation with their viral videos of the struggle against Israeli occupation in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The video caught Jacob Fauci — a Long Island, N.Y., resident and Trump supporter — saying of the al-Kurd family house where he’s been squatting since 2009, “If I don’t take it, somebody else will.”

Nabil al-Kurd, the twins’ 77-year-old father, said, “Israel will not be satisfied until it kicks me out of the house I’ve lived in almost my entire life.”

Palestinian mass protest

After the mid-May settler incursions into Sheikh Jarrah and mob attacks on Muslim worshippers at Al-Aqsa mosque in Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Palestinians have engaged in mass protests, work stoppages and armed resistance. They are using every method at their disposal to fight the occupation of their homeland. 

Israeli military forces bludgeoned Palestinian resistance in Gaza with pulverizing bombardments. But military strikes coordinated by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), as well as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), have exposed weaknesses in the Israeli occupation’s ability to shut down targets that actually return fire.

Palestinian fighters, unlike the Israeli military and armed settler death squads, honored the subsequent May 21 ceasefire. But since the “ceasefire” was announced, white mobs have attacked Muslims at Al-Aqsa, while Israeli police have shot and killed a number of Palestinians.

Mass arrests, mass resistance

Israeli occupation forces have rounded up hundreds of young activists, many seized without any charges. The activists remain defiant. 

Across social media, many videos can be seen of young Palestinians rolling their eyes as handcuffs are slammed over their wrists. Children righteously smile in the angrily contorted faces of their oppressors. Activists flash the two-fingered “victory” sign as they are being dragged off into custody.

Al-Jazeera journalist Givara Budeiri was violently arrested by Israeli soldiers during protests marking the 54th anniversary of the 1967 War, referred to as Al-Naksa (the Setback). Though carrying a pass from the Israeli Press Office and wearing a flak vest clearly marked “Press,” Budeiri was detained for hours without being charged. She later appeared on television with visible injuries, including her arm in a sling.

Long-term struggle

“There are a lot of long-term issues,” said Hamas spokesperson Basem Naim. “the occupation, siege on Gaza, the Al-Aqsa compound, the forceful eviction of our people in Sheikh Jarrah.

“If all these long-term issues are not tackled and fixed by the international community, and if the international community is not able to oblige Israel to accept and respect its obligations as an occupying power, it is a matter of time to go for the next escalation.”

At a June 2 rally in Gaza City, thousands of PFLP supporters marched alongside fighters of that revolutionary socialist party’s armed wing, the Ali Abu Mustafa Brigades. The PFLP leader, Ahmad Sa’adat, has been in Israeli prison since 2002, and PFLP-elected official Khalida Jarrar is currently in occupation custody. (See Workers World, March 18.)

Jamil Muzer, a PFLP official in Gaza, exhorted the rally, “Our people have fought for over 73 years and resisted in every possible form, including popular and armed resistance.”

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