Another Loss of Life…

It has been some time since I wrote actively about a place and people so very dear to my heart and forever in the forefront of my mind… Palestine and her people, the Palestinians.

I had taken a hiatus if you will, but I am back and just as impassioned about Palestine and the Palestinian Cause as ever before.

Earlier this week one of Gaza’s strongest and revered sons, #Mazen_Foqaha was assassinated. Reports and speculation state he was shot from a distance, possibly by a IOF or Mossad Sniper.

#Mazan_Foqaha was an active and honored member of Hamas. I am not going to speak about the politics and agendas of Hamas in this post.  My focus is on yet another loss of life.

What I want to say is that the Zionist Occupation of Palestine, and their government has instigated a response. There is no question that the murder of #Mazan_Foqaha is unjust and the murder(s) must be held to account.

To my brothers and sisters in Palestine, specifically Gaza… your souls are enraged and your hearts weep for the loss of #Mazan_Foqaha. Please know, I stand in solidarity with you and my soul is equally enraged and my heart weeps with yours at the loss of yet another precious life.

The Zionist regime has killed one, but their mistake is that in doing so they have created thousands more to fight back.This is what the Zionists hope to achieve. To kill one great leader to inflame the entire populace into a state of retaliation; this serves then to justify aggressive military action against Gaza, resulting potentially in the slaughter of hundreds if not thousands of innocent Palestinians. I agree that this murder needs justice. I pray that the leaders of Hamas use the greatest of wisdom… the Hikmah of Allah before they take immediate action toward justice for our beloved #Mazen_Foqaha

A Dream Unfolds – Palestine

12670220_810297935765897_8257748858966663853_nEight months ago I began a journey… I answered a very personal call upon my heart and conscience, upon my mind and soul. It is a call to a connection that is not easy to explain, a connection to a land and people who I deeply, personally identify with and feel very much a part of – Palestine and her people. My journey started as a dream, to write. Writing is a gift to me, one I have embraced my entire life, and one that has been redirected for a profound and important cause, to write about and for Palestine and her people. Palestine is rich in culture, history, heritage, life… a people of both the Mediterranean and Middle East that are very special and unlike many others. There is a special warmth, kindness, strength and resiliency that Palestinians possess that many in this world could only dream to have a fraction of such qualities. I know this first hand. Palestinians are not only Arab Muslim, but Arab Christian and Arab Jew. I identify with all three faiths and beliefs, but more so as a Muslim myself. I have very, very special people along this journey with me, my partner Haitham Khatib whose undying patience with me serves as encouragement and his support for writing our book, his and mine, means so much more to me than my words can express. Haitham has believed in me from the beginning and we believe in one another’s vision for Palestine. There are others, Palestinians that are very close to me, like family, who continue to stand by me and share in the vision and goals I have to help Palestine, to help my Palestinian brothers and sisters in their stand and resistance for freedom, One person in particular stands out and he knows who he is. I am forever grateful, blessed and encouraged to be on the same path for same reasons. I pray that Allah bless, keep, protect, guide, liberate, stabilize and make free and prosperous our beautiful Palestine, in sha Allah, that Palestine will shine among the rest brightest of all and set the example for others to follow of what peace, tolerance, love and resilience means. We live under the same skies, under the same sun, together forever we are one, Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea, we will live to see it you and me, in sha Allah, ma sha Allah, subhan Allah, ameen.

Although I have been on a bit of a hiatus due to international travel from this blog for the last two months, my writing of the book has continued and I will be contributing more articles once again here.  Thank you for faithful following and support.  #Free_Palestine #End_Occupation #Save_Humanity

 

Israeli War Crimes ~ Genocide and Murder

11180656_1126511507372230_5183280730115773528_nI have been doing research for my book, Faces of Palestine, for five months now and my research is ongoing.  In this time, I have had the privilege to be introduced to, meet, and interview many Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza.  Individuals and families, students, doctors and teachers.  Community leaders and more.

I have written articles about the Zionist Occupation, illegal settlements and settlers, their crimes against the Palestinians, their breaking of international laws and ongoing human rights violations.

I am also privileged and honored to have been asked by the Chief Editor of two well-known Palestinian News Agencies in Palestine to come on board with them as a regular feature writer, editor and contributor and to both their main website and social media sites.

I will continue to do so.  To write and fight for a free Palestine.  I have developed a growing international following through my writing and again I am grateful.  My articles are being translated and shared in other countries.

It is through this international networking effort of writers, journalists, photographers, videographers, press and activists, exposing the ongoing Israeli atrocities, crimes, genocide, murder and apartheid of Palestinians that we will see real change.  In addition, the growing ongoing movements of BDS (boycott, divest and sanction) that we see continued crippling of the Israeli government economically.

During my ongoing research, I have seen countless, graphic photographs and video footage of murdered Palestinians, men, women and children at the hands of IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces).  Many of these photographs and videos are taken raw, in the moment as things happen and through the power of social media, the truth is getting out.  Israel cannot control the flow of information exposing them; Israel can no longer hide their crimes and the world is beginning to take notice.

I have a very thick skin when it comes to such graphic content and maintain composure and objectivity.  It is a must as a writer and freelance journalist.  However, I am human also and what I witnessed and now much of the world has witnessed, that took place yesterday in Hebron, West Bank, is something that will haunt me forever.  The cold-blooded murders of two young Palestinian men, Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi and Abd al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif, both age 21.  Shot by IOF for “alleged” altercation between themselves and an IOF solider.

Abd al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif was killed instantly, but Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi still laid on the street, shot, but alive and moving.  Surrounded by Israeli ambulances and first responders who denied him any medical assistance as is typical of the Israeli Zionists; who take pride in allowing their Palestinian victims to bleed out in the streets.  This is a well-known and internationally documented fact.

942298_211644429190839_2160598003568398314_nAs Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi lay in the street, an IOF Soldier cocks his rifle, and finishes Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi off by shooting him point-blank in the head and his blood is seen flooding the pavement beneath him.  This is cold-blooded murder.  Part of the systematic and premeditated genocide of Palestinians at the hands of IOF and illegal Zionist settlers, incidents that occur daily all over the West Bank and Gaza.  Israeli rights group B’Tselem released the raw, unedited video showing this young man’s execution (see link below).

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

The video shows that no attempt is being made by Israeli first responders to help this young man yet there are two ambulances present.  Numerous IOF soldiers and armed Israeli settlers are seen casually walking around this man, laying the street.

“A voice is heard (on the video) stating in Hebrew, “The terrorist is still alive, the dog,” and then, “The dog is still alive.”

At 1:48 into the video, a soldier cocks (and this can be heard) and aims his weapon, approaches al-Sharif, and shoots him in the head. The video then shows blood streaming from the man’s head.

One of the ambulances is then seen circumnavigating around al-Sharif’s body. It slows down and a man is heard saying, “There is nothing to do, go.”

The Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported: “The shooting was carried out while two officers stood nearby, and the two did not seem to respond to the incident. A few seconds before the shooting, they move aside and further away from the Palestinian who was lying on the ground. A voice can be heard saying ‘Okay, okay’ afterward. After a minute, the removal of the Palestinians’ bodies began.”

HEBRON MurderIOF are encouraged by the Zionist government to shoot and kill Palestinians at will whether perceived threat is real or not.  There is no accountability and no recourse for the Palestinians against these war crimes, these crimes against humanity.  Over 250 Palestinians, men, women and children have been executed in the streets since October 2015 and these numbers grow every day.  IOF sees Palestinians as less than human, and treat them less than animals.  IOF are trained and rewarded for every Palestinian they kill and they take great pride in these heinous accomplishments as seen on their smiling faces as they carry the bodies of these young Palestinian men away.

Again, Israel cannot hide their crimes anymore.  I have been trying since yesterday to make sense of such inhumanity as I have seen at the hands of occupation. There is no way to make sense out of what is senseless. The Zionist Regime in Israel is the epitome of evil in this world. The Zionists have no heart and no soul. They are murderers. They are criminals. Whether they are soldiers or settlers, they are criminals. Guilty of murder, of crimes against humanity, of crimes against children. How many more Palestinians must die before our eyes daily before the world will make the genocide stop? How many more crimes against humanity must the Zionist Regime commit before the world says enough?  #End_Occupation #End_Israeli_War_Crimes #Free_Palestine #Save_Humanity

Our Weapons and the Truth ~ Part I

12688251_528757957297314_1467626524558799785_nOur weapons are the photographs we take, that like napalm burn images into the consciousness of the minds of our viewers. My keyboard express words as bullets, social media and the internet is our method and means of launch and delivery for every bomb of truth about the atrocities and human rights violations, the breaking of international laws, at the hands of the Occupation in Palestine.  The Occupation lead by an Israeli government of extremist Zionist ideology and racist sense of superiority exerted as one human over another under the guise of religious entitlement.

Daily killings, fascist brutality, false imprisonment of children, women, men and the sick.  Israelis armed 24/7 walk the streets in and around their illegal settlements built on stolen land, many look for active confrontations with peaceful Palestinians for no other reason than blatant hatred.

A country once free and fertile, now butchered and segregated from the inception of Zionist Occupation whose purpose was never to reside in this land with what they were given by master colonists who had no right to give what was never theirs in the first place.

I do not write from a bias or subjective perspective.  I write based on the documented history and the many conversations and interviews I have had with Palestinians and Israelis, Christian, Jew and Muslim.  All of whom agree what is and has been happening in Palestine for the last seven decades is a gross injustice and series of crimes against humanity as a whole.

12324884_10207737110278725_305009861_nFrom the illegal settlements that have been strategically planned and built from the beginning to spread like a malignant cancer on the land, enforced by an apartheid wall and fences, with access to and from via heavily guarded and armed checkpoints.

Children who are terrorized daily on their way to and from school, women and men harassed and attacked at random by IOF, villages stormed and raided in the dead of night for what IOF describes as a necessary approach to control a population by catching them off guard, because if such raids are attempted in broad daylight the resistance and ensuing conflict would be chaos.

IOF targets children and youth, raiding family homes, restraining frightened parents, physically and forcibly removing children from their beds, lining them up against walls in their homes, photographing them, mapping their homes to determine where each child sleeps, in what rooms and in what beds, interrogating them and their families, taking names and ages, and then they leave.  But not for long, within days, sometimes only hours, IOF return to these homes and arrest and detain these children on false allegations of aggressive actions taken by the children against IOF or Settlers.

The oppressed have become the oppressor.  I speak of course of the generations of European Zionist Jews that settled in this land during and since the Nakba between 1947 and 1949.  Jews that were survivors of the Nazi led Holocaust.  Perhaps born out of a need to exact revenge to victimize others in order to empower themselves, these newcomers to Palestine quickly exerted the same horrific violence and led massacres of the Palestinian people who had lived in this land peacefully long before the extremist European Zionists arrived.

Over the last seven decades this mentality has not changed and in many ways become that much worse.  What is and has been happening in Palestine is nothing less than the carefully orchestrated, executed and systematic genocide of an entire Arab population that consists of Christian, Jew and Muslim alike.  Just since October 2015, there have been nearly 250 Palestinian men, women and children murdered, martyred by IOF.

There are currently more that 700 children sitting in Israeli prisons.  Children who have been brutalized physically, psychologically, and emotionally.

Where is the world on this issue?  Why are the western governments providing continued monetary and military aid to this insane Zionist regime?  Where is the Arab league on this issue as well?  They turn a blind and appoint an Israeli representative to the Arab League just this month.  This is in a classic turn phrase, a mutiny and betrayal to any possibility of a unified and peaceful Middle-East, let alone peace for Palestine.

It is only through ongoing intervention by world human rights organizations, initiatives, and movements in addition to the ongoing BDS and anti-apartheid movements that change is going take place.  Even these are not enough.  It is going take those of us as activists, freelance journalists, writers, photographers and videographers, through the power of the internet and effective use of social media to keep the spotlight on the oppressors, on the Occupation, reflecting back to the world the crimes being committed, and exposing that the world’s silence condones the violence and their complacency is contributing to the most heinous and dark side of humanity; Occupation, apartheid and genocide.

4 Corners Production of “Stone Cold Justice” a docu-news program that shows overwhelming evidence about the treatment inflicted on Palestinian children in Palestine and in Israeli prisons.

From Gaza – “don’t worry, this is normal…”

12799381_10201404543791146_2810122174645825893_n“Don’t worry, this is normal for us”, “we are used to this terror”. Two very powerful and gravely disturbing statements, both responses from Gazans in response to my messages asking if they were okay and safe…

Last night, in the dead of night, IOF launched unprovoked air assaults upon the southern Gaza Strip, shelling neighborhoods, traumatizing an already traumatized population. One family in particular lost two of their three children when shells were fired into their home. Their son, age 10 murdered in his sleep, his 6 year sister sustained critical head injuries and succumbed to those injuries hours after the assault, and their remaining 13-year-old son, survives with the trauma and devastation that today he is alive but will never hold his brother and sister again; their parents now having to bury children whose lives have been stolen by an illegal occupation of their country.

The Israeli Zionist Occupation of Palestine sole purpose is to slowly, systematically exterminate, erase and eliminate an entire race of people. Short of mass scale executions and gas chambers, the Occupation’s crimes against humanity, their war crimes, are no less heinous, inhumane and evil.

The Gaza strip has become the Concentration Camp of Israel’s creation. Contained, controlled, and enclosed. Not unlike the Nazi ghettos of Europe where entire populations were confined.

In discussing solutions, discussions born out of a sense and need to bring justice, feelings of rage take hold. Some argue there is no clear, black and white solution to the problem of Occupation; that the west has allowed this malignancy of Occupation to grow so far out of control, created, supported and funded by the western governments for decades, that the western governments have lost control over the monster they have created; and in a perfect scenario, if Occupation’s Regime was toppled tomorrow, it would create a vacuum effect, and chaos may ensue.

Perhaps this would be the result, but just as the west has paid reparations to a Zionist Regime to appease their own conscious, the west must now take a stand to correct their error. Not doing so just validates that this whole Regime and the atrocities it has and continues to commit is spawned out of a sense of greed and control. Even Occupation is a fool to think the western governments support them for the sake of their so-called sovereign state. The Zionist Occupation is nothing more than a pseudo western stronghold in the Middle East with the western governments being the master and the Zionist Occupation their Marionette.

It is easy to say that the western governments should take a firm, possibly military action to depose the Occupation government, but this is impossible at this point of their creation.

12801504_1570273776620666_2682751930117441607_nThe only way to continue to weaken the stronghold Occupation has on this land, is to do so economically, and through exposing their war crimes, crimes against children, against humanity; Occupation’s violations of international laws and agreements; for former Israeli military who have begun to speak out and expose the truth of their crimes to increase their voice; for the world to continue to be made aware of the truth of what is happening in Palestine, that has been happening for nearly seven decades, via social media, video and photography as it happens.

It is overwhelming for some, perhaps even you reading this, to think of what you could possibly do to help. It is a fact, that one person’s efforts alone make a difference, but together in effort, we can bring change; just as society fought in support of ending South African’s apartheid, we as a world society must now stand in solidarity and effort, to end Occupation of Palestine, end the regime, end the Apartheid and end the genocide.

12814757_921407347975099_7763735290907970251_nSilence condones the violence and complacency, turning a blind eye, makes the world guilty of these crimes equally. We are all human, part of the world’s humanity. I must believe that the world still has a conscious, that together through activism, advocacy, boycotts, divestment, sanctions, social media storms of fact and truth, and pressuring our governments, and corporations to have a conscious; and take a stand against this fascist occupation regime, in order to cleanse their hands of the blood of innocent Palestinians. Only then does Palestine really have hope of realizing her freedom.

Again, I must emphasize to you the reader, to educate yourself. What is happening in Palestine is not merely a conflict of Jew against Muslim. It is not, never has been. This portrayal is not reality; it is yet another western media concoction to deviate from the truth. Palestine existed long before the fictional state of Israel was invented. Palestine and the Palestinians have always been Arab Jew, Christian and Muslim living in peace. Israel is a Zionist creation and ideology that has nothing to do with Judaism. Zionism uses the cloak of Judaism to proclaim its case that the conflict is one of religion. Zionists that entered Palestine during the Nakba of 1947 to 1949 came from Eastern and other parts of Europe.

When you have the desire to seek the truth, to find the truth, the truth always prevails. There is no excuse to plead ignorance of the issues at play. To do so, becomes selective ignorance of active choice. So what choice will you make?

 

Palestine’s Struggle – Palestinian Freedom

BUTTERFLY OF PALESTINEPalestine’s Struggle – Palestinian Freedom…

For 70 years my life has known only occupation, a life entrapped by hate and condemnation

Victimized but never the victim, a dignity possessed as I fight for freedom

In my life the struggle is daily and in my martyrdom my strength is my legacy

Who is Allah’s chosen? For surely Palestine it is you, not the Zionist as they claim, but Palestine true!

This is my land, my heritage; the right of return is my right and privilege

My young and old in flags buried, my fight is now yours to proudly carry

Palestine’s land runs in blood, Palestinian’s murdered and slaughtered flows like a flood

Never in vain and forever with purpose Zionism will fall and Palestine will have recourse

Bare our children strong and true, fight with pride and hope, let them learn well from me and you

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen

Palestine’s hope is in every tomorrow and in tomorrow is freedom’s dream

The world is waking from decades’ long sleep, a conscious newly fired and promises yet to keep

A two state solution is no solution at all, this land is Palestinian and to truth we call

Colonized and raped, sold and plundered, but the roots of Palestine run deep and her heartbeat is heard like the heaven’s thundered

Palestine’s soul can never be held captive; Palestine’s soul is free and resistive

Resist to exist and fight day and night, our voices we raise to scream our plight

Boycotts, divestment, sanctions and protests, demonstrations held to awareness invests

Silenced never, voices heard, governments try, but we will not be deterred

Money paid in reparation to Zionists who are masters of manipulation…

Preying on the guilt of humanities failures, now humanity has blood on their hands, devils not saviors

Wake up world and see what you’ve done, out of greed and lust for power you will lose and see that Palestine has won!

EMA 2016 ©

Non-Violent Resistance

12802832_10207624467422724_3862330094032505984_nTomorrow we will hold our normal peaceful Friday demonstrations which we have held for 11 years now. The Weekly Friday Bil’in peaceful demonstrations include Palestinian, Israeli and International activists.

The demonstrations always start peacefully from the Palestinian and International activist side… every week we take the same path, we march towards the wall on our land. The soldiers are always waiting for us, at least 2 hours before we arrive. When we reach about 200 meters in distance from the soldiers they open direct fire on us with tear gas bombs and rubber bullets…

For anyone who may believe our demonstrations are violent they are misled by Israeli propaganda! In the 11 years time of these peaceful protests we have not heard of ANY Israeli Occupation Soldiers being injured, HOWEVER, we have had two Bil’in Palestinian villagers killed (by tear gas bombs) and thousands of Palestinian, Israeli and International demonstrators injured and some very seriously again caused by tear gas, rubber bullets, and direct soldier assault. Hundreds of demonstrators including Internationals have also been arrested and many deported during these demonstrations.

Hundreds of very old olive trees on this land have been burned during the demonstration, by the soldier tear gas.

Once the soldiers start shooting some Palestinian kids throw stones.. its their way of releasing and demonstrating their anger and frustration and resistance against this illegal occupation AND the Israeli THEFT of the our village lands, which lands have still not been returned.

Our village land has been stolen since 2005 – and we no longer have any access to it – a new Israeli settlement has since been built on OUR land.

Please remember that our village and our daily lives are under the constant real threat of harassment by the Israeli occupation soldiers who by day or night have and can drive through our village dropping sound bombs and tear gas without any reason .. and who also conduct night raids and home invasions and arrest demonstration participants, including kids!

Please understand… we are doing our very best… in these difficult circumstances!  Haitham Khatib