The Gaza Freedom March may have passed, but Palestinians in Gaza continue to march for their freedom on a daily basis. They are protesting the illegal, Israeli buffer zone, pretty much every day now. This buffer zone stretches across approximately 300 metres and annexes Palestinians’ land used for agriculture, work, and most importantly, homes. The IDF illegally imposes this buffer zone along the Israeli border in Gaza and claims to reserve the right to shoot at anyone who breaches this arbitrarily annexed land.
For the past months, Palestinians in Gaza, joined by many international activists, have been peacefully and non-violently resisting the buffer zone in what has become almost daily protests at the border. The protests are modeled after the long-standing weekly protests in Ni’lin and Bil’in in the West Bank.
Today, a young man, Ahmed Deeb, 21-years-old, was shot by IDF soldiers with what is called a “dum-dum” bullet, which basically explodes inside your body, on impact. Ahmed was hit in the leg and the bullet severed his femoral artery. He lost a lot of blood and was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Ahmed is the latest of too many martyrs who have been killed by the occupation forces. For more information, please visit: http://palsolidarity.org/2010/04/12163
This incident marks the latest in the cruel and extreme response the IDF exhibits when faced with peaceful, non-violent protesters fighting for the right to live, work, and play on their own land. In the past month alone, 19 Palestinian and international activists and demonstrators have been injured by live ammunition. Three were shot just in the past 5 days. This is more than just some tear gas, which demonstrators have grown accustomed to. These are live bullets, shot at demonstrators, with the intention of injuring them! Why? Because they were throwing rocks, according to soldiers. Rocks vs. Bullets…guess who wins?
Bianca Zimmit, an international activist from Malta, was also shot just days ago, while demonstrating at the buffer zone. she sums up the situation best when she says, “We were holding Palestinian flags on Palestinian land.” Here is her own footage of her getting shot. For more on her story, you can visit Max Ajl’s blog: http://www.maxajl.com/?p=3489
These incidences have been escalating over the past months and it’s becoming very clear that non-violent, peaceful resistance is the “Achilles heel” of the Israeli occupation. Palestinians and internationals alike, neither have let this violent response stop them from what continuing the struggle for the liberation of Palestine. Most, if not all, of them plan to return to the next demo, as soon as they are back on their feet. They are not afraid of bullets, they are not afraid of the IDF, they are not even afraid of death, because they know that whatever happens, they’re on the right side of history. Whatever happens, they’re fighting for freedom, justice, and the liberation of an occupied people. And nothing can shake that determination…not even the possibility of death.
We pray for the God’s love and mercy to shower the martyrs and their families, both in this life and in the hereafter. And we pray for Palestine to live and breathe the freedom she has only dreamed of. Ameen.
For more information and to stay up-to-date on the Buffer Zone marches in Gaza, please visit GFM’s Buffer Zone page.
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