On March 2, 2023, a 15-year-old Palestinian child named Muhammad Nidal Salim was shot in the back and killed by Israeli forces in the Palestinian West Bank town of Azzoun, along with two others who were wounded including a child in critical condition. This brutal killing is the latest in an escalation of Zionist Israeli attacks and raids against the people of Palestine. On January 26 an Israeli assault on the Jenin refugee camp killed 10 Palestinians including two children, and on February 22 an Israeli raid on the Palestinian city of Nablus killed 11 Palestinians, the largest Palestinian death toll in a single Israeli military operation since 2005. Near daily killings of Palestinians at the hands of racist Zionist Israeli settlers and Israeli forces have brought the death toll to 72 Palestinians killed in the West Bank in the first two months of 2023, as reported by the New York Times on March 7.
Alongside raids by Israeli military forces, mobs of racist Zionist Israeli settlers have carried out at least 300 attacks on Palestinian villages in the West Bank. These rampages have been described as “pogroms”, and have including shootings, violent and deadly beatings, and the vandalizing and burning down of Palestinian homes, stores and cars. These attacks on Palestinians by Zionist settlers have occurred while Israeli forces stand by and allow them to happen. During the February 26 attack on the village of Zaatara, the Israeli army protected racist settlers who shot Samih al-Aqtash, a 37-year-old Palestinian father of five, who later died from his wounds. Al-Aqtash had returned home the previous week after volunteering to help earthquake survivors in Turkey.
Attacks by Zionist Israeli forces and Zionist settlers against Palestinians are not new but have been happening since the occupation of Palestine began in 1948 continuing until today, 75 years later. 2022 was already the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank, with 152 Palestinians killed by Zionist Israeli forces. For 11 days in May 2021, 259 people, including 65 children across Gaza and the West Bank, were killed by Israeli forces. On May 11, 2022, Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was assassinated by an Israeli military sniper while reporting on an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp.
The genocidal policies of Israel are funded and supported by imperialist governments around the world, led by the United States. From 1948 until today, Israel is a manufactured state on Palestinian land, existing only with U.S. funding and weapons and the diplomatic cover, political support, and aid that they receive from imperialist governments such as Canada. Each year, the United States gives $3.8 billion in direct military aid to Israeli occupation forces. During the May 2021 assault on Gaza, the U.S. Biden Administration approved a $735 million weapons sale to Israel. Israel would not be able to exist for even one week if not for the massive diplomatic, financial, and military support of the United States. Israel is a puppet regime of the U.S., manufactured to suppress and control the West of Asia. The state of Israel is not a secure land for Jewish people, but was and is a war machine state to divide and suppress the West of Asia on behalf of imperialist powers.
In the face of merciless attacks and ethnic cleansing, the people of Palestine continue to fight for their right to land and self-determination. Despite 74 years of suffering and hardship, since 1948 they have not given up the struggle for their rights and their land, including their right of return. No amount of violence by the state of Israel has ever been able to change that. Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice fiercely denounces the Zionist Israeli attacks against Palestinians and stands with the people of Palestine in their continued struggle against the brutal Israeli occupation.
Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice stands with the brave people of Palestine in their continued struggle for dignity and self-determination against the racist, Zionist, and colonial state of Israel. We call on all peace-loving, working-class, and oppressed people around the world to stand up and be consistently active in the ongoing fight for the liberation of Palestine! Palestinian liberation from Israeli racist Zionist occupation is liberation for us all.
Israel/USA Hands Off Palestine!
Stop Bombing and Killing Palestinians!
Self-determination for Palestine!
End the Israeli Occupation of Palestine Now!
Long Live Palestine! Long Live International Solidarity!
Statement by the Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice
March 7, 2023
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