For over 74 years, the Palestinian people have been fighting for their right to selfdetermination and the right to return to their homes, which were brutally taken away by the Zionist Israeli regime. Decades over decades, the Palestinian people have faced forced expulsion from their cities and villages to refugee camps, which are some of the most densely populated settlements in the world. Ethnic cleansing and massacres, routine airstrikes on homes and infrastructure, deadly military assaults, home demolitions, checkpoints and blockades, arbitrary detentions, and lack of access to food, water and basic necessities are part of the ongoing Israeli racist regime’s brutality and insults against Palestinians.
Jenin Refugee Camp
2023 has already become the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the United Nations began recording in 2005, with over 200 Palestinians killed at the hands of Israeli military forces and racist Zionist settlers. Jenin refugee camp has long been the site of brutal Israeli attacks and massacres, and so far, in 2023 has been devastated by two Israeli assaults. On January 26, Israeli military forces killed 10 Palestinians, including two children, in Jenin.
On July 3, Israeli forces invaded Jenin again and, for two days, terrorized Palestinians in Jenin with deadly airstrikes, hundreds of soldiers, helicopter gunships, rockets and armoured vehicles. Around 4,000 Palestinians fled the Jenin refugee camp during the assault and returned to find hundreds of homes destroyed and uninhabitable, the local water network destroyed, cutting off sewage and water access for a vast number of homes, and the destruction of roads and other infrastructure. The human cost of this criminal attack was 12 Palestinians killed, including four children, and 143 Palestinians injured. Around the world, this savage Israeli assault was condemned and protested. In Vancouver on July 5, an emergency action “We Stand With Jenin” banner drop was held at a busy overpass, called by the Samidoun, Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network (Samidoun.net), and with the support and participation of Mobilization Against War & Occupation (M AWO) and Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice.
U.S., Canada, Israel Hands Off Palestine
Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine would not be possible without the military, financial and political backing of the U.S. government and other imperialist countries, including Canada. The government of Canada has supported Israel since it was founded on Palestinian land in 1948, and today Scotiabank, one of Canada’s largest banks, is the top foreign investor in Elbit Systems, an Israeli weapons manufacturer. Elbit Systems produces 85% of Israel’s armed drones, which are marketed as “battle-tested,” alluding to the fact that they are regularly used to assassinate and injure Palestinians.
On July 22, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network held a protest action in downtown Vancouver in solidarity with Palestine and to demand “Shut Elbit Down!”, which activists and supporters from Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) and Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice supported and participated in. After leafleting to passersby, protesters marched to a nearby Scotiabank branch to hear from speakers and to demand Scotiabank divest from Elbit Systems. The action was also part of an International Day of Action in solidarity with six Palestine Action activists, who face imprisonment and court cases in response to their protests in Britain against Elbit Systems. One of the Palestine Action activists, Ronnie Barkan was in Vancouver for the action and spoke at the rally against Elbit Systems and against the Zionist Israeli regime. To sign a letter demanding Scotiabank divest from Elbit Systems, you can visit www.actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-scotiabank-to-divest-nowfrom-elbit-systems
U.S. and Canada Hands Off the Palestinian Rights Activists
Activists in support of Palestine and in many other social justice struggles are facing increased attacks on their organizing from right-wing forces and imperialist governments. Recently the Alliance for Global Justice (AFGJ) faced attacks from Zionist media that have resulted in the company, which processes credit card donations to block AFGJ and its projects from use of this critical fundraising tool. This attack has impacted Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, as well as over 140 organizations that are fiscally sponsored by AFGJ. Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) has signed on to the Alliance for Global Justice Resistance Campaign and encourages supporters to stand in solidarity and also sign on to the Resistance Campaign at www.afgj.org/resistance-campaign-sign-on
In Canada and around the world, we must continue standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people in a strong united front and demand self-determination for Palestine! Israel, stop brutalizing and killing Palestinians! Free all Palestinian political prisoners! Right of return for all Palestinians!
For upcoming events against imperialist wars and in solidarity with Palestine, visit www.mawovancouver.org or follow on Facebook @MAWOVancouver and Instagram and Twitter @mawovan
Follow Janine on Twitter: @janinesolanki
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