Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Non-violent resistance wins battle in Khouza'a, Gaza Strip


After yesterday's celebration of Land Day, this morning ISM Gaza Strip activists returned to accompany Palestinian farmers in the area of Khouza'a, east of Khan Younis where they were almost shot on the 24th of February. The fields that the farmers were harvesting today are far away from the Israeli watchtowers and about 400 meters from the Green Line. Despite this, the farmers had problems to harvest them on the two previous days that they tried because of shooting by Israeli troops. The work began at 7.40 am and about 25 minutes later two jeeps moved along the fence and approached the group of farmers and activists. The soldiers got out and start watching. It was obvious that the group was posing no threat to the soldiers. Most of the Palestinian farmers were middle-aged women. Most of the international solidarity activists were wearing fluorescent or Red Crescent vests. But after a while the Israeli soldiers started shooting. One of the ISM activists talked to them by megaphone but they continued shooting. But this time the Palestinian farmers resisted the attack, by ignoring the fire and continuing to work. And they won. The Israeli soldiers quit the attempt to expel the Palestinian farmers from their land and withdrew. Despite the intimidation of the Israeli soldiers, despite the fact that they could hear the intense battles between the Israeli occupation forces and the Palestinian resistance fighters (two of them killed and another two injured) further north, east of Al Meghazi camp, and they could watch the military helicopters and the F-16s, today, the Palestinian farmers, resisted and defended their rights on their land. Today they won the battle, tomorrow is another day