Sunday, Bloody Sunday

On Sunday, bloody Sunday, October 1, 2000, eight Palestinians were killed.

Israeli occupation forces and Jihad al-‘A’alul (23) died of injuries sustained by Israeli gunfire the day before. In Gaza, Sami a-Taramsi (17) was killed by live ammunition shot in his chest and back by the Israeli occupation forces. In El-Bireh, Muhammad al-‘Abasi (16) was shot in his head. That same Sunday, at the main road in Um El-Fahem, the Israeli police killed Mohammad Jabareen (24), Ahmed Jabareen (19), and Eyad Lawabny (29).

On Sunday, bloody Sunday, 22 October 2000, four Palestinians were killed. 

In Hebron, ‘Imad al-Hawamdeh (23) and Na’il Zam’areh (25) were shot in the chest by the Israeli occupation forces. That same day, refugee children Wa’al A-Nashit (12) and Salah al-Nizam (15) were shot in the Gaza Strip. How many more Palestinians need to be killed before the world opens its eyes? How many more Palestinians need to suffer this horrendous price for freedom?

On Sunday, bloody Sunday, October 29, 2000, six Palestinians were killed. 

In Gaza, Samir ‘Aleiweh (31) and Husni a-Najar (14) were killed. In Nablus, Shadi Suli (23) was shot in his chest and ‘Usmat a-Saber (32) was shot in his heart. In Y’abd, Bilal Abu Saleh (20) and Hilal Abu Saleh (18) were shot in their heads by the Israeli occupation forces. When does the world comes to see that the Palestinians are human beings who just want to continue their daily lives and that of their children on the land they inherited from their ancestors. Those who have been driven out by aggression or by fear thereof, just want to return home and live as human beings on the lands that were owned by their parents and grandparents.

On Sunday, bloody Sunday, November 26, 2000, five Palestinians were killed in Qaleilya. Qusai Zahran (25), Mahmud al-‘Adel (25), Muhammad ‘Adwan (16), Ziad Salmi (23) and Mahdi Jaber (17) were killed by the Israeli occupation forces at the southern entrance to the city. Children from the west of the river, living under cruelty and repression, yearning for freedom and peace, overcoming the ordeal and the dark, dreaming of light. Suffering despair, their land upsurped, their homes destroyed, their childhood confiscated.

Reading through news reports, eye-witness accounts, one might get the uncomfortable feeling that there is a willing sadism on the part of the occupier, a perversity filtered down through their commanding officers from Israel’s bosses, war criminals, from the smug self-satisfaction of the settlers. It isn’t enough to attack Palestinian men, women, children and the aged, one must also beat up the already injured, the ill, and the handicapped. It isn’t enough to close down cities, villages and refugee camps, one must also bar schools and hospitals, one must also desecrate mosques and churches. It isn’t enough to physically torture prisoners, one must also destroy them psychologically.

Tires set on fire, stones are collected, people defenseless against live ammunition in the heads and chests. While Israel has been shooting, bombing, and burning Palestinians, the media has been portraying demonstrators as wild monsters. Palestinians are not an angry mob. Sure, there is anger. Life under occupation and repression seems less worth living. Many believe so. They are not calling for revenge or blind destruction. Their call is for simple justice.

On other bloody Sunday’s the Israeli occupation killed ‘Ali Sweidan (25), Muhammad ‘Eid (22), Muhammad al-Jalad (45), Ahmad Alla (33), Shadi al-Khalut (24), Muhammad a-Sharif (16), Fatma Abu Jeish (22), ‘Abd-al Hamid al Kharti (38), Thabat Thabat (48), Mu’ath Ahmad Abdullah Abu Hadwan (12), Tahrir Rizzeq (22), Iyyad Mahmud Muhammad Da’ud (27), Ahmad al-Qasas (38), Mahmud al-Mughrabi (24), Hikmat Khnani (22), ‘Abd a-Rahman a-Dahshan (14), Rafa’at Judeh (22), Muhammad Abu Naji (16), Maher a-Sa’idi (16), and Marwan al-Ghamari (30).

More and more of the world is being sucked into a desolate moral vacuum. This is a space devoid of the most basic human values. A space in which Palestinians are slaughtered and maimed. A space in which Palestinian children are starved and exposed to extreme brutality. Such unregulated terror and violence speak of deliberate victimization. There are few further depths to which humanity can sink.

**  lyrics from “Sunday, bloody Sunday”, U2, War, 1983

The author is a Dutch-Palestinian political scientist, human rights activist and is affiliated to the the Palestine Right to Return Coalition (Al-Awda) and

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