Weekends all over the world are a time of rest for students, family gatherings and entertainment after a long week of classes. For Palestinian students, on weekends they join protests against the Israeli usurpation of their lands. After Friday prayers yesterday, Ali joined hundreds of outraged people to protest the creation of a settler outpost on their land. The protesters were met with tremendous violence by armed Israeli soldiers. A live bullet penetrated the tender body of Ali and ended his life.
After two hours of the doctors’ attempts to save Ali’s life, he was announced dead. The funeral of Ali with his small body wrapped in the flag of Palestine, the land he lost his life for, started in front of the Christmas tree in Ramallah towards al-Mughayir, his final resting place.
Ali will never go back to school; his seat in class will remain forever empty; neither will he be able to enjoy the beautiful view of the olive groves surrounding his village: He was robbed of life because his colonizers dehumanize, demonize and devalue him and his people to take over their land.
Yesterday was also a day of refusal of the structural violence and land theft of Israeli apartheid in other places across the West Bank, including in Beit Dajan, Nablus district, and Kufr Qaddoum, Qalqilya district. In the weekly protest in Kufr Qaddoum against the Israeli closure of the village’s main road and confiscation of land for settlement expansion, tens of Palestinians have been injured due to Israeli brutality. During Beit Dajan’s weekly protest that has been taking place since months in response to the establishment of a settler outpost, armed Israeli soldiers also used violence to suppress the protest.
Since the beginning of 2020, seven of the 28 murdered Palestinians by Israeli apartheid were children. In addition to murdering and injuring children, Israeli apartheid arrest, torture and ill-treat them during interrogation in custody. According to Addameer, there are about 170 child prisoners in Israeli colonial jails.
The international community has maintained an unjustifiable silence and dominant colonial powers like the United States continue to give unconditional support to Israel. Trump’s ‘No Peace Plan’ has given Israel more of a green light to usurp Palestinians’ lands. Since the beginning of the year, Israel has built thousands of settlement units to expand illegal Jewish-only settlements ans constructed over thirteen settler outposts in the West Bank. Palestinians counter land usurpation with more resistance and have succeeded in removing eight outposts in 2020 but the repression of Israeli apartheid increases. The crescendo of violence is meant to ensure the success of land theft by suppressing Palestinians’ resistance.
However, Palestinians’ thirst for life, freedom and self-determination will fuel them to continue resisting Israel’s escalated violence and three-tiered system of oppression: settler colonialism, apartheid and occupation. For Ali and the many others who were killed before him to rest in peace, Palestinians will never bow to Israeli apartheid.