50 Years of Occupation – ADC Stands in Defense of Palestine
At least five categories of major violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law characterize the occupation: unlawful killings; forced displacement; abusive detention; the closure of the Gaza Strip and other unjustified restrictions on movement; and the development of settlements, along with the accompanying discriminatory policies that disadvantage Palestinians.
Human Rights Watch – Israel: 50 Years of Occupation Abuses
Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | June 6, 2017 – The above epigraph offers the dictionary definition of the Israeli occupation. Its brevity serves its purpose of describing the injustice of military rule over millions of people. But we would be doing a disservice to the Palestinians if all we did was recount a handbook of Israeli policies.
We know that an unlawful killing is the May 15, 2014 murder of 17-year-old Nidam Nuwara and 16-year-old Mohammad Mahmoud Abu Daher within an hour of each other at the same spot. Both were walking home after a Nakba Day demonstration when an Israeli officer shot them from a distance in cold blood. And we know the perpetrator received a minor sentence demonstrating Israel’s inhumanity toward Palestinian life.
We know that forced displacement means Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem are denied building permits and their homes demolished. We know that over 14,000 Palestinians have had their Jerusalem residency revoked. We know that the Sub Laban family in Jerusalem’s Old City will be evicted by Israeli settlers. We know Israel seeks to erase al Quds’ Arab heritage.
We know that abusive detention means Palestinians are held indefinitely without charge or trial. We know that three out of four Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel suffer physical violence. We know this is what happened on November 24, 2015 to Khatab Abu Mariyah who was kicked, beaten, blinded, handcuffed, dragged, and interrogated all because he was accused of…owning a slingshot.
We know that restrictions on movement means mothers giving birth at roadblocks, students denied permission to study abroad, artists prohibited from exhibiting the creativity of Palestine overseas, and the interminable humiliation at the hands of occupying soldiers manning checkpoints. And we know that illegal settlements have robbed Palestinians of their olives trees and have blighted their land.
Write them down! So that their names will not be forgotten! That was the cry of AIDS activists during the 1980s when very few people cared, and the U.S. government stood by, as a terrible plague devastated a people. The plague of Israeli occupation sadly remains with us. We at ADC will write down the names. We will bear witness. And we will devote ourselves, this and every year, to work tirelessly to bring those injustices into greater and greater light until one day that light banishes the darkness.