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‘Devastated’ and ‘Horrified’: Aberdonians express solidarity after ten Palestinians killed in Israel

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Raid on Jenin Refugee Camp bloodiest day for Palestinians in over a year.

By Nour Elshenawy

Photo: Nour Elshenawy

Israeli forces stormed the Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank on Thursday, 26 January, killing ten Palestinians, including seven militants and several civilians. Magda Obaid, a sixty-one-year-old woman, was among those killed. At least a dozen more Palestinians from the camp were hurt, with some in severe condition. According to Al Jazeera, the Israeli military said the raid had been carried out to arrest Islamic Jihad insurgents under suspicion for plotting terror attacks. Israeli troops were accused of obstructing paramedics' access to the injured as well as shooting tear gas into the Jenin Government Hospital, a charge they denied.

Speaking to The Guardian, Sakir Khader, a Palestinian-Dutch filmmaker on the scene, said that Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers approached the Jenin refugee camp before dawn via multiple gates. Armed Palestinians fired at an Israeli armoured vehicle camouflaged as a commercial van, prompting the IDF to fire back. The ensuing four-hour gun war caused considerable damage, he added. ‘I was trapped in the heart of a shootout for hours,’ Khader explained. ‘It was insane. There were snipers and drones… It damaged many automobiles as well as a public gathering place.’

On 28 January, a protest against the raid was held in Aberdeen’s St Nicholas Square. The Gaude spoke to several individuals at the rally, including a Palestinian student who stated: 'It's the least I can do for my country, no one understands the actual severity of the situation and how the Palestinian citizens are being treated on their own land.’ She continued, citing statistics from Al Jazeera: ‘... more than 170 Palestinians; 30 of which are children, have been killed across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem throughout 2022, and 29 Palestinians including 5 children have been murdered by the Israeli army in January 2023 alone.’

The Gaudie also spoke to members of the Aberdeen Socialists Workers Party, who stated that they decided to join the protest to ‘express solidarity,’ and ‘help those affected through raising awareness.’

When asked who should be held responsible for these devastating attacks, the group commented: ‘The Israeli government hold the highest responsibility, as well as international organisations for not condemning these attacks, and international businesses that are funding and inducing the atrocities happening on occupied land.’ The group voiced that ‘boycotting Israel or Israeli funded businesses, and disruptive protests’ are the two best methods of demonstrating support.

Members also expressed how ‘devastated,’ ‘furious,’ and ‘disgusted’ they were about the media not showing interest on the Palestinian issue, commenting that the ‘media tends to skip over Arab and Islamic issues when they are in trouble but run to highlight and document every little mistake they do, it’s quite ironic.

Also speaking to The Gaudie, a student from the University of Aberdeen commented how ‘shocked,’ ‘devastated,’ and ‘horrified’ she was about the attack, and insisted that ‘people worldwide should put pressure on their governments to act fast and efficiently before the issue escalates even further out of our control.’

The last person interviewed was the organiser of the protest, a middle-aged man concerned about humans in Palestine who had been advocating for this cause for over 30 years. He stated: ‘I am not part of any political party, but this is not about politics anymore, this has become a human rights issue.’ He continued, ‘Imagine sitting watching TV in bed and having a group of men with weapons barge in and throw you, your wife and kids out of your own house, how would you feel? That's how the Palestinian people have been feeling since 1947.’ He concluded by pleading with people worldwide to ‘show political and economic support in addition to solidarity.’

When asked if Israelis and Palestinians could live together in peace, people at the protest had a range of responses. ‘There could be peace between them,’ one attendee stated, as ‘Palestinians are willing to live peacefully on one land.’

Another attendee was less positive, telling The Gaudie: ‘There can never be peace between them because there has been way too much blood and inhumane behaviour towards the people of Palestine and if governments and international organisations don’t act fast, we’ll only be losing more and more innocent lives…’

A third rally-goer was more hopeful, commenting: ‘If the world is sincere and honest, and if both Palestine and Israel obey the orders of the United Nations and human rights organisations, then there could potentially be peace between both countries.’


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