Radiance News Service
Nov. 30: United Nations offices on Wednesday commemorated the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The annual observation on November 29 marks the day in 1947 that the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on partitioning Palestine into two independent States. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the people of Gaza are suffering “a humanitarian catastrophe”, while in a separate address, the UN General Assembly President, Dennis Francis, said:
“The Palestinian people – as all human beings – are entitled to their fundamental and inalienable right to live in dignity, with all liberties; freedom of movement; freedom from fear and from any want; and with unfettered access to basic services …
It is, therefore, imperative that we restore and sustain their hope – especially among the younger generations that have never experienced what peace looks or feels like.
By doing so, we will have fulfilled our duty of care – in reaffirming the fundamental principle that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
Thus, upholding these basic tenets is key to fostering a just, sustainable, and peaceful future for all Palestinian people.
But, for us to ensure that every Palestinian sees these inalienable rights as realised and respected, first and foremost we need permanent peace in the Middle East.
Second, we need to re-engage in dialogue, in good faith, building trust – while adhering to the relevant UN resolutions and international instruments …
As we reiterate the general assembly’s undiminished call for peace, we too must advocate for open channels of communication – accompanied by robust support from the international community – leading to the two-state solution, as the only viable option for lasting peace in the Middle East.”
Meanwhile, in Jenin
The Day and its commemoration came in the backdrop of the nightly hostage-prisoner exchanges happening in Gaza, with an uneasy and incomplete pause on the onslaught even as Israel continues its raids and attacks on different parts of Gaza. In the past two days, Israeli forces have stepped up violence in Jenin.
Jenin has long been seen as a vibrant symbol of Palestinian resistance, as Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and former spokesperson of the PLO, Diana Buttu told Al Jazeera last year: “There are two places in Palestine that Israel has not been able to truly conquer – Gaza and Jenin… That’s why Israelis try to bring down the people of Jenin and Gaza… time and time again, but it’s never worked,” she added.
The Jenin refugee camp, on the western edge of the town of Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank, has often experienced violence and resistance. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, had Arab resistance had successfully pushed back Israeli attempts to capture it, and the Jenin refugee camp was subsequently created and became a refuge for those expelled in the Nakba. The camp soon became the poorest and most densely populated of the West Bank’s 19 refugee camps. It lies near the “Green Line” – the armistice line that serves as Israel’s de facto border – camp residents who were expelled from northern Palestine can see the homes and villages from which they were expelled.
For many residents of Palestine, the breaking of the fence on October 7 and afterwards became the first moment where they could actually see – even if briefly – the towns they were expelled from, even if they had been living right adjacent to them in the refugee camps nearby.
It was in Jenin that Shireen Abu Akhleh, Al Jazeera journalist was killed by an Israeli soldier. Seraj Assi wrote that “Jenin has been a symbol of Palestinian resistance since [British] Mandate times, a hub for Islamist and secular militants, and the site of Israel’s collective punishment against the Palestinians.”
As of Thursday, Israeli forces have killed two Palestinian children in the Jenin refugee camp: Adam al-Ghoul, nine, and Basil Suleiman Abu al-Wafa, 15.
Starting Tuesday evening, even as the ceasefire was in place, Israeli occupational forces launched an all-out assault, one in the series of repeated assaults and raids it consistently carries out in Jenin. Locals also told Wafa News Agency that Israeli troops forced residents of Damj neighbourhood to leave their homes at gunpoint. At least 227 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank in 50 days. Over 3,000 have been detained.