Alaa Abdallah Qadoum and Momen Mohammad al-Neerab were both five years old. Hazem Ali Salem was nine years old. Khalil Jameel Shobeer was ten. They were killed by the Israeli Occupation Forces during 48 hours of Israeli air strikes and rocket attacks on Gaza’s residential neighborhoods. We’re thinking about all the things they were looking forward to in life, and all the birthdays they will never celebrate — all extinguished by politically motivated executions funded by our tax dollars. The United States is the leading provider of weapons to Israel — enabling these murders is part of its foreign policy.
In fact, the U.S. has committed nearly $40 billion over the next decade to fund the Israeli occupation, with some of our tax dollars paying for Israel’s purchase of F-35 fighter jets capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
Alaa, Momen, Hazem and Khalil weren’t the only people killed in the most recent assault on Gaza. There’s Ahmad Mohammad al-Neerab (11), Muhammed Iyad Muhammed Hassouna (14), Fatma Aaed Abdulfattah (15), Ahmed Walid Ahmed al-Farram (16), and so many more. Three siblings Ahmed (9), Muhammed (12) and their sister Dalia (13) were killed by the occupation at the Burreji refugee camp. For them and the dozens of Palestinians killed by occupation forces this year, we need to demand a different reality.
Around election time in Israel, attacks on Gaza happen like clockwork. Palestinian lives are used as a political tool. The occupation argues they are “defending” themselves. The very nature of settler colonialism is offensive. There can be nothing “defensive” about attempting to maintain apartheid, occupation, and the continued ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
In Gaza, two million people struggle to survive with no access to safe drinking water, scarce medical care and limited fuel resulting from the Israeli occupation by air, sea and land egress and ingress. Even when the bombings stop, the occupation routinely kills Palestinians in Gaza through a deliberately cruel deprivation policy.
We cannot allow the U.S. to continue arming and funding the Israeli occupation. Now more than ever, we must stand in solidarity with Palestinian-led groups like the Palestinian Youth Movement, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Within Our Lifetime, and more. That can look like following them on social media to learn from them and showing up for their actions.
A free Palestine is possible — if we fight for it.
Ann, Danaka, Farida, Justina, Jodie, Kelly, Lola, Marcy, Mark, Medea, Michelle, Nancy, Olivia, Paki, Sam, Shea, Sophie, Samantha, Stefi, Suzie, Teri, and Tim