MK Odeh: As Long There is an Occupation, There’ll Be Resistance

Lawmakers from the Joint List and the racist Religious Zionism party faced off Monday, May 10, in the occupied East Jerusalem flashpoint neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Fascist MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir came to Sheikh Jarrah in what they called “a demonstration of solidarity” with the handful of Jewish settlers in the Palestinian neighborhood.

Meanwhile, further down the street, Palestinian demonstrators could be heard chanting “Jerusalem is Arab.” Joining the latter in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah were a number of Joint List MKs, including Ayman Odeh, Ahmad Tibi, Aida Touma-Sliman, Ossama Saadi, Sami Abou Shehadeh and Ofer Cassif who paid a solidarity visit with the families facing eviction.

Joint List MKs hold a press conference in Sheikh Jarrah, Monday, May 10, 2021.

Joint List MKs hold a press conference in Sheikh Jarrah, Monday, May 10, 2021. (Photo: Zo Haderech)

When the racist MKs Smotrich and Ben Gvir arrived, a street brawl ensued during which police pushed back Joint List MKs, including party head Odeh, so that Smotrich could walk down the street to visit the home of the one settler there, adorned with a large Star of David and an Israeli flag on its roof.

The Joint List MKs held a press conference at the site during which Odeh expressed full support for the East Jerusalem Palestinians’ struggle: “The main point is there’s an occupation. As long as there is an occupation, there will be resistance.” Odeh continued, “This resistance becomes sharpened during periods of provocation, such as what happened over the past month,” relating to the imminent evictions of eight Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah. “Netanyahu took pride in his normalization of diplomatic ties with some Arab countries. But the youth of Jerusalem confirm yet again that the fundamental issue is the Palestinian cause… Anyone who wants live in peace and security must see themselves as part of the just cause of East Jerusalem Palestinians.”

“I appeal to the Jewish public, to those who want peace and equality,” Odeh agreed. “I ask that each of you see yourself as part of the just struggle of the Palestinian people against the occupation, on behalf of an independent Palestinian state” and in search of a “just peace and for the security of both peoples.” MK Aida Touma-Sliman called on the United Nations and the European Union to act forcefully to protect the Palestinians.

The day began with police announcing that Jews would be barred from visiting the Al-Aqsa compound on Jerusalem Day, which is marked with a provocative, “in your face” parade of several thousands, many of them settlers from the West Bank, waving Israeli flags through narrow streets of the occupied Old City. Just as the parade was about to begin, police announced they were changing its route in accordance with instructions issued by political leaders.

700 Palestinians Injured in Jerusalem

Hamas launched a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in the direction of Jerusalem on Monday at 6 pm after 700 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police in East Jerusalem. Israel responded with airstrikes across the Palestinian coastal conclave resulting in the deaths of 22 people died, including nine children and the wounding of another 95. Seven of the fatalities were members of a single family, including three children, who died in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun.

Six people were injured in Israel on Tuesday morning, May 11, after rockets, fired from the Gaza Strip, slammed into two homes in Ashkelon. Four of the injured were members of the same family.

Demonstrations in Arab Cities, One Arab Man Killed in Lod

A 25 year old man, a Palestinian-Arab citizen of Israel, was killed and another was moderately wounded in the central Israeli city of Lod on Monday night, May 10, as protests continued throughout the country amidst the escalating police violence in East Jerusalem. Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics evacuated two of three shooting victims to nearby Assaf Harofeh hospital, where one was pronounced dead; a third person suffering a gunshot wound was brought there by his family. Police have arrested a Jewish resident of the city on suspicion of involvement in the shooting of Arab protesters.

Several thousand Arabs-Palestinian citizens demonstrated on Monday evening in cities across Israel including Nazareth, Haifa, Lod, Ramle, Umm al-Fahm Shefamr, Segev Shalom, Rahat, Jaljulya, Taybe and in smaller towns such as Eksal, Kafr Manda, and Nahaf.

Press conference of the Joint List MKs in Sheikh Jarrah (Arabic and Hebrew with some English):