21 November 2022
Palestinians continue to resist against overwhelming odds - in besieged Gaza and besieged Nablus and Jenin and other besieged communities. Israel is formng a government that will include open advocates of mass murder and ethnic cleansing. All Israeli governments have carried out mass murder of unarmed civilians but were careful to deny it to save the blushes of allies in Washington, London, Berlin and Brussels.
On behalf of Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, I attended a conference organised by the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine, the Al Aqsa International Conference in Karbala, Iraq, in September. In addition to the mother of murdered medical worker Razan Al Najjar and the father of the murdered child Mohammed Al Durrah, one of the powerful contributions came from a defiant Palestinian speaking from his wheelchair, Islam Asalya from Gaza. He assured the hundreds of delegates that, despite Israel's savagery and powerful weapons, Palestinians in Gaza were strong in their determination to resist.
On my return to Scotland, Islam answered some questions with the following message:
"I am Islam Asalya, from the Gaza Strip, Palestine. I am in a wheelchair, 34 years old. I studied until the secondary school stage in Gaza.
"I was injured three times by the Israeli occupation forces. I was wounded by bombing from the planes, and most of my relatives and family casualties were caused by the repeated Israeli bombing. Some of them were martyred by sniper fire from the tanks. My last injury was in 2008, following which I went for treatment to Egypt and then to Turkey, where I received treatment because of my being an orphan.
"I completed a Masters in political science and international relations at Yeditepe University in Istanbul in 2017 and I am studying there now for a doctorate, which inshaallah I hope to complete by 2024.
"The Israeli occupation bombed our house in 2006. Our family gave more than 30 martyrs in just 21 years, and among these martyrs is my brother.
"Martyrs in Gaza walk the earth. Every individual awaits martyrdom. As our Lord says in the Qur'an, they wait for martyrdom, and they remain true to their words. Every household having a martyr, a veteran or a prisoner has become an absolute part of life. Every house has paid a high price for Palestine.
Below: Twenty of the Asalya family members killed by Israeli bombs or sniper fire
"Gaza has been under siege for 16 years: not enough gasoline enters, not enough gas enters, not enough foodstuffs enter, there is not enough medical treatment - patients often can not get out of Gaza for essential treatment. The crossings are often closed, the sea is closed. Palestinian fishing is restricted and boats often attacked.
"But Gaza is steadfast, patient, strong, and united.
"Young women, old people, children love each other in Gaza and fear for each other in Gaza and help each other in Gaza and do not allow anyone to enter among them against our anti-occupation resistance in Gaza
"As for the resistance in Gaza, we in Gaza believe that the resistance has the right to prepare itself, strengthen itself because the Israeli occupation is constantly bombing us. It shows no mercy to child, nor elderly, nor women. It bombs and repeatedly bombs our homes.
"The Israeli occupation is the one who occupied Palestine, and it is the one who came to Palestine under the force of arms and expelled the Palestinians. We must resist it until it gets out of the land of Palestine
"More than seven million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes, And now in the West Bank, they steal homes and steal lands, and in the city of Jerusalem they are expelling the Palestinians under force of arms. Is it not our right as Palestinians to resist for ourselves?
"When an Israeli Jew dies, all countries of the world sympathize with the Jew and the occupation, and when children and women die in Gaza from the bombing of the occupation, no one sympathizes with us. Where is international justice?
"More than 70 years of political negotiations. Has the Israeli occupation responded to the demands of the Palestinian people? No. Did we get our rights? No. Are they trying to occupy more Palestinian lands now? Yes. Then, there is no point in negotiations with the occupation. The occupation knows no language other than the language of weapons."
In occupied Palestine, killing is an Israeli way of life. But Palestinian resistance - of all kinds - is determined and inspiring. SPSC supports all forms of Palestinian resistance; those under the Israeli jackpot are the ones to choose their path to liberation. Here in Scotland our talk is to boycott and isolate the bases of support for Israeli crimes - political, economic, cultural and sporting - full spectrum BDS.