No. 11

October 2023

Resistance Is a Right! End the Occupation of Palestine Now!

Militant Actions Across Canada and Worldwide Affirm
Palestinians' Just Struggle

Palestinian Resistance Rises in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood


Labour for Palestine-Canada

Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians

Communist Party of Israel and Democratic Front
for Peace and Equality

• Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

UN Secretary-General's Brief to Security Council

Photo Review

Actions in Canada and Around the World

Resistance Is a Right! End the Occupation of Palestine Now!

Militant Actions Across Canada and Worldwide Affirm Palestinians' Just Struggle

Ottawa, October 8, 2023

Shortly after the Palestinian resistance unleashed Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7, supporters of the Palestinian cause for liberation and the many sons and daughters of Palestine living outside their homeland immediately organized actions around the world in support of the resistance. One of the main organizers for many of the actions in the UK, U.S. and Canada is the Palestinian Youth Movement. Accordingly, there was a high level of participation from the new generation of Palestinian and other youth, all of whom are taking their place in the historic movement for the liberation of Palestine.

In Canada on October 7, 8 and 9, actions in the form of rallies, marches and banner drops were held in Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, London and Calgary. From October 7 to 9, at least 57 actions were held across North America and Europe alone, with more to come in the following days.

The occupying forces are once again resorting to collective punishment and further crimes against the people of Gaza by waging a massive and indiscriminate bombing campaign and attempting to completely cut off Gaza, to block the entry of food, fuel and supplies to the population of 2.3 million, which can only lead to humanitarian crisis. While the border wall of Gaza was breached in multiple places and at least one border crossing was destroyed by the resistance at the start of the operation, Israel now claims that it has once again locked down Gaza. 

Mustafa Barghouti, General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, in a recent interview on CNN on the situation in Palestine, decries the attempts by the Zionists and their collaborators to criminalize the Palestinian resistance and all those who support the Palestinian cause. An excerpt from the video can be viewed here.  

"Freedom for Palestine"

The narrative of unfolding events presented by the Canadian government, the cartel parties in the Parliament, the CBC and monopoly media is all based on disinformation and depriving the polity of context and the history of Palestine, to then try to justify Zionist crimes in the name of self-defence and equate Palestinians' just resistance and national liberation to terrorism. According to this dehumanizing outlook, the Palestinian people were never dispossessed of their historic homeland by the Zionists and their collaborators. Thus, their right to resist and all other rights that belong to them as a people, especially as a people living under occupation, and the historical crimes committed against them on which Israel was founded, do not exist. Such disinformation is preparing the ground for even further crimes by the Zionists. The actions across Canada and around the world in support of the Palestinian resistance make clear that this will not pass.

The Israeli zionists are blinded by the imperialist outlook that might makes right and that the use of force is the deciding factor. They receive billions of dollars from the U.S. imperialists to arm themselves to the teeth and carry out innumerable crimes against the Palestinians, as well as support from Britain and big powers of Old Europe. They think that they can use force to carry out relentless expansion of illegal settlements, the collective punishment of mass incarceration and trampling the rights of the Palestinians. They refuse to negotiate and to respect their obligations under international law, and do all of this for decades with impunity. To call the Palestinian people and their resistance terrorists while theirs is a terror regime demands a reckoning which is long overdue.

Support for the resistance to affirm the rights of the Palestinian people and to hold the Zionist occupiers to account is reflected in the militant and unequivocal support for the resistance and refusal of conciliate with Zionism seen in demonstrations around the world. What these actions across Canada and around the world make clear is that it is the role of the people and their organized resistance and defence of their rights which is decisive.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) reiterates its categorical condemnation of the state of Israel for its ongoing attempt to commit genocide to wipe out the Palestinian people and seize their entire territory. It condemns the government of Canada and those MPs and opposition parties who declare that the resistance fighters are terrorists while Israel is engaged in justified self-defence and that anyone who supports the right to be of the Palestinian people is anti-semitic, engaged in a hate crime and is to be prosecuted as an extremist or terrorist. It condemns the stand taken by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who convened the so-called Incident Response Group of ministers and senior officials and condemned the armed resistance of Palestinian fighters as "terrorist attacks against Israel." He expressed Canada's full support for Israel's so-called right to defend itself, which is not a right of occupiers recognized in any international law, but remained silent on the rights of the people of Palestine.

On October 9, Trudeau went on to say at an Ottawa rally in support of Israel, "Canada unequivocally and in the strongest possible terms condemns these terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas. We stand with Israel and reaffirm our support for Israel's right to defend itself in accordance with international law." He then added, "Let me be very clear: Hamas terrorists are not a resistance. They aren't freedom fighters, they are terrorists. And no one in Canada should be supporting them, much less celebrating them." Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre stated, "Hamas does not speak for the Palestinian people, it does not speak for Muslims, and it surely does not speak for Canadians." He clearly did not see the irony in suggesting that he, on the other hand, presumably does speak for Canadians even with so many saying Canada's stand is "not in our name." Poilievre went further saying, "And that is why I unreservedly condemn any and all who took part in the disgusting celebrations that we have seen on our streets." Many politicians and officials at the provincial and municipal levels are also attempting to portray the resistance as terrorism and support for the resistance as support for terrorism.

Canadians and Quebeckers should consider carefully what it means that after being caught red-handed giving ovations to a Nazi collaborator in the House of Commons, and then claiming that this is a mistake, Canada's so-called political leaders are now unreservedly backing Zionist crimes and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

All Out to Support the Palestinian Resistance!
End the Occupation Now!
Freedom and Justice for Palestine!

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Palestinian Resistance Rises in
Operation Al-Aqsa Flood

Palestine resistance fighters tear down fence between Gaza and occupied Palestine, October 7, 2023

At dawn on October 7, Palestinian resistance fighters launched a stunning assault from occupied Palestine to smash the siege on Gaza "with a comprehensive offensive confronting the occupier by land and air, taking control of Palestinian land, seizing occupation settlers and soldiers and launching thousands of missiles." The Palestinian resistance forces are fighting to advance towards the liberation of Palestine," Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network wrote. They reported that Brigadier General Nimrod Aloni is one of the dozens of hostages they were able to take. The hostages are from among the occupation soldiers and settlers taken in order to liberate the 5,250 Palestinian prisoners in occupation prisons, including the 1,350 jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention, 39 women and 170 children.

The operation, called Al-Aqsa Flood, was launched on the 50th anniversary of the 1973 war in which Egypt reclaimed the occupied Sinai from Zionist occupation, "and is set to alter the direction of the struggle in occupied Palestine, moving from resistance toward revolution and liberation," the organization wrote. It explained that the resistance operation "comes in response to the ongoing stream of crimes against the Palestinian people, the daily murder of Palestinians on the streets of the West Bank of occupied Palestine, the siege on Gaza, the theft of land for settlements, the denial of refugees' right to return, imposing exile for over 75 years, the torture and attacks on the Palestinian prisoners, the ongoing invasions of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the 75 years of Zionist occupation and over 100 years of imperialist domination and colonialism throughout occupied Palestine. It also comes to bring about the liberation of Palestinian prisoners, as part and parcel of the Palestinian people and land."

Samidoun continues: " [I]t is a decisive rebuke to the entire path of Oslo and normalization imposed upon the Palestinian and Arab people for the past 50 years, indicating a new path forward with a clear goal: liberation, and nothing less. It builds upon the liberation of south Lebanon from occupation by the Lebanese resistance, led by Hezbollah, in 2000, and the defeat of the Zionist invasion of Lebanon in 2006, as well as the successive heroic battles waged by the Palestinian resistance throughout occupied Palestine and especially from its base area of resistance land in Gaza.

Samidoun has joined the Masar Badil, the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement "in calling the masses of our Palestinian people, supporters of the resistance in exile and diaspora, allies from the liberation forces and movements, and solidarity committees with the Palestinian people everywhere, to express their support for the heroic Palestinian resistance, raise the flag of Palestine and the banners of resistance."  The Masar Badil has called on its organizations and supporters to "organize popular, political and media demonstrations and events to expose the Zionist crimes against our people in occupied Palestine, and to support the Al-Aqsa Flood operation announced by the Commander-in-Chief of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades [the military wing of Hamas], Brother Mohammed al-Deif."

The statement says: "The heroic Palestinian resistance has opened a chapter of battles of dignity and pride at the dawn of October 7, 2023, "and it is now responding to decades of continuous and repeated Zionist, U.S. and European aggression "against the masses of our Arab and Islamic nation."

For its part, Hamas stated this operation, called Al-Aqsa Flood was launched on October 7 with more than 7,000 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement also said its fighters have joined the operation as Hamas called on Palestinians everywhere to fight and on resistance groups in Lebanon to join the fighting against Israel.

Israel responded with massive air strikes deep inside Gaza, killing scores and wounding hundreds of people and vowing unprecedented retaliation."Our enemy will pay a price the type of which it has never known," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. "We are in a war and we will win it." He told everyone in Gaza to evacuate or face the consequences of Israeli strikes, despite the fact that Gaza is an area of about 365 square km, and home to 2.3 million Palestinians, which has been under an Israeli occupation and blockade since 2007, meaning that the people have no where to go.

Palestinians inspect the ruins of mosques and homes following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, October 9, 2023. More than 500 Palestinians have been killed and at least 123,500 have been displaced by Israeli bombings as of October 9.

Crowds gather on October 9, 2023, for the funeral of 15-year-old Imad Jareh Adili, shot the night before by Israeli colonial forces at the entrance of Beita, south of Nablus. These forces have killed at least 11 Palestinians in the West Bank at demonstrations in support of resistance in Gaza and in confrontations with the army.

Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz said on October 7: "I have signed an order instructing [Israel] Electric Company to stop the electricity supply to Gaza." Power outages have long been an everyday occurrence in Gaza and households only had electricity for several hours a day on a rotational basis on the days before recent power cuts started. Gaza's power authority informed that 80 per cent of the electricity supplies to Gaza from the national grid were cut off following Israel's announcement. As of October 9, the UN informs that the Gaza Power Plant is now the only source of power and could run out of fuel within days.

The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, UN Human Rights Commission in its recent report (September 2023) concluded "that Israel has violated and continues to violate the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination by its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. The legal consequence of the violation of right to self-determination, which is an obligation erga omnes [toward all], is the responsibility of the State of Israel. The current occupation, which has lasted 56 years to date, is unlawful under international law. The result of the unlawful acts entails legal consequences for Israel to bring an end to the 'internationally wrongful act.' All States and the UN are also under an obligation to act urgently to bring the unlawful acts to an end."

Palestinian children fill water bottles after Israeli colonial forces announce a "complete siege" cutting off food, water, fuel and electricity, October 9, 2023.

As of October 9, the death toll of Palestinians has risen to 687 people, including 140 children and over 2,900 injured. At least 900 Israelis have been killed and over 2,616 wounded. The United Nations says 123,538 Palestinians have been displaced by fighting. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees estimates that 73,538 people are sheltering across 64 schools in Gaza, some of which are designated emergency shelters.

Meanwhile, 130 Israelis are reportedly being held captive and approximately 750 Israelis are currently missing, according to Israeli media. The U.S. said that nine U.S. citizens have died during ongoing hostilities in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Israel has now initiated Operation Swords of Iron which it says is directed against Hamas but in fact targets the entire population of Gaza. Israel has amassed a force 300,000 strong and an all out Israeli ground attack on the Gaza Strip is expected. Israel's Defence Minister Yoav Gallant announced a "complete siege" of the Gaza Strip on October 9.

"I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed," Gallant said. On the morning of October 10, the Israeli military said its air force had dropped 2,000 munitions and more than 1,000 tonnes of bombs on Gaza in the last 20 hours. It has shelled 20 high-rise residential buildings, mosques, hospitals, banks and other civilian infrastructure, news agencies report. Despite the large number of civilian buildings struck, the Israeli military claims it has destroyed 800 military targets in Gaza as part of its bombing campaign. Gallant said, "We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly."

Salama Marouf, head of media for the Hamas government of Gaza, said Gallant's statement was "cover to justify the occupation's aggression against civilian people and property." UN observers concur. Israeli airstrikes and shelling in Gaza have targeted houses and apartment buildings, with some struck without warning for residents to evacuate, the UN said on October 9. One Israeli airstrike in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, for example, killed 19 members of the same family. Conducting airstrikes against civilian targets without warning has become Israel's new normal. "The execution of Israeli hostages will be the response to the Israeli forces' attacks on residential buildings and civilian facilities," Hamas said in a statement.

Intense clashes are also reported as the resistance fighters engage Israeli troops in several cities across the occupied West Bank, including clashes in Jenin, Nablus, Jericho, and Hebron. Palestinian media reports more than 300 acts of resistance in the West Bank since Hamas began its operation, including several shootings targeting Israeli troops. The Jalameh checkpoint was set ablaze by Palestinian fighters on October 8. Confrontations with Israeli forces were reported in the town of al-Issawiya, northeast of occupied Jerusalem and in Wadi al-Jooz, Ras al-Amoud, and al-Thawri neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.

International Response

U.S. President Joe Biden has ordered the largest U.S. aircraft carrier and warplanes to move closer to Israel in a show of support for Israel's war against the Palestinian people. The U.S. also promised to provide munitions and equipment to Israel, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement on October 9. Israel has also requested the Biden administration provide it additional Iron Dome missile interceptors, small diameter bombs, and machine gun ammunition.

For his part, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that Britain "unequivocally" stands with Israel and has offered potential military aid. He also posted a picture of Downing Street to social media, with the Israeli flag projected on it with the caption: "We Stand with Israel." Another was projected on London's City Hall.

Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement says it has fired shells and guided missiles toward Israeli-occupied Lebanese territories, in response to Israeli bombardment of its installations. Hezbollah said it had targeted the Radar, Zabdin, and Ruwaysat Al-Alam sites in the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms. "The attacks were carried out on the path to liberate what remains occupied of our Lebanese land and in solidarity with the victorious Palestinian resistance, the struggling and patient Palestinian people," Hezbollah said.

Qatar is holding negotiations between Palestinian organizations and Israel for a possible deal on a prisoner swap. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned Israel's ongoing military aggression against the people in Palestine, stressing that the main cause of the latest bloody conflict is the regime's disregard for the legitimate rights of the Palestinians. The OIC said the "continuation of the Israeli occupation and its failure to adhere to the resolutions of international legitimacy, and the escalation of the pace of its attacks and daily crimes against the Palestinian people, their land and holy sites, and depriving them of their legitimate rights is the main reason for instability."

Iran's mission to the United Nations says Operation Al-Aqsa Storm is a "legitimate defence" against decades of Israeli occupation. It rejected allegations that Tehran had a role in Hamas' large-scale military operation. It has been "taken solely by Palestine itself," the mission said. "The resolute measures taken by Palestine constitute a wholly legitimate defence against seven decades of oppressive occupation and heinous crimes committed by the illegitimate Zionist regime," the mission said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba issued a statement on October 8 which said: "The Republic of Cuba expresses grave concern over the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, which is the result of 75 years of continuous violation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and Israel's aggressive and expansionist policy. Cuba demands a broad, fair and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on the basis of the creation of two states, which enables the Palestinian people to exercise their right to free determination and to possess an independent and sovereign state within the borders prior to 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"The United Nations Security Council must fulfill its mandate and put an end to the impunity of Israel, the occupying power, of which the United States has historically been accomplice, by repeatedly obstructing the body's action, undermining peace, security and stability in the Middle East. Cuba calls for peace and the search for a solution through negotiation that avoids a further escalation of conflict that has already cost the lives of tens of thousands of people."

Indonesia and Pakistan also expressed support for the Palestinians. They called on Israel to immediately halt its brutal aggression against Palestinians. "Indonesia is deeply concerned with the escalation of conflict between Palestine and Israel. Indonesia urges the immediate end of violence to avoid further human casualties," the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. "The root of conflict, namely the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel, must be resolved, in accordance with the parameters agreed upon by the UN," the statement said. This came after the Indonesia Hospital, located in the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Lahia, was hit by Israeli forces on Saturday killing one of the facility's local staff. Indonesian non-governmental organization Medical Emergency Rescue Committee, or MER-C, which funded the hospital, has vociferously condemned the attack. "The direct attack on the Indonesia Hospital complex in Beit Lahia, Gaza Strip on Saturday appears to amplify how in the Israel-Palestine war, international humanitarian law is never under consideration for Israel," the committee said in a statement.

Pakistan's President Dr. Arif Alvi criticized Israel for suppressing the rights of Palestinians, urging the international community "to play its active role" to ease the tension between Israel and Palestine. "Progress toward peace cannot materialize without condemnation of usurpation and brutalization of Palestinian rights and people by Israel," Alvi wrote "A viable and sovereign State of Palestine must be established on the basis of pre-1967 borders and UN resolutions. The international community needs to intervene to bring an end to the conflict, protect civilians, and work towards a lasting peace in the Middle East," he added.

Riyad H. Mansour the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations urged the international community not to let Israel "double down on its terrible choices," but to instead encourage it to change course and remind it that "there is a path to peace, where neither Palestinians nor Israelis are killed. And it is the one diametrically opposed to the one Israel has embarked on." "[H]istory for some media and politicians starts when Israelis are killed," he said, adding that "Our people have endured one deadly year after another. [...] Where is the international protection the Palestinian people are entitled to when the occupying power violates international law and harms those it is obliged to protect? Aren't Palestinian lives worth saving? The Palestinian civilians killed, the Palestinian children killed in occupied Palestine, could have been spared. Isn't that a moral and legal obligation and a contribution to peace? Why nothing is done when those killed are Palestinians? We need to think hard of what logic we want to see prevail here. If this is about vengeance, then many Palestinians will feel they have much to avenge. If this is about peace, then the way to it is not through further entrenching oppression and occupation but by ending it. You cannot say ‘nothing justifies killing Israelis' and then provide justifications for killing Palestinians. We are not sub-humans. We will never accept a rhetoric that denigrates our humanity and reneges our rights, a rhetoric that ignores the occupation of our land and oppression of our people."

Mansour urged the international community to consider a different path, one that prioritizes the lives and rights of the Palestinian people. He called for equal measures of freedom and security, emphasizing that standing up against occupation is not just the right thing to do morally, but also legally and politically.

"Last October, we stated before the Security Council: The Palestinian people will be free, one day or the other, one way or another. We chose the peaceful way, the one the international community advocates for. Do not let Israel prove us wrong, for our sake and theirs," said Mansour. "When Israel now tries to justify yet another assault by the same faulty premise, no one should say or do anything to encourage it down this path. We know only too well that the messages about 'Israel's right to defend itself' will be interpreted by Israel as license to kill, to pursue on the very path that led us here."

The UN Security Council met on October 8 to discuss the developments but was unable to issue a statement as no agreement could be reached.

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Labour for Palestine-Canada

As Israeli colonial violence escalates in Gaza, Labour for Palestine-Canada demands that the Canadian government call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the Israeli occupation and apartheid in Palestine.

We offer our condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in recent days, and throughout the decades of forcible dispossession and occupation, no matter where they live.

It is a heartbreaking truth that the daily violence and terror experienced by the Palestinians, at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces and with the support of the international community, requires relentless and sustained resistance. A population cannot live under siege and apartheid with the daily threat of harassment, humiliation, violence, home demolitions and murder without responding.

The UN claims 2023 has already been the deadliest year for Palestinians since it started counting deaths in 2006. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of this year, according to the health ministry. Western world leaders, including Canada, have shamefully turned a blind eye as far right Israeli ministers publicly provoke violence, as land grabbing became official government policy, and unspeakable war crimes are a regular occurrence.

After more than 16 years of living under economic and military siege by Israel, of being confined to the world's largest open air-prison, Gaza has finally broken free and Palestinians are demonstrating their determination to liberate themselves and their land from 75 years of settler-colonization, apartheid and occupation. The current Palestinian violence must be understood within the context that it is taking place in order for genuine peace and justice to be realized.

Now, after such prolonged and shameful silence, Canada and its political parties have jumped to condemn Palestinians for resisting their own annihilation. Yet they refuse to even mention that Israel, a military superpower, has now declared war on Palestinians for daring to resist.

As members of the labour movement in Canada, we call for an end to the Israeli occupation and apartheid in Palestine. We further call on the Canadian Government to recognize and condemn the incessant violence perpetrated and provoked by Israel.

We commend Palestinians for their heroic resistance and their indomitable will. We recognize the right of all people to resist their own occupation, including through armed struggle. This right, first protected by the Geneva Conventions in 1949, has been reaffirmed numerous times by the United Nations general assembly. We refuse to be divided or to fall into the colonial trap of condemning certain Palestinian groups or certain forms of resistance. Canadians should not attempt to dictate how an oppressed indigenous population fights for their own liberation.

We call on all trade unions and labour leaders to be in solidarity with Palestinian resistance by educating their members, pressuring politicians, and championing boycott, divestment, and sanctions against apartheid Israel. The labour movement must use its power and influence to end Canada's support for Israel's racist colonial regime. We encourage trade unionists to contact Labour for Palestine for resources and support towards that end.

(October 9, 2023)

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Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians

The Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians (APAC) is deeply concerned with the ongoing violence in Palestine and Israel and stands in solidarity with all Palestinians in advocating for their human rights. We condemn statements reaffirming Israel's right to defend itself and view statements of this nature as one-sided and irresponsible. Such statements perpetuate an ongoing and harmful pattern of complete disregard to the core issues that have created the conditions which led to this violence.

APAC affirms that the death of civilians is never acceptable. However, the violence we are seeing today is sadly what Palestinians experience on a daily basis, whether it be through Israel's crushing illegal blockade of Gaza, persistent settler attacks on Palestinian civilians, or Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.

Today's violence is a reminder of the consequences of a 75 year long unchecked occupation, continued expansion of illegal settlements, continued denial of Palestinians' fundamental human rights, a brutal blockade, and an unrelenting system of apartheid.

In the immediate term, we call on the Government of Canada, in partnership with the international community, to exercise all diplomatic efforts to:

- de-escalate the situation;

- demand that Israel exercise restraint; and

- remind Israel of its legal duties under international law as an occupying power to protect those living under its brutal occupation.

Furthermore, we call on the Government of Canada to refrain from issuing provocative statements affirming Israel's unequivocal right to defend itself. Courage is required to recognize that the international community's pattern of reaffirming Israel's right to defend itself has not contributed to improving the prospects for peace and only serves to provide Israel with the diplomatic cover to undertake heinous acts of violence against the Palestinian people.

Lastly, we call on the Government of Canada, in partnership with the international community, to make resolving the Israel-Palestine issue a top international priority. Peace in the region remains elusive in part due to the international community's refusal to make sincere efforts to address root causes and its failure to hold Israel accountable for its flagrant violation of international law.

A solution can only be achieved with the full participation of the Palestinian people and through the upholding and equal application of international law and an end to the occupation. In the absence of this, we will remain trapped in this ongoing cycle of violence as the desire for freedom, and efforts to resist the denial of this freedom, should never be underestimated.

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Communist Party of Israel and Democratic Front
for Peace and Equality

On October 7, the Communist Party of Israel [CPI] and the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) courageously and truthfully put the full responsibility for the escalation of violence in the Israeli war against the Palestinians on the Netanyahu government. In a statement concerning the rapid escalation of military confrontation between Hamas and Israeli forces, they blame the criminal occupation policy of the Netanyahu government, underlining the grave dangers that it poses for the peace in the region.

"The fascist right-wing government's crimes to perpetuate the occupation are leading to a regional war that must be stopped. Even in difficult days like this – we repeat and voice an unequivocal condemnation of any harm to innocent civilians, and call for their removal from the bloodshed. We send our condolences to all the families of the victims of the occupation, Arabs and Jews alike," the statement reads.

CPI and Hadash put the full responsibility on the fascist right-wing government for the sharp and dangerous escalation of the last few hours, that cost the lives of many innocent citizens. "At the end of a shocking week in which the settlers ran amok throughout the occupied territories under the auspices of their government, desecrated the Al-Aqsa Mosque and carried out another pogrom in Huwara, we woke up this morning to a very serious escalation, which endangers the entire region in a regional and dangerous war – which the right-wing government has been fueling since its first day."

"Today's events show in what dangerous direction the Netanyahu government and the settlers are leading the entire region, and emphasize once again that there is no way to manage the conflict or resolve it militarily – there is only one solution: strive to end the occupation and recognize the legitimate demands and rights of the Palestinian people. The end of the occupation and the establishment of a just peace are a distinct and common interest of the two peoples in this country."

CPI and Hadash express "deep concern about the use of recent developments by the Netanyahu government to carry out a vengeful attack on the Gaza Strip and call on the international community and the countries of the region to intervene immediately to silence the drums of war and initiate moves that will lead to the promotion of a political solution."

CPI and Hadash warn of revenge activities against the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and especially the residents of the mixed cities and the unknown villages in the Negev – who have already paid a high price due to the neglect of their lives by the state and the lack of infrastructure in the settlements. In this reality, it is the duty of the sane forces in Israel, Jews and Arabs alike, to raise a sharp and clear voice against any attempt to incite against entire populations or to take the law into one's own hands, and to promote joint activity, which signifies the aspiration for a normative life without occupation, discrimination and supremacy – a life of peace, equality and true democracy for all."

Saturday evening [October 7], Member of the Knesset Ofer Cassif (Hadash) posted a video to social media: "Nothing justifies crimes and massacres as committed today in the south of Israel. But the writing was on the wall, as I warned for a long time: We will pay a heavy price for the crimes of the occupation, the siege on Gaza and the arrogance of the racist Kahanist government. There is no military solution, only a political one – the end of the occupation and Palestinian independence."

(October 7, 2023)

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Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

On October 4, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) delivered an oral intervention during the 54th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The statement was delivered by Basel Alsourani, PCHR's International Advocacy Officer, under Agenda item 7 on "Human Rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab Territories." It addressed Israeli apartheid, focusing on the statements made by Israeli National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, during a TV interview in which he publicly admitted to Israeli apartheid. During the interview, Itamar Ben-Gvir stated that Israeli rights were more important than those of Palestinians, a statement which he refused to apologize for.

The text of the oral statement continues:

"Itamar Ben Gvir's statements reflect the enduring reality in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and inside the Green Line as the Israeli government continues to impose a system of domination and oppression against Palestinians denying them their most basic rights, including their right to self-determination, in order to benefit Israeli Jews. This is not the first time that an Israeli minister has made such a statement. Several months earlier, Israeli Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, called for the wiping out of the Palestinian town of Howara.

"The existence of apartheid has become increasingly difficult to ignore considering the Israeli government policies, statements, and practices which clearly show an intent to pursue permanent annexation of Palestinian land based on Jewish supremacy. In addition, there has been growing recognition among Palestinian, Israeli, and International human rights organizations as well as experts, academics, and prominent individuals that the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as well as inside the Green Line amounts to apartheid."

At the end of the statement, PCHR called on Member States of the UNHRC "to recognize, condemn, and dismantle Israel's apartheid system." PCHR also called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to include the crime against humanity of apartheid in his investigation into the situation and prosecute relevant perpetrators."

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UN Secretary-General's Brief to Security Council

On September 27, members of the Security Council received a brief of the UN Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) for the reporting period from June 15 to September 19 of this year.

Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) calls on Israel to "immediately and completely cease all settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem" and to "fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard." Settlement activity has, nevertheless, continued. Israeli authorities advanced plans for 6,300 housing units in Area C, including the retroactive 'legalization,' under Israeli law, of three outposts near the settlement of Eli. In East Jerusalem, approximately 3,580 housing units were advanced. [...]

"I remain deeply troubled by the unrelenting expansion of Israeli settlements and settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with over 10,000 housing units advanced in this reporting period alone. Settlements further entrench the occupation, fuel violence, impede Palestinian access to their land and resources, and systematically erode the viability of a Palestinian State as part of a two-State solution. I reiterate that settlements have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of international law and United Nations resolutions. I call on the Government of Israel to cease all settlement activity and dismantle outposts immediately, in line with its obligations under international law."

Demolitions and seizures of Palestinian-owned structures continued across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain, Israeli authorities, demolished, seized or forced people to demolish 238 structures, displacing 183 people, including 46 women and 91 children and 32 structures which were donor funded.

Fifty-nine schools, serving some 6,500 Palestinian students, are at risk of demolition. The demolition and seizure of Palestinian structures, including internationally funded humanitarian projects, entail numerous human rights violations and raise concerns about the risk of forcible transfer. "I call upon the Government of Israel to end this practice, in line with its international obligations, and to allow Palestinian communities to build and address their development needs," the UN Secretary General said.

The report further recorded the following: "Over the reporting period, 68 Palestinians, including 18 children, were killed by Israeli security forces during demonstrations, clashes, security operations, attacks or alleged attacks against Israelis, and other incidents. 2,830 Palestinians, including 30 women and 559 children, were injured. Of that number, 271 were injured by live ammunition and 2,119 by tear gas inhalation. In addition, two Palestinians were killed and 73 injured, including three women and 12 children, amid a high level of attacks by Israeli settlers. Israeli security forces carried out 1,042 search-and-arrest operations in the West Bank, resulting in 1,504 Palestinians arrested, including 88 children. Israel currently holds 1,264 Palestinians in administrative detention, the highest number in over a decade."

Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) calls for the parties to refrain from acts of provocation, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric. Unfortunately, such acts continued. In an interview, an Israeli Minister said, "My right and that of my wife and my children, to travel on the roads in Judea and Samaria, is more important than the freedom of movement for Arabs." A Member of the Israeli Knesset said that any "Palestinian running away from an Israel Defense Forces soldier must be shot." "A Palestinian who approaches an IDF soldier must also be shot," he added. An Israeli minister visited the Holy Sites on the Jewish commemoration day of Tisha B'av and called on Israelis to "return" to the sites and "show our governance."

The Secretary-General called on Israel "to abide by its obligations under international law, including with regard to the proportional use of force, and ensure thorough, independent and prompt investigations into all instances of possible excessive use of force, holding those responsible to account. [...] I am disturbed by the multiple instances in which officials have used dangerous or racist rhetoric and engaged in incitement."

The Secretary-General said that he continues to remain committed "to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to end the occupation and resolve the conflict in line with international law, relevant United Nations resolutions, and bilateral agreements in pursuit of the vision of two States -- Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, viable, and sovereign Palestinian State -- living side by side in peace and security within secure and recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines, with Jerusalem as the shared capital of both States." For 30 years now, Israel has shown it has no intention of abiding by its obligations under international law and that the two-state solution was never its intention. The Palestinian people are courageously seeking an end to the occupation, the apartheid regime and the crimes of genocide committed against them.

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Photo Review

Actions in Canada and Around the World

Ottawa, October 8

With less than a day's notice, more than 1,200 people, most of them young people, gathered at the Human Rights Monument in Ottawa to show their support for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance.

Speakers there included the Palestinian Youth Movement, Independent Jewish Voices, Palestinian Student Association -- University of Ottawa, and Labour for Palestine -- Canada. All the speakers called for support for the Palestinian people against the aggression and armed violence of the Zionist entity. They saluted the Palestinian resistance which has opened a chapter of struggle for the dignity and pride of the Palestinian people which is now responding to decades of continuous and repeated Zionist aggression against the Palestinian people. They denounced the hypocrisy of the Trudeau government and all political parties who support Israel's right to defend itself while ignoring the plight of the Palestinian people caused by the Zionists' criminality. They also cautioned everyone not to fall into the trap of condemning the victims of oppression and dictating how the Palestinian people should fight for their liberation.

After hearing the speakers, the demonstration marched through downtown Ottawa and the Byward Market, past the U.S. Embassy and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office on Wellington Street. Slogans shouted called for the freedom of Palestine and affirmed that resistance is a right.

The demonstration ended at the Human Rights Monument more than two hours after the rally began, with calls from the organizers to be ready to demonstrate again and continue actions in support of the Palestinian people.

Montreal, October 8

At the call of the Palestinian Youth Movement, hundreds of people of all ages, most of them youth, rallied at Dorchester Square in downtown Montreal where a sea of Palestinian flags adorned the park. For close to an hour, people chanted in unison in French, English and Arabic From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!; Free, Free Palestine!; Netanyahu, You Will See, Palestine Will Be Free!; Gaza, Gaza!; Resistance is Justified, When People are Occupied!,;Resistance Is Justified When People are Colonized!; Intifada, Intifada, Long Live Intifada!; There Is Only One Solution, Intifada Revolution!; Israel Terrorist, Trudeau Accomplice!

A young woman spoke to the crowd reminding everyone that "People in Palestine have been under a blockade for more than 50 years. Under the brutality of the occupation, people have been denied their basic rights." The crowd answered back "Shame!" She added, "The arrogance of the occupiers, believing they can get away with anything because they have the backing of some of the most powerful countries in the world, [...] 

"The operations that have been going on for the last few days are to restore our dignity, and for all the Arabs of the world. We are here to celebrate that victory, [..] to break that captivity that has been imposed on us by the Zionist entity [...] to restore our rightful honour! [...] We are asking politicians to support us and to remind them that we are here to liberate our homeland, with our own hands. As members of the diaspora that live in Canada, in the heart of the enemy, we must remind ourselves to be patient, that wherever we go, we must not rest until every inch of Palestine is liberated!"

For close to two hours the march travelled through the streets of downtown Montreal, with people chanting slogans and waving flags until they arrived at the Israeli consulate. The consulate was heavily guarded by police officers of the Sûreté du Québec riot squad who pushed back anyone trying to go up the stairs leading to the entrance of the building. The crowd stayed on for another half hour. The organizers called on people to be ready to come out for another emergency rally when needed.

Halifax, October 8

Toronto, October 7

For several hours, a group of Palestinian youth and supporters of the Palestinian resistance waved flags and hung a large banner stating "Honk Your Horns for Palestine" on an overpass straddling the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto. The honking of the horns was practically uninterrupted as motorists coming into and leaving the city showed their support, some waving and raising their fists. This support invigorated the youth who held their ground despite the efforts of the Toronto police to harass and intimidate them, and clearly reflected the broad support for the Palestinian people's courage and their just cause.  

Toronto, October 9

More than 5,000 people participated in a rally and march in support of the Palestinian people organized by the Palestine Youth Movement. The action began at Nathan Phillips Square with the chanting of slogans including From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free!  Trudeau You Will See, Palestine Will Be Free!  The Only Solution, Intifada Revolution!  Intifada, Intifada, Long Live the Intifada!, and others in Arabic and English.  

Following the rally, the participants marched up Bay Street stopping at intersections to chant and shout slogans. Along the route youth were front and centre along the way and leading the chants. Many Torontonians warmly saluted the action, many joining in. The action ended at the Israeli Consulate at Yonge and Bloor Street where the chanting of slogans continued for some time reflecting the spirit of the Palestinian people to continue their struggle until victory.

Many denounced the statements of politicians like Ontario Premier Doug Ford and the mayor of Toronto, Olivia Chow, who outdid themselves in characterizing the actions called in solidarity with Palestine as "glorifying this weekend's indiscriminate violence." Chow tweeted that "The rally to support Hamas at Nathan Phillips Square today is unsanctioned, without a permit and I unequivocally denounce it. Glorifying this weekend's indiscriminate violence, including murder and kidnapping of women and children, by Hamas against Israeli civilians is deplorable." She remained silent about the crimes of the Zionists against women and children and the entire Palestinian people, all against international law -- including cutting electricity and shipments of food and water and medical supplies to Gaza -- and standards of human behaviour.  Chow ended her statement with "I am receiving updates from the Chief of Police, who assures me they will investigate and address any suspected incidents of hate."  

The spirit of the rally in Toronto was unequivocally in support of the unwavering determination of the Palestinian people to end the Israeli occupation and their treatment as less than human, with no rights. It applauded the Palestinian resistance for defying the constant repression and violence and the stand of the Zionists and their supporters that they are all powerful and can succeed in subduing the long-suffering Palestinian nation.

London, October 9

Edmonton, October 8

Around 1,500 Palestinians and their supports held a militant rally in Castle Downs Park. Large numbers of youth participated, along with whole families, from the small children holding Palestinian flags to the older generation who hold the memories of being forced from their homes when they themselves were small children.

A huge Palestinian flag covered the hillside where everyone gathered to hear the speakers. Speaker after speaker upheld the right of the people of Palestine and all oppressed people to resist. They spoke of the crimes committed by the Zionists, and their determination to End the Occupation. Again and again the speakers were met with Free PalestineFrom the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free! and other chants. Following the speakers everyone joined in to hold a militant march through the park.

Calgary, October 9

Vancouver, October 8

Vancouver, October 9

United States

Portland, OR

San Fransisco, CA

Milwaukee, WI

Chicago, IL

Columbus, OH

Raleigh, NC

Atlanta, GA

Boston, MA

Cambridge, MA

New Haven, CT

New York City, NY

Rochester, NY

Albany, NY

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(Photos: TML, PMLQ, Samidoun, PSL, Answer, ashapoesis, Riffs33, NY Peoples Forum, didactickatydid, itsslusey, Lau_bast, Progressive Omar, IPSC, Brighton BDS, Brighton & Hove PSC, PSC, Palestinjnse Gemeenschap, Aldanmarki, LuaLua TV, Sana, Shehab, E. Garaad, AR30, Jaguaress)

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