Global Actions in Solidarity with Palestine
Dockworkers’ unions and civil society groups across the world, responding to the call of Palestinian trade unions and Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement have initiated ‘Block the Boat’ action against Israeli ZIM ships. On June 4, protesting against the Israeli apartheid policies and crimes against Palestinians, hundreds of people, including members of local dockworkers union (Local 10) formed a picket line preventing ZIM ship from docking in the Port of Oakland in California. They condemned Israel’s 11-day brutal aggression on Gaza, which killed 256 Palestinians, including 66 children and demanded an end to Israeli occupation of Palestine.
In May, similar actions were recently held in South Africa. The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, in Durban expressing solidarity with Palestine, refused to offload cargo from a ZIM ship. Also, in the same month, dockworkers in Livorno, Italy, withheld their services to load a shipment of arms going to Israel.
In United Kingdom, activists from Palestine Action Group occupied the factory of Elbit systems Manchester, after scaling the roof, chaining the gates shut and smearing red paint over the factory’s walls on June 21. Elbit is an Israeli international defence electronics company that develops drone and military surveillance technologies sustaining the Israeli’s military occupation of Palestine.
In Palestine, resistance action continues in West Bank and Gaza against Israeli occupation and annexation plans. In Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families face imminent threat of expulsion, people are keeping up the resistance against daily violence and waves of attacks orchestrated by illegal Israeli settlers and Israeli forces.
On June 10, healthcare workers protested against the raid conducted by Israeli forces at the offices of Union of Health Workers Committee (UHWC), a crucial healthcare provider in West Bank. The Israel forces broke computers and took away hard drives from the offices of UHWC and ordered its closure. On June 11, Israeli forces shot dead 15-year-old Mohammed Hamayel, during a protest in the occupied West Bank village of Beita against illegal Jewish settlement.
With the change of government in Israel, after Benjamin Netanyahu lost the vote of confidence in the Knesset, there are signs of further aggressive shift towards ultra-right wing discourse. The new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who boasts of being an ultra-nationalist, rejects Palestinian statehood, supports annexing 60 per cent of West Bank, and once supported 'shoot to kill' policy on Gaza border.
Meanwhile, international actions like ‘Block the Boat’ and ‘Stop Elbit’ campaign continue to strengthen the global solidarity with Palestine. These actions send a clear message that Israel’s ongoing settler-colonialism, occupation, and violence against the Palestinian people will face a global pushback. π