As a gesture of solidarity, residents in the West Bank village of Bil’in demonstrated against the current holocaust on Gaza in outfits symbolic of the clothing worn by victims of the Nazi holocaust.The Israeli army used several new weapons, one of which is a bullet filled with an unknown chemical substance, against the demonstrators. Five individuals, including a member of Bil’in’s popular committee, were arrested and later released.
“Stop the holocaust,” chanted the residents of Bil’in during today’s protest, held in solidarity with the Gazan people. After the Friday prayer, Palestinian, international and Israeli activists gathered to voice their opposition to the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza.
Wearing clothing similar to prisoners in Nazi camps, protestors traded the Star of David badge for a Gaza Strip badge.
“The outfits and insignia are a visual remembrance to the parallel conditions of the Jewish holocaust and the Gazan holocaust. Indiscriminate killing of members belonging to an ethnic group that was put and is trapped in a ghetto: Gaza is the present day concentration camp,” stated Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a member of Bil’in’s popular committee. Protesters hoped to send a message to the world: the international community is ignoring another holocaust.The demonstrators marched through the streets of the village, towards the Apartheid Wall. An effort to condemn Israeli war crimes against the population of Gaza was met with tear gas, new bullets containing an unknown chemical substance and new bullets termed “0.2”, from Israeli soldiers. The new bullets that contain an unknown chemical substance are round and green and explode upon impact. Several protesters were injured including Muhammad Nabil Abu Rahmeh who had to be taken to Ramallah Hospital for treatment after he was shot at with the new 0.2 bullet. The small bullet went through his leg, causing great damage to muscle. Also injured by rubber bullets were a photographer from Al Jazeera International, Yase Ashal Mahmud Yasen and a child named Nashmi Aburahma.
Soldiers also entered through a road gate into Bil’in and arrested Muhammed Khatib, a member of Bil’in’s Popular Committee, Ashraf Abu Rahma, Samer Ataya and two Israeli activists. They were released later in the day.
The ongoing siege on Gaza, illegal under international law, was intensified when Israeli occupation forces began attacking Gaza with air strikes, shelling from the navy and a ground invasion. The military incursion on Gaza has already led to the death of over 781 people and injury of another 3,300.
Israel continues to indiscriminately attack on the densely populated Gaza Strip: a 40km by 7km remnant of historical Palestine with 1.5 million residents. Even Israeli officials are drawing comparisons to the Nazi inflicted holocaust.
Speaking to Israeli army radio, the Deputy Defense Minister, Matan Vilnai said, “the more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.” Shoah is the Hebrew term for the Jewish holocaust.
Today’s action was a reminder to the international world about the consequences of letting Gazan massacres go unnoticed. As proven by a history that was constructed because of willful ignorance during the Nazi inflicted holocaust, ignoring the Israeli inflicted holocaust on the Palestinians of Gaza is not an option.