PRESS RELEASE

Join us in the fight for the freedom of Palestine

Invitation to Journalist and Media Organizations

October 7, 2021

Friends of Meezaan – Email: a.grifat@meezaan-sa.org – WhatsApp: +27614772555

Palestine Solidarity Alliance – Email: info@palestinesa.co.za – 0823366711

cropped-PHOTO-2021-10-11-12-08-06-removebg-preview-1.png

PRESS CONFERENCE

As the world witnesses the increasing repression and racism of the Israeli apartheid state on the Palestinian people, we welcome a young human rights activist Muna El Kurd to South Africa.

Time Magazine recently listed Muna and her brother Mohammed as two of the 100 most influential young people in the world for their activism in defending their home and that of the Palestinian community of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem.

Social media post showing how Jewish settlers simply take over the homes of Palestinians and how the Israeli police protect them have highlighted the daily Palestinian struggles against forced removals, evictions, apartheid, settler colonialism and ethnic cleansing.

‘What Israeli settler Jacob, told Palestinian Muna al-Kurd, whose house is under threat of confiscation, on camera says it all. “If I don’t steal it, someone else is gonna steal it,” he said in English. This proves that this is a systemic campaign led by settler groups to kick Palestinians out.’

 

Date:                         Saturday 16 October 2021

Time:                         10H00 – 11H00 (Screening and registration will start at 09H30)

Venue:                      The Mix, 73 Toby Street, Sophiatown, Johannesburg

Accreditation:        Please send full name and contact details to info@palestinesa.co.za

                                    Journalist are encouraged to pre-register and confirm credentials on the day.

Additional Notes

ABOUT SHEIKH JARRAH

Sheikh Jarrah is a small neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, home to 28 Palestinian refugee families that were ethnically cleansed from their original homes during the 1948 Nakba. 

An agreement between Jordan and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in 1956 stipulated that these families would then be allocated houses and land in Sheikh Jarrah.

A recent ruling by an Israeli court in October 2020 set to forcibly evict 12 Palestinian families from the neighbourhood, under the expectation that they were to hand over their properties to Israeli settlers. They were given until May 2021 to evacuate. As a result, 550 Palestinians face the threat of displacement.

This is not a new phenomenon to the neighbourhood. Since 1972, settlers have routinely dragged Palestinians out of their homes and forcibly removed their possessions, with the backing of security entities. 

In 2009, the Al Ghawi family was forcibly evicted from their home in the neighbourhood. They and 10 other families were displaced.

A full timeline of recent events is available here: https://beirut-today.com/2021/05/12/palestine-protests-a-full-timeline-of-sheikh-jarrah-events/

ISRAEL IS AN APARTHEID STATE

Earlier this year Israeli NGOs such as B’Tselem had begun to use the term “apartheid” to refer to Israel’s policies towards Palestinians living in Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In a damning report by Human Rights Watch denounced Israel’s policy towards Palestinians as apartheid. The report is the first of its kind from an international human rights organization and comes after repeated Palestinian calls to adopt such as a discourse to describe Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

“We base our work on two years of investigation and two decades of work in Israel and the occupied territories. In using the term “apartheid” we are not making a historical analogy, but applying international law.” says Kenneth Roth, executive director of HRW, in an interview for Le Monde.

He added that in more than 900 small communities in Israel, admission committees allow Jews to live there, but not Palestinian citizens of the country. “An effort is being made to cluster Palestinian communities in limited areas, while Jewish communities are allowed to flourish.”

In its report, HRW further denounces the “systematic oppression” of Palestinians and “inhumane acts,” which define a “crime of apartheid”. From its headquarters in New York, HRW urged the UN to set up an “international commission of inquiry” on the situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and for foreign states to “not be complicit” in the Israeli policy towards the Palestinians.

The full report is available here: https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution

SOUTH AFRICANS AND PALESTINIANS: A COMMON STRUGGLE AGAINST APARTHEID

Last week South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor held discussions with his Palestinian counterpart Riad Malki, and vowed to further strengthen relations built on the foundation of long-standing solidarity, friendship, and cooperation, according to a joint statement.

As South African Human Rights and Solidarity groups, this commitment from our government to the cause of the Palestinian people is welcomed and we hope that further in isolating Israel and holding to account those who are responsible for the crimes of apartheid. As civil society, we recognise the importance of building solidarity with activist in Palestine and thus welcome the visit by Muna El Kurd. We look forward to her engagement with various communities and groups in Johannesburg and Cape Town as she reflects on her personal life experiences as a Palestinian youth living under occupation and apartheid.

Muna El Kurd is a guest of Friends of Meezaan and supported by the Palestine Solidarity Alliance.

For more details regarding her visit, please refer to the contact listed above.

Youth Round Table with Muna El-Kurd

Join us for an interactive youth-led round table discussion featuring Muna El-Kurd. Fill in the form below to register your spot.