Palestine is an important place. Not only due to Al Masjid Al Aqsa (Allah mentions this sacred mosque in the Qur'aan, Surah Al-Isra) but also because of the enduring injustice of its occupation. A 2022 Amnesty International Report confirmed that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people. While the current conflict has brought this matter back into the headlines, it is essential to recognize that Palestinians have endured 75 years of apartheid. This has occurred because Israel is founded on Zionism. Zionism promotes the erroneous belief that one race is superior to others. For this reason, Palestinians are treated inferiorly and have been subjected to ethnic cleansing, aggression from settlers, illegal settlements, land theft, destruction of properties and livelihoods, and the ongoing humiliation and degradation of a people - including living in the open-air prison of Gaza - a densely populated area of 2.2 million people that Israel has locked in with a 50-foot cement wall. 70% of Gaza's population are refugees (and their descendants) who were expelled from Israel in 1948. People in Gaza do not have equal rights to Israeli citizens. They are not allowed to build homes, not allowed to travel freely, have minimal opportunities for growth and are unable to obtain an education. There is a 45% unemployment rate in Gaza and poverty is rampant. Thousands of Palestinians are unjustly kept in Israeli jails - held without charge, without even a trial. Nelson Mandela's grandson described the apartheid of Palestinians as worse than the apartheid of South Africa. Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General stated the current events "did not happen in a vacuum, the Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation. They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled; their people displaced and their homes demolished.”
Islam always condemns the killing of innocent people. All people have the right to defend themselves, this right doesn't just belong to the occupying force.
More resources to help you understand what is happening today:
If Americans Knew - An American Evangelical Christian has spent her life documenting the injustices committed by Israel against Palestinians. These statistics are shocking.
This video is essential for individuals who have yet to recognize the immense moral disparity between the actions of occupiers and those they occupy. To give an example of the appalling way Palestinians are treated, read the following description provided by Jean-Pierre Filiu, a French historian and former advisor to the French Prime Minister:
“Meanwhile, according to a document leaked to Haaretz in October 2012, Israeli decision-makers had fixed the average daily intake for the population of Gaza at 2,279 calories per person and were allowing supply trucks into the Strip on that basis. The fact that Israel could feel empowered to decide how much a Palestinian could eat daily shows how perverse and degrading the post-2005 occupation of the Gaza Strip had become. The description of Gaza as an “open-air prison” was far from the mark since, in any jailhouse, detainees are not supposed to be shot at or bombed except in the case of a full-fledged riot. In Gaza, Israeli raids, whether “targeted” or not, remained a regular occurrence.”¹
¹ Filiu, J-P. (2014). The Twelve Wars on Gaza. Journal of Palestinian Studies, 44(1), pp. 52-60. Jean-Pierre Filiu is a famous French historian and Arabist. He teaches at Science Po, one of France’s most prestigious universities.