Raji Sourani

Palestinians Prepare for Peace While Israel Practices War

As the Palestinian factions prepare for peace, the Israeli military has continued to commit grave breaches of international law and inflict further suffering against the civilian population of the OPT. For the past three and a half years Israel has worked to isolate the Palestinian people by refusing to recognise their legitimate representatives (the PLO) as partners for peace. This strategy of unilateralism has taken place while very positive developments have taken place on the Palestinian side. Israeli violence has battered the Gaza Strip, perpetuating a long, hot, filthy summer of human rights violations. 

On the streets of Gaza

Many Palestinians are expressing delight over the pull-out of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip. But as human rights lawyer Raji Sourani argues, the celebrations maybe premature. The streets of Gaza are full of flags, hats and t-shirts celebrating the end of occupation, the liberation of Palestine. There are nightly street celebrations by the political factions each of them claiming they were the ones responsible for the Israeli ‘withdrawal’. In the media speeches are made and songs are played all contributing to this euphoric atmosphere. As I walk around the dusty Gaza streets and watch these often colourful celebrations I understand that after 38 years (of occupation) people are looking for somewhere to place their hopes. The redeployment of the Israeli military to Gaza’s borders and the cementing of control of the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem should not be it. 

One Year Later: "What will it take?"

One year ago today 23-year-old Rachel Corrie was killed. This striking young American, representing the values of the American people if not its current government, was run over by an Israeli bulldozer while protesting house demolitions in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah. Rachel was the first international to be killed while peacefully protesting illegal Israeli military actions in the occupied Palestinian territories, yet her death has proven insufficient to shock the international community from its lethargic slumber. “What will it take?” asks Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza.