In this video tape, Bassem Aburahma (nick named ElFeel, the elephant, for he was always thought of as a giant among his peers) is seen pleading with Israeli soldiers to wait (saying Raiga in Hebrew) as Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals protested the land confiscation and building of the apartheid fence on vilage land. The soldiers then shoot Bassem point blank with a high velocity gas grenade which kills him within five minutes.
and here is a video of the funeral the next day
Please share these videos with media, politicians and others to see what is being done daily under occupation. The speech by Iyad Bornat of the Freiends of Freedom and justice given at Bil'in International Conference which had 200 International and local attendees was given 23 April 2009 and is inspiring (translation below). Iyad himself was injured several time and lost relatives.
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate Ladies and gentlemen; honorable attendees
Greetings to each and every one of you. Greeting from a heart that is bathed with the perfume of a valley that is surrounded by an apartheid wall and dotted with mines. The valley that is watered with the blood of the martyr hero Bassem Aburahma who was butchered by the occupation army without mercy in a cowardly attempt to silence his voice. The voice that always called for freedom and for resistance to injustice. Greetings to the martyr Bassem who fell on this thirsty and torn land to water it with his blood and to feed it with his pure soul.
Our conference comes amid an escalation of Israeli actions against our people and our land. As the racist apartheid wall continues to be built as continued colonial land confiscation and as thousands of houses are being built in colonial settlements especially in occupied Jerusalem which is being Judaicized and cut off from its Palestinian surrounding. [This is done] in contravention of all International laws and resolutions with the aim of creating facts on the ground that prevent any possibility of a future just and peaceful solution. [Our conference] comes at a time that the policy of cantonization of Palestinian land continues through checkpoints that now exceed 590 and through hundreds of orders of closure and military confiscations and home demolitions. This in addition to the brutal siege imposed on the Palestinian areas especially on eth Gaza strip. Accompanying all these inhuman practices are massacres and assassinations carried out without discrimination between a child, a women or an elderly. Hence just recently, the occupation authorities assassinated our friend and life companion Bassem Aburahma on the land of this steadfast village and in their attempt to break our will and our determination to continue our struggle. Add to that the daily kidnappings/arrests in all districts.
Faced with this painful reality, the Palestinian people could do nothing less than continue to express its rejection of all these occupation practices by confronting the occupation with bare chests and with the faith in our right to life and liberty like all other people side by side with all free people of various nations regionally and internationally who seek peace, safety, and dignity.
One of the biggest dangers that faced Palestine throughout its history is the building of the apartheid wall that started in 2002 in the north of the West Bank at a time that the Israeli occupation forces surrounded and entered and engaged in widescale destruction in Palestinian cities. Israeli bulldozers demolished olive groves, weat fields, grape vines and more. Palestinian awoke to these Israeli plans that aimed at killing the Palestinian state geographically, politically and by destroying its economic and industrial base. Perhaps more important it was to kill hope in people's souls. But as soon as they started building the wall, popular committees started as a reaction by farmers and evolved to become a popular broad movement from the North in Jenin to Qalqilia to Jayyus, Azzawiya, Salfit, Deir Alghusoon, Azoun AlAtma, and many more villages and towns impacted by this wall.
This movement spread, famers and civil and public institutions and village councils all worked to build public committees to resist the wall in every village and town. Jayyus set an example with her children, her women, and her elderly. And in Budrus proof that the popular resistance includes all segments of societies can make something from nothing. In daily demonstration that all the village residents participate in which forced Israelis to move the wall to the border to the 1967. The popular resistance continued and spread to the villages northwest of Jerusalem and Beit Laqia and Beitunia where martyrs fell by the dozens but this did not stop the popular civil resistance. But instead it increased the believe in it. Bil'in came with its popular committee that excelled and was very creative and showed the best examples of steadfastness and roads to victory. Bloods of martyrs like Bassam Aburahama testify to this persistence in rejection of Israeli plans on our land. And this committee succeeded in forcing a decision to change the path of the wall. We became an international symbol of popular resistance. Bil'in became a partner to other Palestinian villages. AlMa'sara formed the committee to protect the Bethlehem district, and became an example for activities that express the best of the historical and religious significance of Bethlehem district. The village became the eye of the district and the eye of the south. The popular committees to resist the wall in Palestine were able to convince the world of the justice of the Palestinian cause and to bring international support. International solidarity activists became faithful messengers of Palestinian cause and unknown soldiers standing by the Palestinian people. They transmit the stories of Palestinian suffering to people around the world to pressure their government to end the brutal occupation.
Ladies and Gentlemen, on this occasion again we express our appreciation and respect for all that you have given and will continue to give to support our resistance in the face of the criminal Zionist behavior. We would like to emphasize the following:
On the Palestinian level
- - We emphasize the necessity of the Palestinian unity as the basis in ensuring the success of the Palestinian national goals of freedom and independence.
- - We ask the Palestinian national authority, its president and its prime minister to increase serious work to apply the decision of the international court of justice of 9 July 2004 and the U.N. General Assembly resolution that followed.
- - We commend the Palestinian national authority position of support for popular resistance. We thank you Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister. But we hope and wish that you work with us in the wider scale to increase our effort and to support the citizens' resistance by increasing projects in area C and agree to spend monthly stipend for the popular committee to ensure their continuity. We also call on you to take a strong political stance on the issues of Judaicizing Jerusalem and continuing settlement and wall building: a stance that would force the international community to pressure Israel.
- - We ask the national movements to put popular resistance at the head of their programs starting with boycott of Israeli products and up to participation at all levels in future popular actions.
- - We emphasize the need to continue in the popular resistance as a strategic tool based on successful experience in resisting the wall. The depository of the popular Palestinian struggle include the experience of the first intifada and we call on unifying all efforts in exchanging these experiences and increasing level of collaboration and cooperation both between popular committee and between these committees and other segment of society.
On the Israeli level
- - Strengthening the relationship with the Israeli peace movement that support our people's struggle against the occupation.
- - Rejection of any kind of normalization with the Israeli occupiers and its institutions and organizations and representatives.
On the international level
- - Growing our relationship with international solidarity activists and recruiting more of them to work with peace and freedom.
- - Work to mobilize Palestinian and Arab communities abroad.
- - Requesting union organizations and groups and all peace activist and civil societies around the world to
o Participate in presenting the realities of Palestinian experience and thus challenge the Israeli propaganda
o - Work on boycotts, divestment and sanctions including suspension of the EU-Israel partnership
o - Apply pressure to official international institutions especially the EU, European governments, and the USA so that they demand Israel fulfill its international obligations including ending the occupation and ending all practices that violates Palestinian human rights. We request all western countries especially the US to end its political material and military support to the state of occupation. This blind support encourages the occupation to continue to violate basic human rights. American weapons had been used to kill our innocent children.
To all the world we say that the Palestinian Arab people are still suffering a grave injustice and massacre at the hands of brutal occupation in the shadow of dreadful international silence and sometimes with full support [of the West] to injustice. Yet, we continue to cling to our land as done for centuries despite the killing, the demolition, the siege, the starvation, the expulsion, the land and water confiscation. My people are suffering and it's time to end the injustice. History will not forgive those who are partners in crime. The future will see new smiles on the faces of our children, a future of peace and love between people. Those children in my country today do not know the sea and are forbidden to even wonder into nature into their fields where the guns of the occupiers target them.
Be with what is right!! We promise you, promise our people, promise our martyrs including our heroic martyr Bassam that we will continue in our resistance and rejections of this occupation until it ends. This wall will fall and in its place we will build bridges of friendships between people and construct windows of hope. That is our promise and with your help we will fulfill our promise.
Translation by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
Silence is complicity