Saturday, March 30, 2013

In Honor of Mahmud Zagout

Thirty-seven years after the first Land Day demonstrations, Israel continues its expropriation and colonization of Palestinian land. Israel continues to expand its illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, forcing Palestinians from their land. Palestinians also face dispossession and displacement inside Israel.

Last year i was at Erez crossing as Palestinian youth threw stones and attempted to plant the Palestinian flag on the closed gate. Dozens were shot, one was killed by a shot to the neck. Mahmoud Zagout would be 21 years old this spring. His cousin, who was with him that day and carried his limp body from the front, said to me, "Mahmoud could not place the flag at the gate. I will. Or my children will. We will continue to resist until we win our rights. Mahmoud’s blood will not be wasted. Hundreds will take his place. We will fight for our rights, for our children, we will fight until we get our land back.”

“The occupiers want us to forget about our land, and about Jerusalem, by turning our focus on our troubles- no jobs, no cooking fuel, no power, no gasoline, but we will not forget. My family is a family of resistance. My uncles have been killed, they’ve been to prison. They died for Jerusalem. Everyone around you here may die for Jerusalem. We are proud to do this.”

Today is Land Day in Palestine. 37 years and youth are still being killed as they fight for freedom. How many youth will die today, resisting to live?

Mahmoud's cousin, Nazir