2002 – 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, Palestine

Prior to ISM’s foundation in 2002, live ammunition was the most commonly used weapon to quell Palestinian demonstrations, resulting in huge casualties. Since it’s foundation, ISM has seen live ammunition become far less common over time and the Israeli Army now utilize tear gas, sound bombs, and rubber bullets, as alternative crowd dispersion techniques. This is largely due to the presence of international and Israeli activists at demonstrations, something ISM has been central too.

During the second intifada we notoriously ran past soldiers into the Mukataa, Arafat’s compound which had been under siege, the shelling stopped with a mixed International presence. A similar story unfolded at the same time in the siege of the church of the nativity in Bethlehem where members of the Palestinian resistance were protected by an international presence.

In 2004 ISM co-ordinated a march of Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists along the separation wall in the West Bank. The march gathered momentum over a number of days, and upon arrival at the Qalandia checkpoint numbers had reached over 1000. The Israeli Army was unable to stop the march and the left the checkpoint open for the day.

We cannot fail to mention that through the years farmers have gained more rights to access their lands during the olive harvest with help from volunteers.

ISM’s work in Gaza has been particularly significant recently. Since the most recent 2012 bombardment our activists have accompanied Palestinian farmers onto their fields in the military ‘buffer zone’ enabling them to work their land, despite coming under fire on occasions. For the first time, soldiers have begun using tear gas and firing warning shots rather than shooting to kill.

In the West Bank, ISM activists have recently been vital participants in actions such as blockading settler roads, invading settler-only supermarkets, and we continue to join Palestinians on their weekly Friday demonstrations against the Occupation. Of course we cannot sum up all of our achievements in one article, but we have been and continue to be ready for whatever arises on a daily basis.

In a time of an increased ISM presence in Gaza and what looks to be a upsurge of violence in the West Bank, we call on international activists to join the ISM on the streets of Palestine. Volunteers of the ISM are requested to make a minimum of a two week commitment, long term volunteers are always needed.


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