Palestinian heroism in 2022: operations, resistance, martyrdom
2022 is over, and for Palestine, it was filled with resistance and martyrdom, with agony and more resistance behind the occupation's prison bars.
"I am going to the end of the road, but I am reassured and confident that I am first a Palestinian, and I am proud, leaving behind a great people [...] I am joining the ranks of martyrs, a large part of whom are my companions" - martyred Palestinian prisoner Nasser Abu Hamid.
That is how Abu Hamid bid farewell to his dream of freedom within the confines of the Ramleh prison clinic after cancer spread all throughout his body. His soul was finally liberated after 20 years of imprisonment despite his body remaining in prison. No one knows whether Abu Hamid will be buried among the thousands of other Palestinians or if he will serve seven life sentences there, his prison sentence, before being finally embraced by the soil of Palestine.
Abu Hamid and his companions
Abu Hamid joined his martyred companions on December 20, becoming the 11th martyr whose body the occupation is withholding from being buried in Palestine, the oldest of which is Anis Dawleh, who has remained imprisoned since 1980. Five prisoners were martyred while in prison in 2022, namely:
Martyr Daoud Zubaidi, 40, brother of Zakaria Zubaidi from the Jenin refugee camp, whom the IOF shot, incarcerated, and left to die in prison. Martyr Mohammad Abdul-Hamed, 16, from Ramallah, whom the IOF shot with the intent of killing but only injured, only for him to be pronounced dead after he was detained. Saadia Salem Farajallah, 65, from Al-Khalil, who was martyred in Damon Prison for women due to medical neglect. Prisoner Rafic Riyad Ghanem, 20, from Jenin, who was wounded by the IOF before being detained only to die in prison. And finally, martyr Mohammad Maher Al-Eid, 17, who was shot at, detailed, and then died in detention.
The Israeli occupation is still holding 118 martyrs hostage, according to the national campaign to recover martyrs' bodies. This comes amid an increase in protests and vigils throughout the cities of the occupied West Bank to demand the recovery of the martyrs' bodies in a bid to give some life to an otherwise stagnant case.
Policy of medical neglect
The story of martyr Abu Hamid goes in parallel with that of other prisoners, as hundreds are suffering from the occupation's policy of medical neglect that it uses in its prisons to undercut the prisoners' morale and sentence them to what is known as a "slow death". By the end of May 2022, there were 500 ill prisoners, including 70 critically ill prisoners who are in need of constant care and treatment.
There are many prisoners suffering from cancer and various tumors, 22 to be exact, many prisoners suffering from various renal diseases, 11 to be exact, and many prisoners suffering from some kind of disability - physical and mental - 38, including eight prisoners who are suffering from paraplegia.
Sacrifice to the bones
The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs confirmed Tuesday through its lawyer, Karim Ajwa, that Palestinian prisoner Zakaria Al-Zubaidi, one of the heroes of the Gilboa prison operation, submitted an urgent request to the occupation prison administration to donate his bone marrow to cancer-stricken prisoner Walid Daqqa.
The commission stated that Daqqa was recently transferred to the Israeli Barzlai Hospital for several days, due to a relapse in his health. He was first diagnosed with Leukemia, but then re-diagnosed.
It is noteworthy that prisoner Zakaria Al-Zubaidi, 45, from the Jenin refugee camp, was arrested by the occupation forces on the 27th of December 2019. He is one of the six prisoners who managed to liberate themselves from the Gilboa prison, in September 2021.
Walid Daqqa, 60, is from Baqa al-Gharbia, from the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948. He has been in prison since 1986 and was sentenced to life. His sentence was later decreased to 37 years before the occupation added two years to his sentence.
Imprisonment is a policy of punishment and deterrence against the Palestinians, and a means of psychological and physical torture, which "Israel" is trying to proliferate against the Palestinian people. However, despite the policies of slow homicide within the occupation's prisons, Palestinians resist, and at every stage, new mechanisms and means of resistance emerge, such as the Lions' Den group.
The Lions' Den group first emerged on September 2, 2022, 40 days after the assassination of the martyrs Mohammad al-Azizi and Abdl-Rahman Sobh, the founders of the Lions' Den group.
During the two martyrs' memorial service the group announced its launch from Al-Yasmeen Quarter in the Old City of Nablus, issuing a strong-worded statement expressing their political and nationalist orientations and emphasizing resistance and adherence to the gun, which was apparent through the group's operations targeting Israeli military sites, checkpoints, and military points in the vicinity of Nablus.
The Lions' Den was a precedent, as it includes young Palestinians from various factions under the umbrella of armed resistance against the Israeli occupation, with its operations reminiscent of the Palestinian Intifada, and its message reaching all of the Palestinian youth born after the Oslo accords and the other agreements that tried to undermine the spirit of resistance in Palestinian society.
The generation that the Lions' Den included within its ranks, such as 18-year-old martyr Ibrahim Nabulsi, underlined the failure that the political process and negotiating with the Israeli occupation met.
Most prominent 2022 operations
The Times of Israel newspaper wrote that 32 illegal Israeli settlers died as a result of resistance operations, relatively the highest number since 2005. However, the Israeli occupation keeps the tally of deaths after its operation to itself, therefore, the true figure might be higher than that.
The newspaper went on to highlight that the Israeli occupation forces launched a widespread arrests campaign throughout the West Bank in parallel with the spirit of resistance that the Lions' Den gave to the Palestinian arena, with 2,500 Palestinians arrested since late March. meanwhile, the number of expected resistance operations was 281.
Below are the most prominent resistance operations during 2022:
- Operation "Dizengoff", which killed three illegal Israeli settlers, carried out by Raad Hazem, 29, from Jenin.
- Operation "Bnei Brak", which killed five illegal Israeli settlers, carried out by Diaa Hamarsha, 25, from the town of Ya'bad, south of Jenin.
- Operation Khodeira, which killed two illegal Israeli settlers, carried out by Ibrahim and Ayman Ighbariya, from the town of Umm al-Fahm.
- The Bir al-Sabe' operation, which killed three illegal Israeli settlers, was carried out by the Muhammad Abu Al-Qia'an, 24, from the town of Houra Al-Naqab.
- Operation Shuafat Checkpoint, which killed an IOF soldier, and Uday al-Tamimi, 23, from Shuafat refugee camp.
The voice of Palestine
"It might not be easy to change reality, but at least I was able to make this voice heard" - Martyred Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was martyred on May 11 while covering confrontations in Jenin as the IOF were raiding the city's refugee camp. She was shot dead by the IOF after having spent 25 years in media. She was renowned for her voice and name, which were present in every Palestinian home during the Second Intifada.
The idols of Palestinian resistance are not erased. They are immortalized in history. And the Palestinian generations rely on them in the everlasting struggle against the occupation while emphasizing the option of armed resistance.