There has been an underreported increase in violence in against civilians in the West Bank and Gaza
Woman protesting and holding photo of Shireen

109 Palestinians killed – 0 Israelis killed – definitely a large increase in lethality in the West Bank, but the recent incursion in Gaza killed 35 Palestinians compared to 263 in 2021.

6,972 Palestinians injured – I Israeli injured

650 Palestinian structures demolished displacing 645 people.

483 Attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers were so far this year, almost as many as in all of 2021.

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Protection of Civilians report.

When you compare these statistics for killing/injury of Palestinians and Israelis, it becomes clear that despite the constant reporting of 1,000s of missiles from Gaza, these are not warranted for the defense of Israel.

In the last three months Israeli forces have killed approximately 70 Palestinians –13 of them minors, including two five-year-old children.

The statistics above do not include non-violent deaths due to the illegal occupation. One heart-breaking example of this is Faroud Abu Naja. This 6-year-old died while Israel “studied” his request for a travel permit to obtain medical care just 66 miles from his home. Faroud is one of over 4,000 residents of Gaza whose medical care Israel has interfered with so far this year. Source: Additional Deaths (

What gives me hope – current campaigns of Jewish Voice for Peace, American Friends Service Committee, United Methodists for Kairos Response and other advocacy organization:

HR 2590 Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act. This bill, introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum, prohibits the use of any funds that are made available for assistance to Israel in support of (1) military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill treatment of Palestinian children; (2) seizure, appropriation, or destruction of Palestinian property and forcible transfer of civilians in the West Bank; or (3) unilateral annexation by Israel of West Bank territory. The Department of State must report on the nature and extent of such activities carried out by Israel. The U.S. has committed to sending $3.8 Billion per year of aid to Israel.

There are currently 32 co-sponsors: four of the co-sponsors Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush, Ilhan Oman and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently won primaries. I think this signals that the Democratic base is more supportive of Palestinian rights than many more conservative Democratic leaders realize. We need to continue to push members of the house of representatives in Ohio, to co-sponsor. Much work to do!

Support for Palestinian Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)

On August 18, Israel forces raided and ordered closed the offices of the six Palestinian Human Rights organizations that had earlier been designated as terrorists. The NGOs are Addameer, al-Haq, Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees. The executive order for this designation did not provide any credible evidence to substantiate these claims.

Israeli forces raided the Episcopal Church premises in Ramallah. The focus of raid was the offices of Palestinian NGOs, including Al-Haq, that rent space in the church compound. Rector of St. Andrew’s, Ramallah, the Revd Fadi Diab, told Agence France-Press: “The soldiers came into the premises around 3 a.m. and we started hearing shots and banging on the doors.” The diocesan statement details how the door to the church complex was smashed, and the entire building — including the sanctuary and rectory was occupied for two hours. According to the statement, “The sound of gunshots, stun grenades, and the smashing of doors caused terror among the families living inside the compound.” The actions of the Israeli forces involved in the incident are described as “a violation of international law and a terroristic act against the entire community”.

Betty McCollum introduced H Res 751 that opposed this bogus designation. The resolution has 11 co-sponsors so far and we are advocating for more representatives to co-sponsor. It is very clear that this is another attempt to silence organizations that are effective in documenting the occupation’s human rights abuses.

Justice for Shireen Abu Akleh

There is proposed legislation, Justice for Shireen, not introduced yet, that would require a U.S investigation into the murder on May 11 of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Over 100 members of Congress have signed letters calling for a transparent and thorough investigation that results in accountability for those found responsible for killing Shireen.

#NoTechforApartheid Campaign

May 2021, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud executives signed a $1.22 billion contract to provide cloud technology to the Israeli government and military. By doing business with Israeli apartheid, Amazon and Google will make it easier for the Israeli government to surveil Palestinians and force them off their land. Over 1000 Google and Amazon workers  have called on us to rise up against the contract, known as Project Nimbus. Technology should be used to bring people together, not enable apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and settler-colonialism.

Ariel Koren, a Jewish Google employee wrote a letter saying she's leaving the company because of alleged retaliation. Ariel accused Google of "complicity in violations of Palestinian human rights." In a letter addressed to her fellow Googlers, Ariel Koren said she was leaving Google and accused the company of retaliating against her and other employees who spoke out in support of Palestine. "Instead of listening to employees who want Google to live up to its ethical principles, Google is aggressively pursuing military contracts and stripping away the voices of its employees through a pattern of silencing and retaliation towards me and many others.”

Jewish Voice for Peace, and many other organizations have adopted this campaign. Check out their website #NoTechforApartheid to sign the petition.

In conclusion, the situation on the ground for Palestinians is deteriorating, but the Palestinians continue in “samud” (steadfastness) with their nonviolent resistance to the occupation. We can do only likewise, and especially in Ohio, there is much we can do. If you would like to join Jewish Voice for Peace Central or to subscribe to my weekly newsletter that lists a host of webinars and meetings on Palestine as well as other progressive causes, please contact me at

Check out the websites of Jewish Voice for Peace, United Methodists for Kairos Response, and Defense of Children International – Palestine for more information.