The Jenin Massacre

Al Nahda is a proud organizing member of the Chicago Coalition for Palestine. The coalition is responsible for many of the protests for Palestine held in chicago. The coalition swiftly organized a protest and rally in solidarity with the strike marches held across Palestine in solidarity with Jenin.

The IOF raid on Jenin refugee camp was carried out on Thursday January 26th killing 9 Palestinians including one elderly woman and injuring 20 refugees. At 7am approximately 90 IOF shoulders entered the camp and opened fire on Palestinian civilians blockading their entry. Other IOF groups were stationed surrounding the camp in vehicles accompanied by bulldozers. These platoons targeted several structures while the ground troops pushed forward into the camp targeting civilians. One structure deliberately targeted by the bulldozers was commonly used as a community meeting house in the camp.

Anes Huwaisheh – a local Jenin correspondent – said the raid reminded him of the events of the 2002 massacre in Jenin during the second intifada.

“The sounds of bullets and gunfights were intense, and clouds of smoke covered the sky. The Israeli occupation cut off the electricity, the internet and the cell phone network during the storming. This shows that it was planned,” Huwaisheh said

Warah, L., & Al-Waara, A. (2023, January 26). Israel Raid in Jenin kills 9 in ‘Massacre.’ Middle East Eye

President Abbas declared the raid a massacre and called for a day of mourning across the West Bank, requesting all flags be flown at half mast. Palestinian communities from 48 to the West Bank and Gaza rose up and went on strike in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Jenin and to honor the martyrs we lost.

The Protest

All Photo Credits: Layla Zayed

AL Nahda/Jisoor intern Mohammad delivering a speech at the Rally

When we gather to honor our martyrs it is important to acknowledge why Israel targets Jenin and what the consequences are for Jenin and Palestine after the dust settles. Raids like this destabilize cities in the West Bank, it prevents the community from organizing and building infrastructure which isolates them economically from the rest of the west bank. Israel target’s Jenin not because they have interest in settling the area but rather because they see Jenin as a flagship city in Palestinian resistance. Israel consistently targets Jenin’s defensive resistance organizations as terrorist organizations and uses ‘threat of terrorism’ as a justification to raid Jenin whenever there is unrest in Palestine.

Because of the occupation’s impact on economy and infrastructure in Palestine – the workers strike carried out throughout the country in solidarity with Jenin had a profound impact. It represents how colonization not only effects Palestinian’s right of return to Palestine but their own self determination and economic self sufficiency in Palestine. The act of striking as a form of resistance in 48, the West Bank and Gaza has different consequences for the different partitioned groups within Palestine, but for all of them it is a sacrifice representative of the unanimous dedication of the Palestinian people to liberation, independence and self determination.

The protest in Chicago held outside the Israeli consulate on Sunday January 29th mirrored this same revolutionary dedication. The rally prior to the march included a great many student speakers from The Students for justice in Palestine Chicago-the largest and most proactive student group in Chicago. Other speakers came from our brothers and sisters at American Muslims for Palestine, Palestinian American Community Center, Palestinian American Council, and the US Palestinian Community Network.

Protesters proudly flying Palestinian flags at the Rally

One of our dedicated interns, Mohammad, spoke on behalf of al Nahda, delivering a rousing speech on how he sees his community and how he sees liberation as one of the diaspora who has never seen his homeland. His family originally from Al Quds, they now live in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. At UIC Mohammad study’s pre-law and is an active member of the SJP UIC chapter.

Please see a transcript of the speech at the bottom of the post.

In his speech Mohammad called for community members to continue the momentum they felt at the rally- to not stop fighting and marching after the protest was over. He encouraged us to look to the organizing organizations for leadership on how to continue that momentum. We have compiled contact information and upcoming projects and events for the organizers of the protest for you all to get involved!

Meet the organizations that host our protests!

Al Nahda

Al Nahda hosts many programs and events which we invite the community to take part in! Our Salwa program is always looking for volunteers! If you are interested in helping the community toward food security please sign up to volunteer with us using this link .

If you are interested in any of Al Nahda’s Political organizing work or political education workshops please check out our sister organization Jisoor to learn more! Jisoor is also taking interns and volunteers for many positions – if you are interested in contributing your time please follow this link!

American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)

American Muslims for Palestine has many oppertunities for enrollment which you can explore on their website here!

In anticipation of Ramadan this March please sign their pledge to boycott Israeli date companies. You can sign their petition on their website or by following this link!

Students for Justice in Palestine Chicago Coalition

Students for Justice in Palestine Chapters frequently collaborate with Al Nahda center on events and campaigns. Their tireless efforts are in expendable in fostering the next generation of Palestinian activists. They’re many campaigns across multiple campuses cover a variety of issues iin the diaspora and doing work with communities overseas. Please follow their instagram @sjpchicago for updates on campaigns and to follow individual chapters. SJP chapters are always looking for donations and new members so encourage your young people to join and reach out to your local chapter to give!

US Palestinian American Community Network

USPCN offers a community network spanning several majors cities across the US for Arabs and Palestinians. The network can provide members with resources, and support in their work and a sense of broader community amungst Palestinians in the US diaspora. You can become a member by following this link or donate to their annual fundraiser here!

Palestinian American Community Center

The Palestinian American Community Center in Burbank hosts many programs and services for the community! the best way to get involved is to reach out to them via their facebook page! Facebook is regularly updated with their upcoming events, announcements and calls for donation!

Palestinian American Council

The Palestinian American council provides up to date and reliable information about current events in the middle east and Palestine. You can follow their updates by keeping up with there website subscribe to their mailing list via this link!

Below is a transcript of the speech:

Free Free Palestine

Free free Palestine

Salam aleikum everyone.

First I wanna start off by saying thank you to all of the organizations here today whose amazing organizing brought us here – Al Nahda Center, AMP, Palestinian American Community Center, Palestinian American Council, SJP Chicago, and USPCN. Many of us took time off of work today to march in the cold as we gather in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Jenin who went on strike to mourn the deaths of our beloved martyrs.

2002 was the bloodiest year for Jenin – 20 years later, and this raid echos the atrocities of the first Intifada.

In the wake of this massacre, Palestinians from Haifa to al-Khalil, from Gaza to al-Aqsa went on strike and marched for our brothers and sisters. They marched for those who died for our liberation! I feel honored to be here looking back at you… I see it in your faces: how resilience and grief and love for this community carried you here, I really do. The faces of young and old, of those born in Palestine and those born here who have never seen our beautiful land. But I wish I didn’t have to see your faces looking back at me like this. I wish I didn’t have to see our loving Palestinian mothers crying. I wish I could look out on a crowd like this and see smiling faces. I wish we could gather here in celebration.

I don’t wanna be out here today, I don’t wanna HAVE to come out here and protest the occupation of my home… I wanna live in a world where the lives of my brothers and sisters are cherished – a world where their self defense is not labeled as “terrorism”. A world where you can look back at me and smile today.

But there is hope for this world, there is growing room for optimism. International support is at the highest level it’s ever been. /Don’t let the resilience and grief which brought you here extinguish when you leave here today. Help the organizations that brought you here – every one of them continues the fight every day. Volunteer, write to your representatives, talk in your schools, talk to your friends, contribute however you can, but never stop fighting.

In response to the latest resistance movements, a Zionist military correspondent said “a hornets nest has been opened uponed us”!!! Today we are those hornets! Israel has become increasingly aggressive for a reason, they murdered shireen Abu Akleh for a reason, they raided jenin for a reason. What is that reason? It’s simple! THEY are afraid! WE are not. THEY* are full of cowardice! WE* are full of bravery! It has been 75 years since al nakba, but the longing for intifada doesn’t die until liberation!! WE are that liberation!! We ARE Phalasteen!!!!!

Free Free Palestine

Free Free Palestine

Allah hu Akbar

Allah hu Akbar

Thank you!