Workers of the world, unite: Industrial action by Striking Palestinians Across West Bank, Gaza and Israel is Spreading.

Credit Banksy

Workers around the world are beginning to understand how to leverage power.

People across the occupied West Bank, Gaza and inside Israel are taking part in collective action to protest against the occupation and bombardment of Gaza.

Shops have been shuttered across cities in Gaza, the occupied West Bank and in villages and towns extending into Israel. Palestinians have committed to a general strike in protest against the occupation and Israel’s ongoing bombardment of the blockaded enclave.

Muhammad Barakeh, one of the strike organisers, said Palestinians were expressing a “collective position” against Israel’s “aggression” in Gaza and Jerusalem, as well as the “brutal repression” by police across Israel.

“This is the first time we’re seeing almost everyone participate in the strike,” Castro Othman, a resident of Tamra in northern Israel, told the Times of Israel. “We feel like we’re in an existential struggle.”

Yaakov Shabtai, the Israeli police commissioner, said his forces had restored calm after “riots in the Arab sector”. The strikes and protests followed communal violence between Jewish and Palestinian residents of mixed towns in Israel last week, leading political leaders to warn of the risks of civil war.

In Gaza, at least 217 Palestinians have been killed, including 63 children, and about 1,400 wounded since fighting began last week. Twelve people in Israel have been killed, including two Thai workers who died when a packaging plant in southern Israel was hit by a rocket fired from Gaza on Tuesday.

This is the first time in decades Palestinians across the political divide have taken part in such a general strike. Its people power 101, when industries captains start to lose money they will start to accost the politicians, after all, they have a direct line to government.

Hit them where it hurts, in their pockets!

Capitalist greed
Capitalist greed

Some 80,000 Palestinian workers enter Israel every day in normal circumstances according to data provided by the Israeli Civil Administration, a branch of the Ministry of Defense that serves as a liaison between the Palestinians and the Israeli authorities, the workers earn an average of 6,000 shekels a month ($1,800). While this amount is roughly the minimum wage for Israeli workers, it is about four times the average wage in the Palestinian territories.

Another 30,000 Palestinians work in the West Bank, mainly in industrial zones adjacent to Israeli settlements. A few more thousand work in construction. According to the Civil Administration, the salaries of these working in West Bank settlements are only slightly lower than those of Palestinians working in Israel proper, averaging about 5,500 shekels ($1,750) per month.

Nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

That’s a lot of downtime a lot of none production.

Abdel-Hamid, reporting from East Jerusalem, said the “overarching” theme of the strike was to protest against occupation. “People here say they are horrified of what they see happening in Gaza, the images of women and children running for safety while the area is bombarded, but they are also protesting against what is happening here, the aggression of the Israeli police in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the threatened eviction of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah.” [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

Palestinians across the region observed a general strike as the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, now in its second week, showed no signs of abating.

Palestinian protesters say they want to disrupt commercial establishments and ultimately the entire Israeli economy in protest against the ongoing violence against them.

The growing industrial action around the world.

usb 2
Unione Sindacale di Base

Labour Heartlands reported how Italian port workers after discovering that a shipment of arms destined for Israel was arriving in Italy’s ports, workers from the USB (Unione Sindacale di Base) refused to load the ship in support of the Palestinians fighting for their lives against Israeli occupation.

Pro-Palestine protesters occupy Leicester drone factory

Here in the UK Activists have staged a protest on the roof of a factory involved in building combat drones.

A group called Palestine Action says it has occupied part of Israeli-owned Elbit Systems subsidiary UAV Tactical Systems in Leicester.

Pro Palestinian protesters on the roof of the Israeli owned arms factory
Pro-Palestinian protesters on the roof of the Israeli-owned arms factory in the Meridian Business Park (Image: Leicester Mercury / Chris Gordon)

The facility builds unmanned aerial vehicles that the protesters allege have been used in recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

They said they chained the gates shut and disrupted production.

Escalating tensions in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank have recently turned into violence, with exchanges of rockets and airstrikes resulting in more than 200 reported deaths.

In a statement, Palestine Action said: “Today’s action shows that it is entirely within our power to stop the production of brutal machinery which is fuelling war crimes in Palestine.

“The past week has shown the relentless death and destruction that Israeli forces can and will inflict with UK-made munitions and military technology.”

‘Right to protest’

A spokesman for the Leicestershire Fire Brigades Union said: “The Fire Brigades Union were made aware that the protesters were representing the Palestinian solidarity group Palestine Action.

“Union officials immediately reminded senior managers that as firefighters, we are, and remain, a proud humanitarian service and our role does not involve law enforcement.

Leicestershire brigade chair Graham Vaux added: “The Fire Brigades Union stand in support of Palestinian solidarity and the right to protest.”

“Once the safety of those involved had been confirmed, Fire Brigades Union members withdrew from the incident.”

Jewish Voice for Peace

In the USA Jewish Voice for Peace, made an interactive map of Palestinian-led rallies around the country TODAY for the General Strike/Day of Action and for the next few days to keeping up the momentum! The group created an interactive Google Map to show where protest and strike action is taking place.

FIND PALESTINIAN-LED AND COALITION ACTIONS: Tues May 18 and Sat May 22 are global days of action in solidarity with Palestinian liberation. Use this map to join:

smgUFytN21AqgnChjhZURar00IMvTaA7RSDQizp18spZk1dgcuRp6hcZOtin4Ang 1hFd hG6U776RJ0Pzok 02Xo3 eUeshPSvY0Nh858O4g5Ab9o5xDChwa75J2MxeupcUku

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