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Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign

Stop the Wall mourns the murder of Hashem al Azzah

While we remember Hashem as a pillar of Palestinian steadfastness in the Old City of Hebron and an inspiration to Palestinian activists and international solidarity from across the world, we know his spirit and determination will continue to animate the struggle of our people. We, the people that had the honour to know him and the people that share his struggle, will keep his legacy alive and continue on the path towards liberation.

May Hashem rest in peace.
May Hashem rest assured that we continue in the struggle. 

 

Today, Hashem Younis Hashem Al Azzeh, a core activist of Stop the Wall suffered sever intoxication by Israeli tear gas and, after delays at the checkpoint, reached the hospital already in cardiac arrest. Today, the Palestinian people have lost another historic fighter for justice and liberation.

Hashem was born in Hebron in 1963. He was father of 4, the oldest son 17 years old and the youngest child three years old. He started his political activism already before the first Intifada but it was then that he was imprisoned for the first time. Hashem’s life was dedicated to resistance against the Israeli occupation and steadfastness in the face of relentless ethnic cleansing.

Living in Tel Rumeida, the heart of the Old City of Hebron, he has been considered one of the strongest defenders of the Old City and Palestinian access to Shuhada Street. His family home is surrounded by Palestinian houses that have been taken over forcibly by Israeli settlers. He had to bear with Baruch Barzel, one of the most fanatic leaders of the settler movement, living door to door with him. Baruch Barzel leads most of the attacks on the Palestinians in the Old City.

Hashem al Azzeh stated once: "For me personally it is clear, I will never move until I die or we get our freedom. I will keep my house with my family and my resistance. We encourage the other Palestinians who moved from here to return back to their houses.”

Therefore, he founded and headed the Abraham Foundation, an association that offers Palestinians support in case they move back Tel Rumeida. The Foundation helps them find a job, provides access to free health services and develops a community support and protection structure.

Hashem was not only a reference for Palestinians in the Old City. He was active in the International Solidarity Movement and showed countless international delegations the reality Palestinians are facing daily in the Old City of Hebron and how they maintain their steadfastness in the face of continuous ethnic cleansing policies and aggression by Israeli settlers and military forces.

Today, confrontations between the Palestinian residents and the Israeli occupation forces have been erupting all over Hebron city. One of the protests was in Tel Rumeide, at the entrance to the segregated Shuhadah Street and close to the Container checkpoint that blocks passage to Palestinians. Israeli military flooded the entire area with tear gas, firing tear gas canisters as well into the homes of the people. Many residents and protestors suffered from asphyxiation by tear gas. Hashem was like always out in the streets with the people. As soon as he felt unwell, he wanted to retreat to his home, just to find it as well inundated with tear gas. The people saw Hashem’s situation deteriorating and tried to rush him to the hospital. However, the occupation forces at the container checkpoint blocked his passage for over 10 minutes. By the time Hashem reached the hospital, his heart had already stopped beating.

While we remember Hashem as a pillar of Palestinian steadfastness in the Old City of Hebron and an inspiration to Palestinian activists and international solidarity from across the world, we know his spirit and determination will continue to animate the struggle of our people. We, the people that had the honour to know him and the people that share his struggle, will keep his legacy alive and continue on the path towards liberation.

May Hashem rest in peace.
May Hashem rest assured that we continue in the struggle. 

 

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Here you can read an interview with Hashem al Azzah on Palsolidarity.org.

Watch a video with Hashem al Azzah.

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