Activists and grassroots organizations around the world are on strike Monday to protest Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.
Palestinian organizations and grassroots activists called Monday for a global strike demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, devastated by more than two months of Israeli bombardment.
Nearly 18,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli bombings since October 7. Israel says it is targeting Hamas fighters who carried out an attack in Israel that killed more than 1,000 people.
But rights groups say Israel has used disproportionate force in the besieged enclave of 2.3 million people, killing the vast majority civilians.
What is the global strike?
Palestinians and their supporters around the world plan to take part in a global strike involving “all aspects of public life” to express solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and call for an end to Israeli bombing.
People were asked not to go to school and to work. In addition, the strikers stay at home and refrain from going out to restaurants, banks and stores. They also do not conduct online transactions or online purchases.
In a post on Instagram, Palestinian filmmaker Bisan Owda called for a strike on “economic life and daily travel.” Like Owda, many activists and organizations from Palestine and beyond have posted similar messages on different social media platforms, some using the hashtag #StrikeForGaza.
Remember tomorrow pic.twitter.com/nIqyXhILd4
– Wizard_bisan1 (@wizardbisan) December 10, 2023
Who is behind the strike and why?
The strike call was announced by the Palestinian and Islamic National Forces, a coalition of major Palestinian factions.
“This movement opposes open genocide in Gaza, ethnic cleansing and colonization in the West Bank,” said a statement released by the coalition. “The strike also opposes attempts to undermine the just national cause of the Palestinian people,” the text adds.
Muwafaq Sahwil, secretary of the Fatah political party in Ramallah and el-Bireh, said the strike was a rejection of the US veto of the recent UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
“This is a message to the US administration that goes against the aspirations of our people,” he told Al Jazeera.
Who is participating in the global strike?
Calls for strikes have gathered global support.
Lebanon announced the closure of government offices and institutions across the country. In an official statement on Sunday, the Secretary General of the Lebanese Council of Ministers, Mahmoud Mekkiya, announced that Prime Minister Najib Mikati had taken the decision in response to a global call for a strike “in solidarity with Gaza and the Palestinian people.”
Additionally, the International Union of Muslim Scholars, which is a global organization of Muslim theologians, called for the strike.
Ali Al-Qaradaghi, the union’s general secretary, stressed the importance of the strike as a protest option, given the failure of the international community to end the war in Gaza.
? We join the Palestinian people’s call for a global strike on Monday, December 11 to demand an immediate permanent ceasefire and a free Palestine!
✊? MONDAY DECEMBER 11
Action at 9 a.m. at the New York Times
12 p.m. Open House @ TPF
6:30 p.m. Volunteer session @ TPF#ShutItDown4Palestine pic.twitter.com/BlbseNOZwf
– The Peoples Forum (@PeoplesForumNYC) December 10, 2023
What is the significance of the strike?
Palestinian activist Abdullah Abu Rameh believes it is important to strike in solidarity with Gaza, protesting the US veto on Friday. “This is a war against civilians, not against Hamas,” Abu Rameh told Al Jazeera.
The death toll in Gaza stands at 17,997 while 49,229 have been injured since October 7, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA reported on Sunday. At least 1,550 families have lost several loved ones.
“Millions of people on strike, not going to work, not buying online, not buying from big companies that support Israel, will impact the economies of big countries, especially countries that support Israel”, Aitemad Muhanna-Matar, specialist in research on Palestine. and worked with the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics, told Al Jazeera. “It would make leaders rethink their support for Israel,” she added.
Why is Israel bombing Gaza?
The recent escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip follows the deadliest attack on Israeli soil on October 7.
A week-long temporary truce ended on the morning of December 1, and Israel has since intensified its attacks in the south of the enclave – areas that were previously declared safe zones.