In January 2009 the Israeli army’s Givati Brigade rounded up 100 members of the extended
Samouni family, during Israel’s invasion of Gaza. Men women and children were forced into one big
house, which was subsequently shelled. Over 20 people were killed, including 9 children. Israeli
soldiers denied medical access to the wounded — including children lying in the rubble — for over
There are at least two good reasons why this horrific crime should be news again this week.
First, in another blow to the survivors of the Samouni family and their quest for justice, the Israeli
military investigator has ruled (just over a week ago) that any claims of war crimes in this well-
documented massacre are “groundless”.
Second, protestors are in court in Melbourne this week over a protest last year against Max
Brenner, a company that proudly boasts of sweetening the “special moments” of the Givati Brigade
with “pamper packs”. While war criminals run free, people protesting
You can read further on the Samouni family and the recent finding on the BBC:
This recent posting on Al Jazeera by Ali Abunimah also discusses the murderers of the Samouni
family and their international accomplices:
The rally on May 18 will highlight both the ongoing injustices inflicted on the Palestinian people, and
the collusion of government and corporate supporters of these policies — from the Australian
Government to Max Brenner to the Victorian police. 5:30pm on Friday 18 May, Bourke St Mall
(Elizabeth St end)
And you can follow the Max Brenner trial here:
2. The hunger strike continues
“We will live with dignity or die”.
No doubt another issue that will be highlighted at the May 18 rally is the ongoing mass hunger strike
by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli Jails. 2000 or more Palestinian prisoners are on a mass, open-
ended hunger strike against the use of solitary confinement, lack of family visits, and the practice of
Administrative Detention (that is, detention without charge or trial).
Two of the hunger strikers, Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, have now gone for 70 days without food.
There is coverage of this ongoing crisis on the Electronic Intifada website, including this page which
features photos from rallies in Ramleh (inside Israel), Ramallah, Nablus, and Gaza in solidarity with
the hunger strikers.
You should see the moving message of solidarity for the Palestinian hunger strikers from Laurence
McKeown, who himself survived 70 days on a hunger strike, as an Irish Republican in a British jail in
There are also daily updates on the hunger strike available here: