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Gaza’s rockets part of resistance, say Indian journalist Arundhati Roy, actor Naseeruddin Shah

Rockets fired by Palestinians against Israel are part of a “resistance” which is supported by international law, a group of writers and artistes led by Arundhati Roy and Nayantara Sahgal has declared.

In a statement released, the collective accused Israeli government of killing Palestinian children and blamed Israeli settlers for illegally trying to snatch Palestinian land.

The group, consisting of some of the leading artistes, authors and actors, drew attention to the U.N. General Assembly resolution 1514 of 1960 that supported decolonisation process.

The collective, which includes actor Ratna Pathak Shah, Naseeruddin Shah, novelist Githa Hariharan and economist Prabhat Patnaik, said narration of the latest fighting in Gaza should not deprive Palestinians of their “dignity and right to resist”.

“Palestinians in Gaza fired rockets at Israel. The rockets did not start or define the brutality that followed. The rockets came as as part of a resistance — backed by international law — of an illegal occupation,” declared the statement from the collective. It said Israeli retaliation with “extreme force” killed civilians, including children.

The collective urged the Egyptian air force to provide a ‘no-fly zone’ above Gaza strip and pointed to the lack of political will in the Arab world to protect the Palestinians.

“In early May, Israel attempted to illegally evict Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah (Jerusalem). This eviction is part of the ‘continuous nakba’, as the Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury puts it. These families had settled in this part of Jerusalem when they had been expelled by the Israelis from their homes, and now they were to be expelled again,” the statement declared.

The current crisis in East Jerusalem and Gaza was partly fuelled by efforts of Jewish settlers to build housing units in Sheikh Jarrah part of Jerusalem. This was resisted by local Palestinians, which led to a greater fight between the two sides. Apart from the disturbed neighbourhood of Jerusalem, similar Arab-Israeli fights have spread to other Israeli cities like Lod, Haifa and Beersheba.

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