Today marks one year since the General “dignity” Strike of May 18 2021, which mobilized Palestinians across Palestine from the River to the Sea, and the circulation of the Dignity and Hope Manifesto by Palestinian activists. This Month marks one year since what Palestinians are now calling the Unity Intifada. Since the events of last year, Palestinians continue to experience ever-increasing levels of repression, assaults and colonial violence by Israeli forces. Nonetheless, we continue steadfast in our fight for liberation with a strengthened desire and hope as a united Palestinian people. As our revolutionary path continues to evolve, we take a moment now to reflect back on this journey. 

Here is a compilation of reflections by Palestinians on what happened, where we stand now and where we could go:

Defying colonial fragmentation and regaining ownership over our narrative:

  • The Unity Uprising was led by young people across Palestine and in the diaspora, who overshadowed the failing political structures and factions in place: ”Youth were responding to Israeli oppression as well as to a crisis of representation within Palestinian politics, which lacks any avenues for real political participation.” - wrote Akram Salhab & Dahoud Alghoul.

  • “Perhaps the greatest accomplishment thus far has been to demonstrate the actuality of liberation”, writes Budor Hassan referring to the synchronised resistance efforts against Israel’s assaults on Jerusalem, besieged Gaza, and ‘48 Palestine.

  • The grassroots and digital mobilisation efforts defied decades of colonial fragmentation and subjugation. Yara Hawari writes: “Palestinians are reclaiming a shared narrative and struggle from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”

  • Palestinian youth raising the Palestine flag over their cities occupied in 1948 went viral, declaring in a way that here too is a colonised land, erasing years of Israeli divide and conquer tactics.

  • Videos of Palestinian refugees in Jordan marching to the borders that connect them with Palestine also went viral, a symbolic visual of them exercising their right of return using the hashtag #LetsMarchToTheBorders (originally in Arabic).

  • Palestinian youth took over social media platforms using hashtags including #SaveSheikhJarrah, #SavesSilwan, #SaveBeita, ان للنكبة ان لا تستمر. , which soon gathered a large following online that directly uplifted the voices of Palestinains and events on the ground speaking louder than media.

  • Despite mass takedowns and censorship of their content on various digital  platforms, Palestinians found creative ways to bypass and trick the algorithms online through using platforms like Tajawz that encodes Arabic characters into unrecognisable words to break the process used by algorithms to flag and remove content. 

Palestinians from Jerusalem, the Galilee, Nablus, Yaffa and Ramallah were organising themselves and practising their rightful self-sovereignty as one united people:

Under settler-colonialism, uprooting indigenous populations is the norm, not the exception and remains a reality from 1948 to this very day

  • The Israeli settler-colonial regime has always vested itself in creating narratives that legalise and justify replacing indigenous narratives: “Be it through manufacturing ‘real-estate disputes’; demolishing homes built ‘without authorization’;[and] stealing lands by declaring them to be ‘military zones,’ ‘archaeological sites,’ ‘environmentally protected,’ or ‘state-owned’”, writes Mohammed Al-Kurd.

  • While the Israeli High Court ruled to annul the expulsion orders of the Sheikh Jarrah, Karam Al-Jaoni families, allowing them to catch a breath momentarily, the families reminded us that justice will not be served from occupation’s courts: ”The battle to solidify our rights in our lands and our homes is far from over”.

  • Yet, the Israeli regime did not stop the takeover of other parts of Sheikh Jarrah, continuing targeting more families, including displacing the Al-Salhiye family from their home for the second time since 1948 and demolishing their family business.

  • As Safa Joudeh analysed in a thoughtful piece, "Gaza’s exceptional status is the actively planned outcome of a series of invoked regimes particular to the territory but rooted within a framework of Israeli colonial and occupation practices", and the Unity uprising has contributed to de-exceptionalize Gaza.

  • More Recently, Palestinians from Beita and Al-Naqab (Negev) adopted resistance tactics and deployed energy drawn from the Unity uprising, to fight against the persisting and ongoing policies for their ethnic cleansing, an ongoing Nakba that has not stopped since last May.

  • This is also the case of our people in Masafer Yatta, with the Israel High Court ruling this May 2022 to forcibly expel thousands of Palestinian families from this area in the south Hebron Hills, greenlighting the largest single expulsion of Palestinians since 1967. 

The song "Inn Ann" became the adopted anthem of last year's Uprising

Despite the narrative shifting, aggression and violence against Palestinians continues and Israel’s colonial subjugation will remain so long as it continues to enjoy impunity:

  • Months after the Uprising, Israel criminalized leading Palestinian NGOs, Zena Agha writes that: ”The effective criminalization of Palestinian institutions and the expansion of the settlements are two sides of the same coin.” Further explaining that the ultimate goal is to repress dissent against those who expose its human rights violations, obstruct its colonial expansion and push for accountability.

  • Since the start of 2022, Israel’s relentless violence has continued, in almost complete mainstream media blackout, assassinating more than 45 Palestinians on both sides of the green line.

  • Furthermore, the Jenin refugee camp continued to resist while the Israeli occupation forces invaded the camp once again and imposed a siege on its people as a form of collective punishment for their steadfastness against the generations-long brutal occupation. 

  • The Israeli occupation forces invaded Al-Haram Al-Sharif in Ramadan, during the Fajer (dawn) prayer,assaulting worshippers and disecrating al-Aqsa mosque on full display.

  • The besieged Gaza was also bombarded, yet again: “Wounds from May 2021 haven’t fully healed yet in Palestine. Families still mourn their dead, homes that were reduced to rubble haven’t been rebuilt, and children are still traumatised by what they saw. The scenes from Jerusalem today remind me of the lead-up to May 2021”, tweets Jehad Abu Salim. 


Finally, media distortions and inaccurate representations continue to be integral in maintaining the status quo of Israel’s subjugation and oppression of Palestinians:

  • “By neglecting to contextualise Israeli state violence, the media has given the Israeli government a free pass, enabling it to continue ethnically cleansing the Palestinian people with impunity. It is time for outlets to address the harm they have done.” Wrote Albast and Knar on the media blackout over Israel’s intensification of violence and killing of Palestinians during Ramadan.

  • Our team curated a Media Memo for journalists, reportes and media outlets to bridge the gap and ensure that Palestine stops being an exception to accurate, fair and ethical reporting. 

  • As we reflect back on this anniversary, perhaps the most important takeaway from our Unity Intifada is the path forward we are collectively envisioning for ourselves, and our persistent and continued revolution against oppression, colonial ruling and ongoing Nakba. Put beautifully by Amjad Iraqi, we end by sharing his words that capture the most crucial lesson from our movement since May:


“Another war or uprising may well be on the horizon. But a movement without resources is doomed to wither, and a struggle without direction is fated to be lost. We know that slogans aren’t enough: only a serious recalibration of power — through grassroots organising, government action, economic independence, media pressure, and more — can shift the tide against our colonial condition.”


Even after more than seven decades of oppression, Palestinians continue to defy colonial fragmentation, insisting on regaining agency over our narrative, exercising our self-sovereignty, and creating historic moments that are made possible only by  the persistence of our crucial advocacy on the ground and internationally to emancipate ourselves from Israel’s oppression. In doing so, Palestinians continue to embody liberation,  determined to lead strategically and in unity.