Greta Thunberg says events in Israel, Palestine ‘devasting to follow’

Greta Thunberg says events in Israel, Palestine ‘devasting to follow’
The Swedish environmental activist said she is "against any form of violence or oppression from anyone".
2 min read
11 May, 2021
Greta Thunberg said that following events in Jerusalem had been 'devastating' [Getty-file photo]
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has commented on Twitter about about Israel's recent attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Thunberg, 18, said that she is “against any form of violence or oppression from anyone”.

She explained that she was not opposed to "Israel or Palestine" but said that what was happening in the region was “devastating to follow”.

This came after she earlier commented on and retweeted other messages about Palestine.

In one case, she used the hashtag "#SaveSheikhJarrah" when replying to a tweet from activist Naomi Klein.

Thunberg received backlash from pro-Israel users.

Klein had quote tweeted a message from the Institute for Middle East Understanding detailing Israeli violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Canadian used the phrase, "War crime after war crime."

However, many took issue with Thunberg's cautious clarification.

Recent Israeli attacks have seen hundreds of Palestinians injured in Jerusalem and 26 more killed in airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Yemeni Sukaina Al Shami tweeted in reply to Thunberg: “It’s either you’re with the oppressed or the oppressor.

"Have courage in such times - that’s when it matters."

Another Twitter user replied with a well-known quote attributed to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a celebrated activist against South African apartheid: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Read more: Sheikh Jarrah and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in East Jerusalem

The human rights organisation Amnesty International has sharply criticised Israel for its attacks on Palestinians.

It said that witness accounts and photographic evidence indicated that Israeli authorities had carried out "violent raids on Al-Aqsa" and "unprovoked attacks on peaceful demonstrators in Sheikh Jarrah".

Deputy Middle East and North Africa director Saleh Higazi said the "[e]vidence… reveals a chilling pattern of Israeli forces using abusive and wanton force against largely peaceful Palestinian protesters in recent days".

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