The massive assault on the city of Nablus last night is just the latest step in Israel’s methodical offensive against the Palestinians. Israeli forces have taken over six major West Bank towns and cities — Ramallah, Qalqiliya, Jenin, Tulkarem, Bethlehem, Nablus. The towns of Jericho and Hebron remain the last islands in Palestinian control. Thousands of Palestinians have been arrested, and countless others have been killed and injured.
Yesterday on Democracy Now! we spoke to the father of the first victim of Israel’s latest siege on Ramallah. 21-year-old Suraida Saleh was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers in Ramallah last Friday. She was holding her 9-month old baby in her lap. And as the group American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice discovered, Suraida Saleh was also a US citizen, born in George Washington Hospital in Washington, DC.
The Office of Consular Affairs at the State Department told Democracy Now! on Tuesday that they were aware that Suraida was a U.S. citizen, but did not plan to release a statement or take any action. We asked a State department spokesperson to appear on the show today, but they declined our offer. Instead, we are joined today by two of Sureida’s US-based relatives: her sister Samar is on the phone from her Brooklyn home, where she is watching her two children. Suraida’s cousin, Suhad, joins us in the studio.
- Samar Saleh, sister of Suraida Saleh, the 21-year-old woman gunned down by Israeli soldiers.
- Suhad Sarsour, cousin of Suraida Saleh.
- Hussein Ibish, communications director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.