We, Syrians united in the revolutionary struggle against the Assad regime and its imperialist sponsors, stand firmly and unequivocally with the Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank and across historic Palestine, in their fight for liberation from Israeli colonisation, occupation and apartheid.

The scale of the current violence in Gaza is unprecedented. A besieged population is trapped under bombardment with no safe space to flee to. Close to 10,000 have been killed in the Israeli onslaught, more than 3760 of whom are children, as thousands more remain trapped under rubble. Hospitals, schools and homes have been deliberately targeted. Prohibited weapons such as white phosphorus have been used against a civilian population, in the most densely populated place on earth. Water, electricity and food supplies have been cut and aid is not getting to those in need. Hospitals, overflowing with the injured, are on the brink of collapse. Israel has been given a green light for this slaughter by western states as the Arab dictatorships stand by. In the West Bank, scores of Palestinians have been killed in recent days, as occupation forces and settlers try to drive more people from their homes, and attacks on and arrests of Palestinians have increased across historic Palestine. And we remember those Palestinians languishing in prison, hostages to the Israeli occupation.

Yet this Israeli war against the Palestinian people did not start on 7 October. It dates back to the signing of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the subsequent expulsion and dispossession of Palestinians from their land since 1948. The Palestinian cause started with the occupation of Palestine by the settler colony of Israel which has since perpetuated massacres, mass expulsion, erasure, detention and apartheid rule against the Palestinian indigenous population. We fear such measures and more land-grabs will increase under the current far-right government in Israel which has made very clear its racism, savagery and genocidal intent.

Our solidarity is rooted in our inherent humanity and shared culture, history and heritage. Prior to the British and French occupations and advent of the modern nation states within Sykes-Picot borders, the peoples of bilad ash-sham were closely connected. Since the expulsion of Palestinians from their lands in 1948, we Syrians have adopted the Palestinian cause as our own. This has been reflected in our poetry, music, civic discourse and armed resistance. Syrians welcomed Palestinian refugees as they arrived in our cities, and Palestinians in Syria became embedded within the fabric of our society.

Whilst the Syrian people have always stood with the Palestinian cause, the Assad regime has used it as a rhetorical tool which, far from liberating Palestine, has instead led to increased oppression within Syria's borders.

During the 1967 war, as defence minister, Hafez al-Assad ordered the Syrian army to retreat from the Golan Heights before any Israeli troops had arrived. The Syrian Golan has been subject to brutal Israeli occupation and colonisation, severed from the Syrian homeland and intentionally marginalised by the Assad regime and wider region. The Golan Heights remain confined by Israeli colonisation, the genocidal Assad regime and geo-political schemes.

When the Lebanese civil war erupted, Hafez al-Assad loudly declared Syria's support for the Palestinian-Muslim-Leftist alliance against the pro-Israel Falangists. But when the Falangists appeared at risk of defeat in 1976, Assad ordered the Syrian army to intervene against the pro-Palestinian alliance. The Assad regime slaughtered up to 1500 Palestinian civilians in camps in Lebanon, most notably at Tel Za'atar.

At home, the regime declared a State of Emergency which suspended Syrians' political and civil rights in the name of resistance to Israel, all the while carefully protecting the false border with the occupied Golan Heights. Both Syrians and Palestinians were arrested if they dared take any cultural, political or military initiative against the Israeli occupation. One case is that of Tal al-Mallouhi, a Syrian teenager who blogged in support of Palestine. She wrote articles and poems which encouraged Syrians, Arabs and Muslims to do more to help Palestinians. For this 'crime', the Assad regime threw her in prison in 2009. She remains in prison today.

When our revolution erupted, Syrians and Palestinians in Syria stood shoulder to shoulder. We worked together to supply food and medicine to besieged communities, to organise strikes and marches, and to build democratic alternatives to the murderous regime.

Because Palestinians and Syrians stood together for freedom and dignity, the Assad regime attacked Palestinian camps as fiercely as it assaulted Syrian cities. The Palestinian camp in Daraa and the Raml camp in Lattakia were among those bombed and besieged.

The Yarmouk camp, on the outskirts of Damascus, was known as 'the capital of the Palestinian diaspora'. Its residents initially adopted a position of neutrality in the revolution, but for many that changed in May 2011 when the regime encouraged Palestinians to demonstrate on the Golan border to commemorate the Nakba and then failed to intervene as youth were shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. In December 2012, the Abdul Qadir Al Husseini mosque, was shelled by regime warplanes, killing many of the internally displaced people who were sheltering inside. A five-year siege was imposed on the camp and residents were subjected to slow starvation and a lack of essential supplies. Comparisons were made at the time with the brutal Israeli (and Egyptian) imposed siege on Gaza. Following intense bombardment in April 2018 which destroyed much of the camp's infrastructure, families were forcibly displaced, for many this was a second Nakba. Scores are now prevented from returning, as their homes have been expropriated under new 'development' plans from which regime loyalists benefit – despite the objections of former residents.

The Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) has documented 4,048 Palestinians killed in Syria since 2011. Of these, 614 died under torture in regime prisons and 205 died due to the siege on Yarmouk camp. Others were killed by regime bombing or execution by regime loyalists.

We do not wish to centre ourselves, but expose the interconnectedness of our struggles. Syrians feel deep solidarity with the Palestinian plight, one which comes from the shared experience of resistance to tyranny, a desire for freedom and self-determination, and the trauma of war. In towns and cities across the country, Syrians have taken to the streets to protest the genocide currently underway in Gaza and show solidarity with the Palestinian resistance. In Aleppo, doctors, who have faced the regime and Russia's targeting of hospitals, have protested against Israel's targeting of hospitals in the Gaza Strip. In Idlib, humanitarian workers, who know what it is like to pull children from the rubble, stood to show their solidarity. In Sweida, where daily protests continue against the regime, the Palestinian flag flew high. Numerous towns in northwestern Syria have taken to the streets for Palestine, despite a serious military escalation over the past month and being subjected to daily bombing including the use of white phosphorus by the regime on civilian homes. Northwestern Syria is currently facing the most intensified bombardment by the regime since 2020, wherein over 120,000 Syrians have been internally displaced in the last month alone.

In the diaspora, we have joined protests in the countries of our exile. We know the experience of displacement and dispossession – we have lived a Nakba of our own. Syrians stand with Gaza because we share the horror and pain of state violence – we mourn every Palestinian death as our own.

We are outraged, but not surprised, by the response of the 'international community' and its lack of meaningful action to immediately stop the massacre in Gaza. Syrians faced the same silence and betrayal when calling for a no-fly zone to cease the number of deaths, in the earlier years of the revolution. Despite campaigns, the call fell on deaf ears and we were left to fend for our own.

We Syrians, call for an immediate ceasefire and a just resolution to the Palestinian question, rooted in self-determination and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. We are appalled by the hasbara, Israeli narratives and 'War on Terror' discourse which seek to dehumanise Palestinians, de-legitimise the Palestinian resistance and justify the Israeli onslaught, and recall the way the regime, Russia and Iran use similar methods to discredit our struggle. We reject disinformation spread by propagandists, conspiracy theories and racists with which we ourselves are too familiar with. We condemn those who have stood with the Syrian struggle but fail to stand with our brothers and sisters in Palestine, and those who support the Palestinian resistance but fail to support Syria's struggle for freedom.

Mutual and intersectional solidarity is essential, our struggles are one, our freedom each depends on the freedom of the other.

  • Signed:
  1. Razan Saffour, Editor/MENA Advocacy
  2. Robin-Yassin Kassab, Writer
  3. Leila Al Shami, Writer/Activist
  4. Yassin Haj Saleh, Writer
  5. Walid Saffour, Syrian Human Rights Committee
  6. Maher Arar
  7. Leila Nachawati, Professor of Communications
  8. Qutaiba Idlbi
  9. Bassam Al-Kuwatli
  10. Yasser Munif, Emerson College
  11. Obayda Ghadban, Researcher and Translator
  12. Rafif Jouejati, Human Rights Defender
  13. Ibrahim Fakhri, Artist
  14. Zaher Sahloul, Syria Faith Initiative
  15. Marcelle Shehwaro, Writer
  16. Karam Shaar
  17. Ayah Kutmah, Writer and Researcher
  18. Weyam Ghadbian, Conflict Transformation Facilitator
  19. Bayan Boulad, Grad Student, City University of New York School of Public Health
  20. Yasmeen Mobayed, PhD Student
  21. Sumayya Saleh, Civil Rights Attorney
  22. Yazan Al Saadi
  23. Dellair Youssef, Writer
  24. Shiyam Galyon
  25. Sama Kiki, Advocate
  26. Lina Shamy
  27. Yusuf Mousa
  28. Sarah Hunaidi, Writer and Advocacy Consultant
  29. Bashar Deeb, Journalist
  30. Yazan Badran, Researcher
  31. Mohja Kahf, Ph.D., Professor
  32. Ramah Kudaimi, Activist
  33. Amina Olabi, Public Health Researcher
  34. Lina Baroudi, Attorney
  35. Laila Alrefaai, Researcher and Writer
  36. Dima Nachawi, Artist
  37. Ahmad Abushaar, Molham Team
  38. Jad Baghdadi, PhD Candidate, University of Oxford
  39. Celine Kasem, Syrian Emergency Task Force
  40. Maimouna Alammar, Syrian Nonviolent Activist
  41. Ala Ayoubi, Pharmacist
  42. Rami Jarrah, Journalist
  43. Karim Jian, Doctor
  44. Mustafa Alachkar, Doctor
  45. Fouad Roueiha, Syrian-Italian Journalist and Translator
  46. Lyn Al Masri, Software Engineer
  47. Ayham Abdulwali, Advocacy Specialist
  48. Mohammad Abu Hajar, PhD Candidate
  49. Yasser Almaamoun, Architect
  50. Dr. Razan Ghazzawi, Oregon State University
  51. Sami Haddad, Teacher and Activist
  52. Dr. Noor Ghazal Aswad, Academic
  53. Mohanad Mahdi, Engineer
  54. Osama Zein Al-Abdeen, Humanitarian Worker
  55. Mahmoud Kutmah, Medical Student
  56. Huda Kutmah, Medical Student
  57. Sara Mahdi, Virginia Public University Student
  58. Mayssoun O, Communications Director
  59. Rami Zahrawi Haj-Younes, Humanitarian Worker and Investigator
  60. Khuloud Alsaba, Researcher
  61. Dr. Banah Ghadbian
  62. Yazan Awad
  63. Abdallah Al Shaar, Documentary Filmmaker and Writer
  64. Muaz Mehiş
  65. Aghyan Alzuabi
  66. Abdulrahman alkilany
  67. Rami al-Safadi
  68. Abeedah Diab
  69. Ghalia Albarazi
  70. Maya Daas
  71. Elham Makansy
  72. Masah Barakat
  73. Bashar Alhor
  74. Mohammad Ali Madanieh
  75. Patool Kutmah, Student
  76. Zainab Alhaj
  77. Duaa Nabhan, Student
  78. Safi Ghazal, Syrian Revolution Activist
  79. Bushra Alakraa, Projects Manager
  80. Karim Al Afan
  81. Suzan Boulad, Attorney
  82. Ammar Z, Support Worker
  83. Omar Issa, Software Engineer
  84. Sulima Asaad, Student
  85. Zouhir Al Shimale, Valent Projects
  86. Loay Alhamedi, Activist
  87. Ahmad Sadiddin, Economist
  88. Sameer S, Lawyer & Legal Affairs Director
  89. Rama Shoukfeh, Mental Health Therapist
  90. Salina Abaza, Artist
  91. Yara Maaz
  92. Karim Shoorbajee
  93. Rana Al-Nahhas
  94. Maya Mahdi
  95. Tareq Samman
  96. Hannah Achkar
  97. Sami Al Nazer
  98. Ibrahim Yassin
  99. Amal Alachkar
  100. Ahmad Mohamad, Human Rights Activist
  101. Yazan Affash, Student
  102. Baraa Kanj
  103. Bayan Heri
  104. Abdulgadir Hamo
  105. Sama Heri
  106. Yasmin Sheikh
  107. Osama Asaad
  108. Abdelmajed Alkhatib, Student
  109. Raafat Alsakal
  110. Boushkin Mohamad Ali
  111. Saphe Shamoun
  112. Almousa Bara, Student
  113. Ahmed Haj Ahmed, Student
  114. Amer Munawwar
  115. Ahmad Alsoliman
  116. Noor Albarazi, Student
  117. Amana Albarazi, Student
  118. Laila Sadiddin, Student
  119. Walid Nader, Student
  120. Abdullah Alhusin, Activist
  121. Ahmad Hadeda
  122. Moro Alali, Activist
  123. Monaf Almaiedy, Student
  124. Abdelrahman Elbanna, Academic
  125. Sarab Al-Shishakli, Advocate
  126. Mo Abboud
  127. Basil Alsubee
  128. Almourad Aldeeb, Student
  129. Ayah, Student
  130. El Awan
  131. Rania H
  132. Livia L
  133. Fadi
  134. Eman
  135. Sabri