Gaza’s Resistance Roosters

When Palestinians are silenced, the roosters speak up. Actually, they tend to speak no matter what the political situation is.

Valentine Wiggin
3 min readJun 8, 2024
Rooster standing tall
Source: R.D. Smith on Unsplash

In livestreams from Gaza, many people have noted that roosters still crow despite facing constant bombardment, starvation, and the threat of being eaten by either people or other displaced animals. These roosters are renowned for their ability to survive despite such difficult circumstances and for their loud voices that can be heard over zanana and bombing. As such, netizens call them “resistance roosters”.

It’s not really clear when people started calling them resistance roosters, but the trend seems to have caught on in Holistic Ali’s livestreams around May of 2024. One of the subscriber-only emojis features a chicken wearing a kuffiyeh as an homage to the resistance rooster. Non-subscribers can use the regular chicken or rooster emoji whenever these roosters crow.

Many people on the ground in Gaza have confirmed that the sounds of the roosters are real. Since Israel has allegedly used drones playing sounds of dogs and babies to lure Palestinians to their deaths, some netizens asked if Israel would play the sound of roosters as a part of such a tactic. Journalists on the ground in Gaza have said that these roosters’ crows are indeed real. They are not sure how exactly these animals manage to survive. These journalists have said that Israel does not play recordings of roosters crowing because people in Gaza would not care about such an ordinary sound.

Roosters live all over Palestine from Gaza to the occupied West Bank. They show up in traditional and contemporary Palestinian art as symbols of hope for a new day and of routine and certainty. Even if people have to live in their sheds, roosters still crow when the sun rises as well as other times. The sound of roosters is part and parcel of Palestinian culture and its persistence in the midst of hardship.

Some netizens have wondered why Palestinians don’t just eat these roosters. For one thing, catching a rooster is difficult and trying to hunta rooster can mean certain death in a place like Gaza that is under constant siege. For another, it may not be possible to slaughter and appropriately process these roosters for food. Processing meat, especially according to Islamic law, requires supplies that may not be accessible in Gaza. Even without these dietary laws, processing meat without adequate sanitation can contribute to the spread of disease.

While eating chickens is not explicitly prohibited under Islam, a number of conditions need to be met in order for chicken to be considered halal. A chicken raised for food must be raised humanely, ritualistically hand-slaughtered with a sharp knife, and drained of blood before consumption. The animal must be free from disease and serious injuries at the time of slaughter as well. Due to the poor conditions in Gaza, processing them in this manner may not be possible.

On another note, the roosters seem to crow in direct defiance of the Israeli occupation. Their crowing is one of the few things that can be hear dover endless bombing and zanana. In Palestinian culture, the rooster is one of the symbols of Jaffa, a city in the West Bank. As well as being something of a nuisance crowing throughout the night, Gaza’s resistance roosters will continue to crow.



Valentine Wiggin

Death-positive, sex-positive, and LGBTQ-affirming Christian. Gen Z. I hate onions. She/her