Speakers at the rally speakers called for justice for Palestinian people and an end to 12-year-long blockade on Gaza by Israeli state
Thousands gathered in London on ‘Land day’ and the first anniversary of the Great Return March responding to the call of the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB), Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Stop the War coalition, Friend of Al-Aqsa (FOA) and the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB).
Adnan Hmidan, media spokesperson for the PFB stated that this demonstration is in solidarity with Gaza after the last attack and comes at the same time as the anniversary march of the ‘Great March of Return’ organised in Gaza.
Speakers at the rally speakers called for justice for Palestinian people and an end to 12-year-long blockade on Gaza by Israeli state, and also spoke out against attempts to smear criticism of Israel as antisemitic.
Zeid Truscott of the National Union of Students spoke of how student activists had faced attempts to clamp down on campaigning. Other speakers called for activists to make sure the Palestine Solidarity movement kept mobilising people—including for a national PSC demonstration on 11 May.
“We stand here today in solidarity with all those marching in Gaza, who will continue to march until they get their fundamental rights,” the PSC Director Ben Jamal said.
“Exist! Resist! Return!” and “Freedom to Palestine” some placards read.
A group of Jewish people also attended the rally to support the demonstration for Palestinians while a separate small group holding Israeli flags were holding a counter protest.
Two Palestinians were killed and dozens injured by Israeli army fire during protests marking the Land Day in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, according to the health ministry.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of Palestinians staged mass rallies near Gaza-Israel buffer zone to mark the first anniversary of the ‘Great March of Return‘ protests against the decades-long Israeli occupation.
The protests also commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the Land Day when six people were killed in 1976 during demonstrations against seizure of Arab land in Galilee.
An aerial view of Pisgat Ze’ev, an illegal Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem and the largest residential neighbourhood in Jerusalem with a population of over 50,000 on October 04, 2018
The Israeli government is expected to approve construction of 4,500 new illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank next week.
According to a report yesterday by the Israeli Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the expected approvals may be postponed until after Israel’s general election – which is slated for 9 April – if an ongoing dispute between the finance and defense ministries is not first resolved.
Approximately 650,000 Jewish settlers currently live on more than 100 settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there illegal.
The Palestinians, for their part, want both these territories – along with the besieged Gaza Strip – for the establishment of any future Palestinian state.
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” ― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
It should be noticed that the ever first recorded genocide in history was committed by the old invading (slaves of Egypt) jews against the natives of Palestine. This was justified by Toratic bloody verses that calls for annihilating the natives who had been cultivating Palestine and building cities for 6000 years before any jew invaded Palestine coming out of the Egyptian enslavement.
“NOW GO AND SMITE AMALEK, [THE PALESTINIANS] AND UTTERLY DESTROY ALL THAT THEY HAVE, AND SPARE THEM NOT; BUT SLAY BOTH MAN AND WOMAN, INFANT AND SUCKLING, OX AND SHEEP, CAMEL AND ASS.”
Now again, the very same Toratic verses are used to justify the zionist crimes based on old Talmudic heresies of the hallucinating ancient slaves of Egypt !!
In spring 2002, I used to camp and work in construction in the Galilee Arab villages. As an “illegal” workers, (which I never recognized the Zionist legal system, which constitutionalises assassination, but a racist one) we used to camp in huts outside the villages. At that time, and even up to now, the Zionists don’t issue permissions for workers to stay the night, but just to work and go back home in the occupied West Bank when the workers finish at the end of the day. The local Palestinians in the Galilee villages used to rent apartments to the workers, starting from 2001 they stopped due to the Zionist “legal system” which forbids the local Palestinian of the Galilee to rent the Palestinian workers from the West Bank or Gaza, and who violates that “law” is subject to imprisonment plus thousands of dollars as a punishment fine which could reach to over 12,000 in some cases.
Within this context we were forced to sleep the night in the open nature under the olive trees when there was no rain and build huts during winter. I never traveled out of Palestine, and never applied for a Zionist permission, knowing that I would never get one as a “dangerous” person, and thus I was obliged to follow the “illegal” way of staying and working with our Galilee brothers. A long time before that I took a decision not to work with or for a Zionist occupier, I only worked for and with my Palestinian brothers.
This was our hut (me and another friend from Nablus) which we didn’t use but to store our humble belongings and have a rest, but at night we used to sleep hiding among the olive trees fearing the Zionist police raids which come usually at night. And even if the Zionists raid, which they usually do, they wouldn’t be able to catch but a few as there were some 50-100 workers spread over 1km square.
One day in the evening, me and my friend were resting under an olive tree after a long workday. I loved the Galilee landscape, it is the most beautiful and most peaceful in the world. I have long dreamed to live there for the rest of my life, die there, and stay there forever.
It was a casual chat between me and my friend; I was gazing at the horizon when he asked me: “What do you think would happen?” It took me a while to answer as I was not actually looking at the horizon, but thinking deep in my hollow head and I replied: “It is the horror, the horror is coming, dear.” That was the first time I really saw the coming horror, and from that time the horror didn’t depart my head.
“What horror? What are you talking about?” my friend asked amazed.
“We are going to be slaughtered by the zionists like what the Nazi did to the Jews and the world will stand watching.” I replied and took the discussion seriously then, and on the sand I started to draw the map of Palestine pointing at the Palestinian population blocks and the Zionist ones, SPECIALLY inside “israel” and the West Bank.
There will never ever be any kind of peace with the racist Zionist entity, even if you wanted, simply because the Zionist occupiers never ever wanted peace (and 25 of the futile negotiations proved that), they want more land and less native Palestinians, and if they could to get rid of the Palestinian by merely massacring them or kicking them to a concentration camp like that of Gaza. they wouldn’t hesitate.
Every single Zionist (including the “peaceful” ones) is a well-trained military person as “Israel” is the only state on earth that obliges every person to join the military forces including the females. Every Zionist house, SPECIALLY in the West Bank, is an arsenal of the most updated weaponry, they are armed to teeth in front of the natives whom they hate and wish to see them vanish fed with their Talmudic diabolical teaching of the Armageddon Day !!
In the Black October of 2000, the Zionist mobs of “Netzeret Elit” colony (where both Christian and Muslim Palestinians are not welcomed), raided the Palestinian Nazareth town en mass sabotaging there. “Nazareth Elit” colony is not only racist in its people, but also with its mayor backed by the Zionist government who wants his colony clean from the native Palestinians and once wondered replying a journalist: “You think I am racist? then the whole jewish state is racist.”
Once, the Zionist “defense” deputy Minster said: “Our problem is not the Arabs in Gaza or the West Bank, it is in the “Israeli” Arabs.” Another blatant zionist minister is the minster of “justice” said last year that ALL Palestinian mothers should be killed. Also the Minster of Education said once that he killed many Arabs and there is no problem with that. They all call openly, officially and repeatedly for GENOCIDE
This, along with the ruling racist mentality of the Zionist government, along with the Talmudic fed racist settlers who attacked Nazareth in October 2000 and attacking the Palestinians on a daily basis nowadays, drew it very clear that there will be more mass attacks against the Palestinian natives.
More and more settlers are brought into the Palestinian land, more and more Palestinians are jammed into the ghettos created by the ziuonist, there will come time, when it is too late to “reconsider the conflict” and definitely there will be no time for “mediation” !!
Some of my FB friends already know that I have been warning for years now that Srebrenica Massacre will be repeated HERE in Palestine.
Nowadays, the armed to teeth Zionist settlers in the West Bank have been rampaging for years burning the Palestinian children, burning the native fields, uprooting the Palestine olive trees, some of these trees are older than their Zionist entity itself, and shooting the natives freely.They have recently formed an armed and trained militia for their dirty work. It is enough for ANY settler to say that he was attacked by the Palestinian to be let free, it is not only that, but the Zionist soldiers will cover his crime by planting a knife beside the dead Palestinian to make the Zionist lie authentic as it was in this video.
Fueled with their Talmudic hate and the culture of killing within their religious circles of “yeshivot”, the Zionists want Palestine, ALL of Palestine minus the natives, and they will do ALL what they can for that, just wait to see, and there is no difference between the Zionist settler or the Zionist soldiers; they are all settlers and are all armed to teeth to kill the Palestinian natives in a way or another.
The “Blood Festival” of zionist settlers dancing with knives, guns, pistols and firebombs stabbing the photo of the burned Palestinian Toddler Ali Dawabsheh whom they burned along with his mom and dad this summer… as they pass the weapons from hand to hand including to children .. these are the real leaders of “israel”
It is clear from the world’s shy condemnation of the “current mutual violence” and asking “both sides to restrain from violence” that the world will keep silent in front of massacring the Palestinian natives over and over again, and as the world gave the Serbs enough time to finish the dirty job, the whole world will give the Zionist more than enough time to massacre the Palestinians in the soon to come holocaust !!! What makes the world silent if not sharing the zionist crimes for 70 years now …. will make them silent and sharing the zionist holocoast soon !!
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Saturday evening, the village of Hares, west of Salfit in central West Bank, and violently searched many homes and stores.
Taiseer Soof, the head of Hares Village Council, said several Israeli army jeeps invaded the village, before the soldiers stormed and ransacked homes and shops in the western area.
He added that the soldiers also confiscated surveillance recordings and equipment from the invaded homes and shops.
In related news, the soldiers closed the entrances of Azzoun town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia.
Eyewitnesses said the soldiers placed concrete blocks closing the northern entrance of the town, in addition to installing an iron gate, closing the southern road, which leads two Ezbet at-Tabib village.
The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has reported, Saturday, that Israeli soldiers killed 266 Palestinians, and injured 30398 others, since the Great Return March processions started on March 30, 2018, which also marks Palestinian Land Day. Four Palestinians were killed, Saturday, and 316, including 86 children and 29 women, were injured.
The Health Ministry stated that the soldiers killed 266 Palestinians, including 50 children, six women and one elderly man, and injured 30398 others, including 16027 who were moved to various hospitals and medical centers.
It said that among the wounded are 3175 children and 1008 women, and added that 136 Palestinians suffered amputations; 122 in the lower limbs, and 14 in the upper limbs.
Among the slain Palestinians are two journalists, identified as Yasser Mortaja, and journalist Ahmad Abu Hussein, in the Gaza Strip, while the soldiers injured dozens of journalists.
The latest information does not include dozens of Palestinians who were killed and injured by the Israeli army after crossing the perimeter fence and were never returned to the Gaza Strip.
On Saturday, March 30, 2019, which marks Palestinian Land Day, and the first anniversary of the Great Return March in the Gaza Strip, the soldiers killed four Palestinians, identified as Mohammad Jihad Sa’ad, 20, and Adham Nidal ‘Amara, 17, east of Gaza city, in addition to Tamer Hashem Abu al-Kheir, 17, and Bilal Mahmoud Najjar, 17, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
It is worth mentioning that Mohammad Jihad Sa’ad was killed, east of Gaza city, on Friday morning, before the processions started.
316 Palestinians were injured by Israeli army fire, on the same day, and were rushed to several hospitals in the Gaza Strip; among them are 86 children and 29 women.
Five of the wounded suffered very critical wounds, 9 sufferedserious wounds, 121 were moderately injured, and 181 sustained minor injuries.
64 Palestinians were shot with live fire.
16 Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets.
13 Palestinians suffered wounds from shrapnel to several parts of the body.
46 Palestinians suffered teargas inhalation.
94 Palestinians were injured from gas bombs’ shrapnel.
Despite Israeli efforts to deter Palestinians from taking part in today’s Great March of Return, and in spite of the cold weather conditions which prevailed, a tsunami of demonstrators flocked to Gaza’s 25-mile-long fence. Heavily-armed Israeli forces fired live ammunition at protesters, who came in their thousands to mark one year since the start of the marches.
At the time of writing, two Palestinian teenagers have been killed and dozens have been injured by Israeli gunfire and tear gas inhalation. The heavily-armed Israeli forces, backed by tanks and warplanes, justified their actions by stating that the protestors came close to the fence, violating a 300-metre enforced buffer zone and hurling stones at soldiers and snipers.
Crowds started marching in the early hours of today towards Essilik – Arabic for fence – carrying Palestinian flags to mark Land Day, known locally as “Yawm Al-Aard”. Land Day commemorates the 1976 protests against Israel’s appropriation of Palestinian land, in which six unarmed Palestinians were killed and around one hundred others were wounded.
People from all walks of life took part in what was dubbed the “Million Man March,” gathering in five locations along the fence that separates the besieged Strip’s two million people from their ancestors’ lands. The coastal enclave is surrounded by an armistice line enforced after the 1948 War, and reinforced after the Six Day War of 1967 – referred to by Palestinians as Naksa, meaning setback.
The head of Hamas’ military wing, Yahya Al-Sinwar, took part in today’s protests, showing no fear of being assassinated by Israel. A day earlier, the armed wings of the Palestinian resistance factions warned Israel against killing the protestors en masse.
Certainly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli army’s generals were monitoring the developments. Netanyahu said the military reinforcements deployed along the fence earlier this week could be used to wage a large-scale invasion of the Strip, if the security situation deteriorated.
One year on
The Great March of Return protests – which have continued every Friday for the past year – have seen 267 Palestinians killed, including 20-year-old Mohammad Saad who was killed this morning, bringing the number of youths killed by Israeli snipers to 51. In addition to a further 30,000 injured by live ammunition, rubble-coated bullets and subjected to tear gas suffocation, many have been left with permanent disabilities. Let’s not forget that two journalists and three paramedics were among those killed. A United Nations investigation into Israel’s response to the Great March found that its forces have committed human rights violations that may amount to war crimes.
No one denies that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is catastrophic as a result of Israel’s 12-year-old siege, made worse by sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) which has cut the salaries of thousands. Israel was hoping that the spontaneous protests waged across Gaza nearly two weeks ago would bring an end to Hamas’ rule. The prolonged siege has had disastrous consequences, while the Egyptian-mediated efforts to secure a long-term ceasefire that would bring an end to the strangulating land and sea blockade have, as yet, not achieved their aims.
The Great March of Return was initiated in the wake of USPpresident Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. It was the bloodiest day of the Great March of Return, in which over 60 Palestinians were killed as they took to the fence to mark Nakba Day, which commemorates the catastrophe of 1948 when Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their historic homeland.
“Our demands are simple and honourable, we want to return, we want a dignified life. Even those engaged in armed resistance have started to understand how effective peaceful, nonviolence can be,” Ahmed Abu Artema, the founder of the Great March of Return recently told a media outlet.
Easing of the blockade in return for calm
Earlier this week, in the wake of a renewed Israeli bombardment of Gaza, Egyptian mediators stated that Israel is willing to offer Gaza economic incentives in exchange for its commitment to end the Great March. Israel’s proposal included, among other things, an increase in the number of goods trucks entering the Strip; an increase in the fishing zone to 12 miles; and an improvement in Gaza’s electricity supply.
In exchange, Hamas will end the nightly confrontations along the border, halt so-called incendiary balloons being flown into Israel, and guarantee that today’s mass demonstration was nonviolent.
This year’s anniversary was also marked throughout the occupied West Bank and by Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as in capitals around the world. One example was London, where crowds of Palestinians and pro-Palestine supporters gathered outside the Israeli embassy to mark the occasion.
This all demonstrates that Israel, which has the fourth most powerful army in the world, was not able to break the will of the Palestinian people, who continue to resist using all means available.
Palestinian armed groups would not have been founded had their homeland not been occupied by Israel. Division between the two major Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, would not have materialised had Palestinians lived in peace in their country. The bottom line is that Israel’s occupation is the root of the conflict. Let’s also stress that peace talks for the past 25 years between the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) or PA and Israel did not achieve Palestinian statehood or freedom.
Gaza has become a source of inspiration for many around the world, while steadfastness has once again become a term describing the Palestinian people, who have been struggling for self-determination and the right to live as a free nation, rather than under Israeli occupation or control, for decades.
Illustrative image of Palestinian protesters evacuating a wounded youth during clashes with Israeli troops along the Gaza Strip border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, March 30, 2018
As Hamas waits for the handing over of Israeli implementation roadmaps for the latest Egyptian-sponsored understandings reached with Tel Aviv, three Palestinians were killed and more than 300 were wounded by Israeli fire near the Gaza Strip border.
Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official said that an Egyptian security delegation, headed by General Ahmed Abdel Khaliq, and that is conducting shuttle diplomacy between Gaza and Tel Aviv, will receive on Sunday an Israeli roadmap for implementing the understandings. Hamas officials say that Israel is offering a package of economic incentives in exchange for calm along the volatile border.
Hamas-Israeli understandings mainly focus on expanding area of sea fishing, lift the ban on dozens of “dual-use” products, establish industrial zones and infrastructure projects, and transfer funds without delay into the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces have killed four Palestinian protesters as demonstrations take place on the Gaza border, the health ministry has said.
Israeli soldiers had killed the four Palestinians and injured 316 others, including 14 who suffered life-threatening wounds, during protests across the perimeter fence, in the eastern parts of the Gaza Strip.
Most demonstrators kept their distance from the border, though small crowds of activists approached the fence and threw stones and explosives toward Israeli troops on the other side. The forces fired tear gas and opened fire against protesters.
The Egyptian delegation had asked Hamas to maintain a peaceful “march of return” and restraint its protesters as to prevent Israeli withdrawal from the ongoing talks.
Hamas had pledged to keep the crowds at a safe distance from the fence to avoid inflaming the political atmosphere during negotiations of a possible easing of the blockade.
Images from the Gaza-Israel border, so far today, as Gazans march to mark the first anniversary of the Great March of Return
Israeli forces shoot multiple tear gas canisters at a Palestinian woman with during the anniversary march of the “Great March of Return” and “Palestinian Land Day” protests at Israel-Gaza border located near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on March 30, 2019
Large numbers of Palestinians marching on the Gaza-Israel border today, to take part in a one-million-man march to mark the first anniversary of the Great March of Return, which was launched on 30 March last year.
The Palestinian Ministry of Public Works and Housing in the Gaza Strip, on Thursday, said that the recent Israeli military aggression on the besieged enclave resulted in complete destruction of 30 houses and partial damage to 500 others.
Deputy minister Naji Sarhan announced, during a press conference, that the estimated losses following the Israeli shelling of homes and civil institutions over the past few days exceeded $2 million.
Sarhan accused the Israeli occupation army of deliberately using excessive force, which caused serious damage to residential buildings and civilian facilities. The destruction also affected the surrounding buildings, which led to the displacement of hundreds of Palestinian citizens.
Sarhan said that the Israeli military operation in Gaza, in November 2018, left 77 Palestinian houses completely destroyed and 1,170 partially damaged with losses estimated at $5.1 million.
According to the Ministry of Public Works, about 2,200 houses of the 12,000 completely destroyed, in the 2014 aggression and earlier attacks on Gaza, have not been reconstructed.
Moreover, some 60,000 partially damaged houses have not been provided with the necessary repair funds.
Sarhan said that the total funding required for the complete and partial damages is approximately $140 million, calling on the international community and the United Nations to put an end to the Israeli attacks on the blockaded Gaza Strip and to protect civilians and their homes.
He appealed to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority government to provide urgent funds to temporarily shelter the homeless families, and to contact donor countries to start reconstruction plans.