Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are setting up tents along the border with Israel for Land Day protests. The activities are all taking place under the theme the ‘Great March of Return.’
The demonstrations will start tomorrow and will culminate in a mass march on May 15, to draw attention to the plight of of Gazans whose families were expelled from their homes in 1948.
“We are tired of waiting, we are returning now. This will be a peaceful march from beginning to end. We shall carry no weapons, we shall shoot no bullets, and throw no stones,” said the organizers of the Great March of Return.
Armed with only the flag of Palestine and banners bearing the text of United Nations Resolution 194 that guarantees Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes, organizers have consistently stressed the peaceful nature of the march.
Haniyeh: “The Great March of Return is peaceful, but this does not mean that Hamas gave up other forms of resistance, which are the main part of its strategy to fight the occupation.”
— Hamas Movement (@HamasInfoEn) March 28, 2018
In response to the peaceful protest, the Israeli army has deployed additional troops, snipers and drones at checkpoints and border crossings. According to the International Middle East Media Center, the Israeli army has been placed on high alert.
Sit-ins will start in the besieged Gaza Strip and spread to the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and within Israel itself. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from refugee camps across Jordan, Lebanon and Syria are also expected to participate in the mass action.
Preparations are underway for the Great March of Return on Friday, March 30, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian catastrophe, the Nakba.
Thousands of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip are expected to march towards the eastern border of … pic.twitter.com/Mhu8iLeKDJ
— #FreePalestine 🇵🇸 (@Taghreeba) March 28, 2018
“It is a sustained and cumulative struggle, not a seasonal or a one-day event. It will only end with the actual return of Palestinian refugees and the sit-in may last for weeks or months,” the organizing committee told the Afro-Palestine Newswire Service.
The march also comes at a time when many Palestinians believe there is an Israeli-American plan to liquidate the whole Palestinian cause – a plan that started with US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and taking the city’s status off the negotiation table.
(PalInfo, PC, Social Media)