Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Al-Quds Day: four killed and hundreds more injured in continuation of Gaza protests


By Naomi Kundera - June 11, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [protests] [Naksa] [Gaza]

June 8 marked the eleventh Friday of weekly protests in Gaza, leaving another four civilians killed by Israeli forces.

Three days after the anniversary of the Naksa (meaning “defeat” or “setback” - the Six- Day War which resulted in Israel occupying the Sinai, Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and the West Bank), thousands of protesters in Gaza streamed to the perimeter fence to fly flags and kites, burn tires and throw stones in the customary way of resisting the Israeli occupation.
 
Protesters were met with tear gas and live ammunition by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), resulting in the killing of three Palestinians and close to 400 other civilian protesters injured.
 
Videos and pictures went viral of a 23-year-old Palestinian man, Haitham Abu Sabla, with tear gas streaming out of the side of his face as a canister fired by the IDF pierced through his cheek.
 
Since the beginning of the “Great Return March,” initiating on the anniversary of Land Day on March 30, protest camps have been erected several meters from the perimeter fence as an exclamation of the Palestinian’s right to return.
 
The almost month-long protests, coinciding with the holy month of Ramadan, have claimed at least 124 lives and have wounded more than 13,000.  
 
In Gaza, nearly two-thirds of the 2 million Palestinian population are refugees. The reality of Gaza is a barely livable situation where people only receive about four hours of electricity a day and have minimal access to clean water. Palestinians in Gaza are protesting these living conditions and the nearly decade-long blockade by Israel and Egypt, which has created this dire reality.
 
Coinciding with the June 8 protests is the last Friday of Ramadan, also marking the annual “Al-Quds Day” protest against the Israeli siege on Gaza.
 
The Al-Quds Day protests were initiated by Iranians after the 1979 revolution in solidarity with the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem.
 
Tens of thousands of protesters in Tehran and Baghdad showed their support of the Palestinian sovereignty by flooding the streets of the capitals, some burning Israeli flags and effigies of US President Donald Trump. Chants of “death to Israel” and “America is the biggest evil” were heard at certain points.
 
The international community has reacted to the recent violence emanating in Gaza at the hands of the IDF in a variety of ways, but very little has been done to actually hold Israel accountable for these atrocious violations of human rights.
 
A UN Security Council resolution, drafted by the state of Kuwait and presented last week, called for the protection of Palestinian civilians in the wake of the killing of protesters. After being rewritten several times, the resolution was eventually vetoed by the US with its power as a permanent member of the council.
 

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