70th Anniversary of Al Nakba: ‘Great March of Return’ boldly affirms Palestinians’ right of return to their homeland

The Great March of Return begins on Land Day March 30, 2018.

The Great March of Return, that began on Land Day (March 30) will shortly culminate on May 15, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Al Nakba (the catastrophe). On May 15, 1948 the Zionist state of Israel was established on the basis of the dispossession and mass expulsion of the Palestinian people.  Today, the Palestinian people face ongoing occupation and increasing encroachment and dispossession by the Zionists. The Great March of Return is a bold affirmation of the Palestinian people’s right to resist and right of return to their homeland, as enshrined in international law.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

The Great March of Return began six weeks ago and calls for the return of the Gaza Strip’s 1.3 million refugees to their original villages. People are encamped not far from the boundary of Gaza, where spirits are high and several generations of Palestinians regularly converge to express the profound demand that their lands must be returned to them.

The Gaza protests have been violently targeted by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). On Monday Israeli snipers killed another 59 people, among them 8 children, and injured 2,771 Gaza protesters, as a US embassy opened in Jerusalem.  As of May 9, it is reported that 47 people had been killed, including five children and two journalists. More than 8,536 Palestinians have been injured, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. More than 2,000 people have been injured by live ammunition. Injuries have also been caused by rubber bullets and tear gas asphyxiation.

Rights organizations report that the IOF is deliberately targeting medical staff as they attempt to aid the wounded. As of May 9, the Gaza Ministry of Health reports that 163 medical personnel have been injured by live ammunition and gas asphyxiation. Twenty-four ambulances have been damaged. Journalists covering the protests also report that they are being deliberately targeted.

The two journalists who were killed were both well away from the IOF and wearing blue flak jackets that clearly said “PRESS.” The Israeli Defense Minister later sought to justify the killings of the journalists.

Banner and posters at Great March of Return camp honour Palestinian photographer Yaser Maurtaji, killed while covering the march.

Sand artist Mohammed Abu Amr was among those killed by Israeli forces on Land Day: he is honoured in banner placed beside a sand map of Palestine made in his memory; below, one of his sand sculptures.

Banner and posters at Great March of Return camp honour Palestinian photographer Yaser Maurtaji, killed while covering the march. During that same period, Israeli forces killed 13 other Palestinians in Gaza who were not participating in the protests when they were fatally wounded, the Electronic Intifada reports.

TML Weekly denounces the brutality of the Zionists and expresses its full support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people and calls on everyone to go all out to take part in the actions to mark Al Nakba. TML Weekly also denounces the ongoing support of the government of Canada for the Zionist occupation and war crimes, and its refusal to hold Israel to account by condemning all of its illegitimate acts that contravene international law.


Scenes from the Great March of Return











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