GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — Thousands of Palestinians will march and stage sit-ins at Israeli borders and checkpoints on Friday in an unprecedented mass action campaign, demanding the right to return to homes that they lost when the Israeli state was established 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 organizers of the Great Return March (GRM).
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.
In response to the peaceful protest, the Israeli army has deployed extra troops, snipers and drones at checkpoints and border crossings, reported the Middle East Monitor. According to the International Middle East Media Centre, the Israeli army has been placed on high alert. (Note: In regular protests since December, Israeli forces have used lethal violence against Palestinian demonstrators, killing a number of unarmed protesters and injuring hundreds more).
“Sit-in may last for months”
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.
“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 said to 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.
(Report by Afro-Palestine Newswire Service)