Al-Awda Statement on the Great March of Return
In light of the recent escalated violence and naked atrocities carried out by the state of Israel against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, Al-Awda, Palestine Right to Return Coalition, calls on peace-loving, justice-driven people of the world to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people as they heroically continue their Great March of Return, protest the illegal opening of the U.S embassy in occupied Jerusalem, and reaffirm their right to return home.
The Great March of Return began on March 30th- Land Day, and culminated on the 70th anniversary of our catastrophe, or Al-Nakba – when Zionist gangs expelled a majority of the Palestinian people from their ancestral land. We condemn in strongest terms, and deeply mourn the grave injustices and mass killings incurred upon our people by the criminal – settler-colonialist state of Israel, and all who continue to provide unconscionable cover for its crimes.
During this time, Israel killed 111 unarmed Palestinians and on May 14th alone, occupation snipers targeted and murdered 61 people in cold blood – including 14 children, and maimed and injured a total of over 12,000, including 19 (killing one) medical personnel. Hospitals are overcrowded and overwhelmed, while running out of blood and essential medical supplies, and experiencing a severe shortage of electricity. Doctor Tarek Loubani who was wounded while on duty in Gaza said, “If this were downtown New York or downtown Toronto or downtown any other metropolis, they would not be able to deal with the devastation that was faced.” As these crimes persist, the international community fails to hold Israel to account or take any meaningful action, meanwhile Palestinians have no means for which to defend themselves.
Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have called for an arms embargo on Israel and accused it of war crimes. Meanwhile the corporate media and the political apparatus in the U.S have defaulted to its usual “blame the victim” storyline by portraying peaceful protesters as “violent”. Such allegations could not be further from the truth. In fact, the root cause of the unrest stems from an amalgamated incidents of injustices compounded over the past 100 years against the native Palestinians, and in clear violation of over 60 UN Resolutions.
Al-Awda calls on its members and allies to amplify the demands of protesters, and respond to the cries of Palestinians. We ask that you take action by:
• Using the hashtag #Nakba70 in social media and tag your elected officials.
• Organize a rally or vigil for Palestine in your community.
• Write letters to the editors in local newspapers and call for protests.
• Contact elected officials directly and express your disapproval of U.S. biased policy in the Middle East.
We must demand that Israel be held accountable for its indefensible crimes in Gaza and elsewhere in occupied Palestine, an end to the illegal occupation – and for the besieged, sequestered and exiled Palestinians to be repatriated back to their homes in all of historic Palestine. May Allah bless our martyrs who gave their lives so we may return, may their sacrifices not be in vain. Until return.