Israel forces violently suppress Palestinian march in Gaza

Israel forces violently suppress Palestinian march in Gaza
2 min read
19 May, 2023
Thousands participated in the Gaza march, where Palestinians flags were raised and chants could be heard.
Israeli forces shot live and rubber bullets at Palestinian marchers in Gaza, leading to injuries [Nidal Alwaheidi/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty]
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Israeli forces violently suppressed a march by Palestinians raising their national flag in Gaza on Thursday.

The protest coincided with a far-right Israeli "Flag March" in Jerusalem that drew tens of thousands, in which the racist slogan "Death to Arabs" was chanted.

Thousands participated in the Gaza march, where Palestinians flags were raised and chants could be heard, The New Arab's Arabic sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

Young people lit tyres near the frontier area separating Israel from Gaza. Israeli flags were burned.

Israeli forces shot live and rubber bullets at Palestinian marchers, leading to injuries, and tear gas was launched from a drone.

Ambulances transported some of the injured participants to hospital for treatment.

Maher Mezher, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's central committee, said the march was a "message for the occupation [Israel] of the Palestinians' rights to their land" and determination to return to it, despite the decades that have passed since the Nakba.

The 1948 Nakba, meaning "catastrophe" in Arabic, was the ethnic cleansing over 750,000 Palestinians that took place with Israel's formation.

Hamas political bureau member Suhail Al-Hindi said Palestinians of all political stripes were united in rejecting Israeli efforts to change the character of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Many extremist Israelis seek to either split the compound in terms of time and space available between Jews and Muslims or replace the mosque itself with a Jewish temple.

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Khaled Al-Batsh, a high-level leader in Palestinian Islamic Jihad, said "all historical evidence confirms the Palestinian right to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque".

"All Israeli efforts to change the reality during the more than 75 years of conflict have failed," he added.

He added to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: "Occupied Jerusalem is an Arab, Islamic land that does not accept division between two states or two peoples."

He said neither the Flag March nor Jewish prayer at Al-Aqsa would give Israel sovereignty over the land because "it's not theirs in the first place".

Under the terms of the status quo arrangement governing Al-Aqsa, prayer is reserved for Muslims at the site.

Members of other faiths may visit but not worship.

 
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