Over 200 injured, including 4 critical injuries, more than 10 arrests, and destruction in the refugee camp where homes were tear gassed are the result of the attempt by Israeli occupation forces to repress the Nakba protest at Qalandiya refugee camp. Over 3000 people participated in the demonstration earlier today.
The protest, organized by the Stop the Wall Campaign, the Alliance of Democratic Forces and the independent youth movement Herak Shababiye, was part of the general mobilization of Palestinians inside and outside of their homeland and the Syrian population in the occupied Golan Heights in commemoration of the Nakba. The statistics of Israel’s repression of commemorative protests are shocking:
â¢ 10 killed in the Syrian Occupied Golan Heights
â¢ 10 killed at the border in Lebanon
â¢ 1 killed and 80 wounded with live rounds in the Gaza Strip
â¢ Many more arrested and injured in the various protests throughout the West Bank
Hundreds and later thousands of people gathered at Qalandiya refugee camp today to reaffirm the UN sanctioned right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. The camp is close to the checkpoint that divides Ramallah from Jerusalem and bars Palestinians from the West Bank access to their capital.
The protest in Qalandiya started at 11 am and repression slowly escalated as the day went on. There was a huge Israeli military presence that targeted the protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets, injuring many. Palestinianambulances were constantly rushing injured civilians to the hospital and once Israeli occupation forces even shot tear gas canisters at an ambulance. As the protest went on, undercover Israeli agents started arresting protesters and the occupation forces invaded the refugee camp while youth tried to defend the camp they are living in as they struggle for their right to return to their original homes and lands.
Popular committees against the Wall and the settlements took to the streets and the fields in many other places of the West Bank. In Al Walajeh village, the protesters managed to cross the Apartheid Wall and to reach the remains of their original village, from which they had been expelled in 1948 by the Israeli military. 20 people, including renowned human rights activist Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh and 7 international solidarity activists, have been arrested. 3 were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets and many more felt ill from the clouds of tear gas. In Aizawiyeh, in Jerusalem district, protests were also organized. In Nabi Saleh village residents took to the street and successfully confronted brutal repression until they reached their target, the Israeli military tower that controls all movement in the area. At the Wallâs gate south of Qalqiliya people protested and two were injured during clashes with the Israeli military. Not far from Qalqiliya, in Azzoun, a further protest took place.
The protests are a clear example of people voting with their bodies in support of the unalienable right of return of the refugees and a clear call for continued popular resistance.
Todayâs mobilization has shown only the surface of the people’s anger and has once again demonstrated the determination of the Palestinian and Arab people not to surrender their rights.
It is clear that the popular uprisings in the Arab world and the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation, apartheid and colonialism are part of one struggle for justice. The Arab street gives the Palestinian people hope and inspiration: Now is the time to end 63 years of Nakba.