Thousands March in Syria in Solidarity with the Intifada
By Nabil Al Mulhem
Albawaba.com - Damscus
In heavy rain, about 50,000 Palestinians and Syrians marched through a Palestine refugee camp south of Damascus Wednesday in solidarity with the Intifada in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The protestors, headed by members of the 10 Palestinian groups based in Damascus, burned Israeli and American flags, and held banners reiterating that confrontation with the Israeli occupation forces is the only option left for Palestinians.
The banners denounced "Israeli massacres of Palestinians" and stressed that there will be "no peace without the return of Palestinian refugees" to their homes in the 1948 Palestine, the West Bank and Gaza.
Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mishaal, Secretary General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine Naif Hawatmeh, and head of Fateh-Intifada Movement, Abu Moussa in addition to leaders of the Islamic Jihad and DFLP-General Command took part in the huge rally.
The chairmen of the General Union of Arab Writers, Ali Oqla Ersan, and the head of the Union of Syrian Journalists, Saber Falhut, and Chief of the Syrian Bar Association Ahmad Eido also participated in the march.
Eido called in his speech for the formation of a war crime tribunals to try the Israeli leaders.
Khaled Mishaal said in a speech that "Intifada must continue in order to recover Palestinian rights,” adding that there is no difference between the Labor and Likud Israeli parties, which he called “murderers.”
Mishaal called for quality military operations against Israeli targets, refusing any kind of contacts between the Palestinians and Israel.
The protestors tried to change the course of the march to head for the American embassy in Damascus, but the organizers were able to persuade them against that, while the police forces kept their distance from the peaceful demonstration.
“Demonstration is the least we could do,” said Marwan Shehadeh, 18, “the world has to hear our voice and show solidarity with the Intifada of our people. And the Palestinian leadership should understand that we will not give up Jerusalem.”
“We do not need missiles to liberate Jerusalem. What we need is a pile of rocks. Imagine what dignity is left for the Israeli soldier when a small boy chases him with a rock in his hand,” said college student Hussam Khalil, 19.
Another protestor, Suad Ayesh, a Syrian college student said that “a Jew coming from Poland should not feel he is living in heaven… He has to suffer until he misses his birth place and goes back there.”
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)