Rallies in The UK, Ireland Mark Nakba Day

Published May 16th, 2021 - 06:15 GMT
Thousands mark Nakba Day in Britain and Ireland.
A person holds a sign during a demonstration marking Nakba Day on May 15, 2021 in New York City. The commemoration of Al Nakba, which literally translates to The Catastrophe refers to the exodus of at least 750,000 Palestinians amid Israel's declaration of independence in 1947. David Dee Delgado/Getty Images/AFP
Rallies held across UK, Ireland to mark 73 years of Israeli occupation

Rallies and demonstrations have been held in cities across the UK and the Republic of Ireland to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba when zionist military groups forcefully occupied Palestine.

In the UK, people gathered in their hundreds of thousands at Marble Arch before marching to the Israeli embassy at Kensington High Street in central London, where speeches were held, slogans chanted and anger expressed at the ongoing brutal oppression of Palestinians at the hands of Israeli forces.

"We must remember we are part of an international movement. This is a worldwide movement for justice. Palestinian people are having their land seized... and they are now being killed in their homes. All of this is illegal," Dianne Abbot, an MP for the opposition Labour Party, said outside the embassy.

Also attending the rally was Hussam Zumlot, Palestinian ambassador to the UK, who said, "his time is different. This time we will not be denied anymore. We are united. We have had enough of oppression. Today we are saying enough, enough with the complicity. Thank you for standing with us."

The London rallies were organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa Stop The War Coalition and are said to be one of the largest protests in London. Demonstrations were also held in other cities across the UK, including Coventry, Newcastle, Manchester and Cardiff in Wales, where hundreds of protestors converged on city squares and town halls to express their solidarity.

Across the Irish Sea, people in the Republic of Ireland also marked the solemn occasion of the Nakba and rallies were held in the capital Dublin.

Demonstrators marched through the Irish capital ad demanded action to stop the escalating bloodshed in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem and called for an end to the forced evictions of Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah.

"This is the voice of Palestinians who are trying to resist and push back against occupiers. This is what brings us here today. This is what should give us that zeal to push this voice forward. Now we feel their pain. All of us, we see every night parents holding their dead children. But even beyond this, we should be advocating on a daily basis," said Marwan al-Akari, one of the event's organizers.

"So today, I hope you all brought your full voices, your zeal and as soon as we start chanting, I hope you all will still be with us. But beyond this, this isn't something that we only bring today. This is something we should constantly advocate for," al-Akari added.

Violence in occupied territories must end

On Saturday, human rights organization Amnesty International has urged the international community and, more specifically, the US to bring an end to escalating violence against Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank.

"While the world watches the armed hostilities in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) escalate, it's past time that the world presses Israel to address the root causes of violations and injustice. The violence is escalating to similar patterns reminiscent of the horrific hostilities from 2008, 2012 and 2014. Civilians bear the brunt of this suffering, with massive death and destruction in Gaza," Amnesty said.

"Israel has a deplorable record of unlawful killing and injuring of thousands of civilians, displacing tens of thousands and destroying homes, businesses and infrastructure. These violations include war crimes and crimes against humanity. Palestinian armed groups have also committed some violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, with impunity," the group added.

The rights group urged the US and the international community to pressure the Israeli government to end its "systematic violations" of and against Palestinians and to lift the over half a century old military occupation that has restricted life in the occupied territories and damaged Palestinians' rights to freedom.

"Right now, Palestinians everywhere, including in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, are asking the world to pressure Israel to halt the forced evictions in their neighborhood and end the ongoing forced displacement of Palestinians."

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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