Here are answers for the questions about the reasons that made the Palestinians to organise their massive demonstrations, or what they call: “The Great March of Return.”
Why are the Palestinians of Gaza Marching?
MOST OF THE PALESTINIANS LIVING IN GAZA ARE REFUGEES FROM 1948.
In that year, 75 per cent of all Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homeland and forced into exile. The UN declared in 1948 that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date” (UNGA Resolution 194).
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NOW, 70 YEARS LATER, GAZANS ARE MARCHING FOR THIS RIGHT OF RETURN.
SINCE 2007, ISRAEL HAS KEPT GAZA UNDER BLOCKADE BY LAND, SEA, AND AIR. THIS HAS BROUGHT ABOUT:
- restrictions on freedom of movement – residents are rarely permitted to leave Gaza, even for educational, family, or medical reasons; in 2017, 54 Gazans died waiting for visas to leave for medical treatment (1)
- restrictions on food aid – 80 per cent of Gazans rely on humanitarian assistance, and Israel is allowing just enough to avert starvation (2)
- restrictions on medical aid – supplies and medications are running out (3) (4)
- a crisis of water and electricity – nearly 100 per cent of water is contaminated (5); Gazans receive an average of 2-4 hours of electricity per day (6)
- these amount to collective punishment (illegal according to international law) and have destroyed the economy and resulted in high unemployment and poverty (7)
IN 2008-9, 2012, AND 2014, ISRAEL INVADED GAZA IN UNJUST “WARS”
- 2008-9: 9 Israelis and 1,417 Palestinians were killed (8)
- 2012: 6 Israelis and 174 Palestinians were killed (9)
- 2014: 72 Israelis and 2,260 Palestinians were killed (4 Israelis and 100,000 Palestinians were left homeless) (10)
WHY DID ISRAEL START “WARS” AGAINST AN UNARMED (11) POPULATION?
Israel’s stated purpose for launching three wars against Gaza was “to bring an end to rockets being shot into Israel.” (12)
Let’s talk about those rockets.
Since 2001, Gazans have shot off something like 13,000 rockets and about 5,000 mortars – that’s an average of 3 projectiles every single day. (13) That’s roughly 18,000 indiscriminate projectiles in 18 years, shot from Gaza into Israel. How many people in Israel do you think have been killed by rockets and mortars during the entire time? 44. In 18 years. (14) How many people in Gaza have been killed by Israeli forces during that same period? Approximately 6,000 men, women, and children.
PALESTINIANS HAVE WAITED SINCE 1948 FOR THE WORLD TO BRING JUSTICE. NOW THEY ARE READY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.