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Marching to Al-Quds to Mark Land Day

Published: 19/03/2012 01:22:31 PM GMT
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CAIRO - Highlighting the decades-long Israeli occupation of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem), activists are planning a series of marches toward the holy city to mark Palestine's Land Day. We believe that the international (more)

CAIRO - Highlighting the decades-long Israeli occupation of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem), activists are planning a series of marches toward the holy city to mark Palestine's Land Day.

"We believe that the international community has failed as it has not managed to force Israel to stop the Judaization of Jerusalem, the settlements and the separation fence," Said Yakin, one of the organizers of the “Global March to Al-Quds”, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday, March 19.

"Jerusalem is the key to both peace and war. We do not want Jerusalem to turn into the city of death but the city of life for all people."

Activists are planning a series of marches toward Al-Quds to mark the Land Day on Friday, March 30.

Organizers say more than 700 institutions from 64 countries support the initiative, directly or indirectly.

The marches are set to commence one or two days prior to Land Day with events in the capital cities of neighboring countries.

Marches will also be held outside Israeli embassies in various European and Arab countries, basically Egypt and Syria.

Convoys from Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority are scheduled to arrive at borders at 11am at the end of Friday prayers.

The Land Day march "Palestinians and their international supporters will attempt to get as close to Jerusalem as they can: whether at the borders of Lebanon and Jordan, at checkpoints in the West Bank, or at the Erez crossing in Gaza," the group said in a statement.

Organizers are using social networks to attract Arabs to take part in the event.

In one Facebook page, the group says its goal is to reach Jerusalem "or the nearest point to it."

Land Day commemorates the death of six Arab Israelis during a general strike at an Israeli decision to confiscate privately owned Palestinian lands in 1976.


Organizers say their marches will be peaceful to avoid any confrontations with Israeli occupation forces.

"We are after all not an army, but popular peaceful international forces aiming to show solidarity with Palestine and with Jerusalem," spokesman of the Global March to Jerusalem Zahir Al-Birawi said.

Protests marking Nakba day last year saw the killing of at least 13 people by Israeli occupation forces.

In Egypt, protests are planned at Al-Azhar Mosque, Tahrir Square, and a commemorative sports tournament in Cairo.

Organizers in Jordan and Lebanon are not decided yet on appropriate locations for protests.

In Syria, organizers are coordinating with the local Palestinian population to stage marches marking the event.

Al-Quds is home to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which includes Islam's third holiest shrine Al-Aqsa Mosque, and represents the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Israel occupied the holy city in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community or UN resolutions.

Since then, Israel has adopted a series of oppressive measures to force the Palestinians out of the city, including systematic demolition of their homes and building settlements.Erasing the remaining history of Arabs and Palestinians in Al-Quds, a new bill was approved by the Israeli Knesset last May that ordered Hebraizing all Arabic names of the city's neighborhoods.

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