IDF attacks al-Aqsa Mosque as Palestine ceasefire begins
May 21, 2021
CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to continue fighting for freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians with large crowds set to protest this weekend regardless of the latest ceasefire.
Organisers are expecting at least 150,000 people to join a mass rally in London today to demand an end to Israel’s brutal occupation and siege of the Gaza strip.
It comes a day after Hamas and Israel agreed to a ceasefire in the early hours of Friday morning, bringing an end to 11 days of deadly bombing that has killed at least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children.
Despite the ceasefire, campaigners stressed yesterday that sustained pressure was needed to end Israel’s system of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
In a statement, protest co-organiser Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “Despite the ceasefire, Palestinians in Gaza still face a 15-year long siege that entraps them and violates all of their human rights.”
While Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem face a brutal occupation, those in Israel are subjected to over 65 discriminatory laws and Palestinians in exile are denied the right to return home, PSC said.
“Israel’s system of apartheid and ethnic cleansing cannot continue,” the statement said. “We can’t stop just because Israel has temporarily stopped bombing Gaza.
“We must campaign and protest until the Palestinian people enjoy what is their birth right; freedom, justice and equality in their historic homeland.”
Saturday’s demonstration will see protesters gather at Embankment at 1pm before marching to Hyde Park.
Organisers added that attacks by Israeli forces on Palestinian worshippers in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque on Friday, just 12 hours after the ceasefire, also showcased why further demonstrations were needed.
Friends of Al-Aqsa chairman Ismail Patel said: “Despite the Israeli decision to stop bombing Gaza we have to continue with the protests as Israel continues with its occupation of Palestine.”
“The attack by Israeli forces on worshippers in Aqsa Mosque hours after the ceasefire shows the need to continue with our efforts.”
Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said the latest violence, which saw large areas of Gaza reduced to rubble as well as the deaths of 12 Israelis by Hamas rockets, must mark a turning point.
“There is no military solution to this conflict,” she said. “We must establish a meaningful peace process that ensures a sovereign Palestinian state alongside a safe, secure Israel becomes an achievable prospect.”
Other politicians also welcomed the ceasefire but said more action was needed to achieve justice for Palestinians.
Labour MP Zarah Sultana said on social media that “true peace flows from justice” which includes “an end to illegal settlements, the occupation of Palestinian lands and the siege on Gaza.”
Global actions of solidarity with the Palestinian people have seen mass rallies in over 80 towns and cities across Britain last weekend.
Activists occupying the roof of an Israeli arms factory in Leicester maintained their action for a third day yesterday, shutting down weapons production.
Members of Palestine Action argue that drone parts manufactured at the UAV Tactical System’s factory are used by the Israeli military in its bombing of Gaza.
Published at morningstaronline.co.uk