As Filipinos face on-going killings and impunity in the Philippines, the Israeli army opened fire and killed 17 unarmed Palestinians and wounded 1,400 others, including women and children, during a peaceful demonstration last Friday in Gaza. Just hours before this, a Palestinian farmer was also killed by artillery fire from Israel.
The Philippines Chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS-Phils) decries this as an escalation of the war crimes of Israel as it continues its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands. The Zionist state is recently emboldened by U.S. Pres. Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The hands of Netanyahu and Trump are stained with the blood from this abominable massacre.
The US and Israeli support for the Philippine military is equally condemnable. We stand with Gaza.
Friday’s demonstration dubbed “the Great Return March” marks the fateful Land Day of March 30, 1976, when six unarmed Palestinians were killed during protests against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.
Protesters were calling for the return of Palestinian refugees to their lands. Of Gaza’s two million population, about 70% are descendants of Palestinians driven from their homeland by Israel in the 1948 War known to Arabs as Nakba.
Tens of thousands have mobilized to start a six-week sit-in demonstration along the border leading up to the commemoration of the Nakba on May 15.
Israel’s army deployed more than 100 snipers on the other side of the border with permission to fire. Fatalities and injuries came from live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas inhalation.
Demonstrators were calling for the implementation of United Nation (UN) resolutions on Palestinian refugees and their rights. They were raising only Palestinian and UN flags. Yet as the bloodbath occurred, the United Nations Security Council was silent despite its emergency meeting.
It is for the peoples of the world to stop Israel’s escalating occupation, violations and crimes against the Palestinian people. We should all support Palestinians fighting back for their freedom and homeland.
We demand justice for the Palestinian people.