Thousands of Palestinians rallied at the Israel-Gaza fence to celebrate the first anniversary of the Great March of Return protests staring down Israeli occupation forces on the other side of the perimeter.
Last year, on March 30th, tens of thousands of Palestinians participated in tent city sit-ins and protests along Gaza’s eastern boundary to protest Israel’s decade-long siege on the territory. Today Israeli forces fired live ammunition killing two young people. Mohammed Saad, 20, was killed on Saturday morning by shrapnel from Israeli army fire east of Gaza. Adham Emara, 17, was later killed during the protests after being shot in the face.
The far right Israeli regime stated at least 40,000 people had arrived for the action.
For the past year, the Israel-Gaza fence been the scene of mass protests and major bloodshed in which more than 260 Palestinians were killed, mostly by Israeli sniper fire. Nearly 7,000 others were shot and wounded, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
The movement demands that Palestinians should be able to return to their land which was occupied by Israel in 1948. They were also demanding to return to land on the other side of the boundary fence from which their families had been forcibly displaced. Two-thirds of Gaza’s population of two million are refugees hailing from lands now inside Israel.
The launch of the Great March of Return coincided with Land Day, the annual commemoration of six Palestinians killed during protests against Israeli land confiscation in the Galilee in 1976.
Fifteen Palestinians were killed during the first day of the Great March of Return. Israel has used lethal force against unarmed demonstrators ever since.
With the rise of this new Palestinian resistance, many hope revolutionary groups will be able to find a way over the impasse that has fractured the resistance.