Joint List MK calls on Arab Israelis to show solidarity with Gazans

"The ultra-Orthodox and the disabled do it, why shouldn't we?" asked MK Jamal Zahalka.

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April 8, 2018 14:32
2 minute read.
Joint List MK calls on Arab Israelis to show solidarity with Gazans

Palestinians shout during clashes with Israeli troops, during a tent city protest along the Israel border with Gaza, demanding the right to return to their homeland, the southern Gaza Strip March 30, 2018.. (photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA / REUTERS)

 
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An Arab MK has called on Arab citizens to step up solidarity protests with Gaza, including by non-violently blocking roads so as to disrupt traffic in the country.

Jamal Zahalka (Joint List) said two days after nine Gazans were killed in the latest protests along the border fence, that "I want to see things expanding to the West Bank and inside Israel. Inside Israel there should be protests against the occupation and against the continuation of the siege and for a just peace. I hope Jews and Arabs will demonstrate. I even call for blocking roads in a non-violent way inside Israel. This is a legitimate means of protest."

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IDF summary of Gaza protests on Friday, April 6 (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

"The ultra-Orthodox and the disabled do it, why shouldn't we?" he asked.

The IDF said it faced Molotov cocktails and stones Friday and was compelled to act to safeguard the border fence and protect Israeli communities from penetrations. It says it uses warnings and riot dispersal means and that soldiers fire live rounds in a precise and measured way only as a last resort. But B'tselem said the use of lethal force Friday was unjustified and illegal.

Zahalka said: "The government of Israel does what it wants. If there are demonstrations inside Israel they may restrain the government and prevent the continuation of the killing because right now they are killing as if they are hunting. Simply hunting people as if they are hunting ducks."

Meanwhile, MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) called on Gazans to continue their protests. He characterized Friday's protests as non-violent and said this marked a new departure for Gaza. "The battle over consciousness requires the development of the popular non-violent uprising," he told Kan Reshet Bet. "This will increase and spread also to the West Bank. This way of popular demonstrations is the most effective. I call for more demonstrations without weapons and in a non-violent way."
Jerusalem Post reporter Seth J. Frantzman updates from the Gaza-Israel border during the April 6th 'Tire Protest'

"The reality of Gaza must be changed. Why are people ready to jeopardize themselves and sacrifice their lives. Because there is an occupation and a ghetto has been created. It is the largest prison."

About 20,000 people attended a solidarity rally with Gaza in Sakhnin on Saturday. MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint List) told the crowd: "Popular struggle is the means for liberating the Palestinian people from occupation. History proves that this means succeeded in many places such as India under the leadership of Mahatma Ghandi and it will succeed also against the Israeli occupation. The Netanyahu government that deepens the war crimes and shoots demonstrators dead is responsible for every drop of blood shed in Gaza and for the continuation of the bloodshed."

 

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