Palestinians converged along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone on Friday to take part in ongoing demonstrations against Israel’s decades-long occupation.
In a statement, Gaza’s National Authority for Breaking the Siege (NABS), which organizes the weekly rallies, called on Palestinians to “rise up in the face of the [Israeli] occupation and its allies, including U.S. imperialism and corrupt Arab regimes”.
Friday’s rally coincided with International Quds (Jerusalem) Day, an annual event marked each year on the last Friday of Ramadan.
“On International Quds Day, we acknowledge the Palestinian people’s right to resist our oppressors,” the NABS statement read.
Since March of last year, Gazans have held weekly rallies along the buffer zone to demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.
Since the rallies began more than one year ago, scores of protesters have been killed — and thousands more injured — by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone.