Some 10,000 Israeli-Arabs took to the streets of Nazareth Saturday afternoon in a mass demonstration demanding an end to the “siege on the Gaza Strip”.
This mass protest, orchestrated by the Balad Party, the two factions of the Islamic movement, and the “Bnei Hakfar” Israeli-Arab movement, was comprised of representatives of virtually every Arab political party and social movement in Israel.
Also taking part in this demonstration were the three Balad MKs, as well as MKs Ibrahim Sarsur and Talab El-Sana of the United Arab List-Ta`al Party.
End to Gaza Seige (Photo: AFP)
Shiekh Raed Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, addressed the crowd saying: “In spite of this festive holiday atmosphere our hearts are burdened, and will remain so until the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
Salah went on to say “we call on Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to make the best of the Muslim holidays and announce the formation of a government of national unity that can stand up to American terror and Israeli occupation.”
'Those responsible for war crimes must face justice'
The head of the Islamic movement also called for the establishment of a collective body that can break the ‘siege’ currently in place on the Gaza strip. His plea was echoed by MK El-Sana who stated that “Israel might be able to kill Former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, but it can never murder the Palestinian peoples’ desire for independence and freedom.”
El-Sana also called for Palestinian unity, and urged Abbas and Haniyeh to set aside their differences, as these “endanger the Palestinian peoples’ quest for independence, for the resolution of the refugee problem and for the liberation of Jerusalem.”
Chairman of the Balad Party, MK Jamal Zahalka, said that “those responsible for war crimes against the Palestinian people must be brought to justice in an international court of law…Killing civilians, starving them and denying them medical care are bonafide war crimes, and those responsible should be held accountable to international law.”