Since late September 2000, Palestinians in Israel and the 1967 occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, among them internally displaced Palestinians and refugees, have been living in tremendous hardship caused by Israeli violence, economic strangulation and political arrests and assassinations. Fury and frustration resulting from the loss of relatives and friends, as wells as jobs and income, damages to property, restrictions of movement and the fear of future Israeli repression, is aggravated by the arrogance with which the basic Palestinian right to physical protection and life in freedom and dignity are denied by the Sharon government and its international supporters.
The demand for the respect of the rights of the Palestinian people and the support expressed by the Palestinian diaspora, the Arab people, Arab and international human rights organizations, the solidarity movement and UN agencies represent the light in the darkness, and the spark which has kept alive the Palestinian hope that racism and injustice can be overcome and its perpetrators will be held accountable. The world wide public rallies for Palestinian refugees' right of return, restitution and compensation to be launched by the global Al-Awda (Return) network on 7 April 2001 thus represent an especially important act of unity and support for Palestinians in the occupied homeland.
Palestinians in Israel and the 1967 occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip will join the Right-of-Return Rallies to be held in New York, Canada, Australia, Japan, in Madrid and other European capitals, as well as in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon on 7 April, despite the obstacles imposed by Israeli violence and repression:
The CENTRAL RIGHT-OF-RETURN MARCH in Palestine will be held in Nazareth on 7 April, 15:00 (from the Austrian Hospital to Mary's Well). The march is organized by the National Society for the Defense of the Rights of Internally Displaced Palestinians with the participation of the Higher Monitoring Committee of Arab Affairs, Palestinian national institutions and community organizations. (Contact: Suleiman Fahmawi, 050-267679);
In the 1967 occupied territories, April 7 Right-of-Return marches and rallies will be organized by the regional branches the Emergency Committee of Palestinian National and Islamic Forces (the political leadership of Al-Aqsa Intifada), refugee community organizations and Palestinian national institutions in many Palestinian refugee camps and cities. Among the activities already confirmed are the following:
On 7 April, 13:00, Palestinian national institutions, refugee community organizations and activists of the BADIL Friends Forum in the NORTHERN WEST BANK will hold right-of return marches with the participation of school children and students in Tulkarem Camp (contact: Faisal Salameh, tel. 059-735892; Wissal Salem, tel. 052-291349) and in Balata Camp/Nablus (contact: Shaher Bedawi/Jaffa Cultural Center, tel. 052-350652);
On 7 April (noon), in the city of Ramallah, the Emergency Committee of National and Islamic Forces will organize a Right-of-Return Rally for the JERUSALEM-RAMALLAH area with the participation of community and student organizations (contact: Kadoura Faris/PLC, tel. 059-205142);
In the GAZA STRIP, right-of return events will be organized by the Popular Committees, the Union of Youth Activity Centers, and national institutions. A three-day right of return rally (April 7-10) will be held in the refugee camps of the central Gaza Strip (Nusseirat, Deir al-Ballah, Al-Breij; contact: Abdul Rahman Al-Heila, tel. 052-433605). Jabalya Camp will host a public debate on refugee rights on 7 April, 16:00 (contact: Jamal Abu Habel, tel. 059-740961).
An update about 7 April Right-of-Return events in the SOUTHERN WEST BANK (Bethlehem-Hebron area) will follow tomorrow.
No Peace without the Right of Return!
No Peace without the Full Withdrawal of the Israeli Occupation
and Palestinian Self-Determination!
For information about 7 April Right-of-Return events worldwide, see: http://al-awda.org