Hundreds of Israelis have held a protest rally in Israel’s Haifa to call for an end to the Tel Aviv regime’s 50-year occupation of Palestinian territories.
The Israelis rallied in Haifa on Monday, the anniversary of the Six-Day War fought on June 5-10, 1967 between the Israeli regime on the one side and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria on the other.
At the end of that war, Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds, the Gaza Strip, and parts of the Golan Heights. Israel later withdrew from Gaza but lay a siege to it.
The war and Israel’s ensuing land seizure displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians. Palestinians describe those developments as “Naksa” (Setback) and mark the Naksa Day every year on June 5.
Israel is required to withdraw from all the territories seized in the war under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, adopted months after the Six-Day War, in November 1967; but the Tel Aviv regime has been in non-compliance of that piece of international law ever since.
During the Monday event, the Israeli demonstrators carried Palestinian flags as well as banners and signs reading, “There is another way,” apparently referring to the possibility of the so-called two-state solution.
“I am here to demonstrate against the occupation, and the oppression of the Palestinian people, and to call on all the world to recognize now the independent Palestinian state. It’s the base for real negotiations for peace between Israel and Palestine,” said an activist who had taken part in the protest.
Another activist described the continuation of the Israeli occupation over the past half a century as “a very bad thing.”
Also late last month, thousands of Israelis staged a mass rally in Tel Aviv to denounce the regime’s occupation and express their support for an independent Palestinian state.
UN chief urges establishment of Palestinian state
Separately, in a statement released on Monday, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and warned against Israel’s continued settlement construction and expansion activities.
The occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan “imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people,” many of whom are living in refugee camps, in abject poverty and with little or no prospect of a better life, Guterres said.
“Ending the occupation and achieving a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to lay the foundations for enduring peace,” he added.
Additionally, Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said that, to the Palestinians, the Israeli occupation means “50 years of oppression, subjugation and daily control over all aspects of people’s lives.”
“At the same time, it has also meant 50 years of statements and international resolutions that Israel, the occupying power, has insisted on violating with impunity,” he said.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state in the territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip, with East al-Quds as its capital. However, Israel has been building more and more settlements on those territories, making it difficult to establish the state of Palestine.
Many world countries are opposed to Israeli settlement constructions. The United States, which is Israel’s biggest ally, under former president Barack Obama allowed a landmark UN resolution to pass against the Israeli regime and in condemnation of the settlements on occupied land late last year.
In another development on Monday, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a private security guard had shot dead an Arab protester during clashes in the city of Kafr Qasim. The victim was identified as 27-year-old Mohammed Taha.
Ayman Odeh, an Israeli-Arab lawmaker at the Knesset, said Israeli forces were treating Arabs as “enemies.”
Issawi Frej, another lawmaker, called for an immediate investigation of the “murder.”
Also on Monday, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian protesters in several places across the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinian youths sustained gunshot injuries in the scuffles in the east of the city of Jablaia while dozens of others suffered tear gas inhalation, according to Palestine Al Yawm TV.