PRESS RELEASE – UK/Palestine: Al-Quds Day procession comes at a time of heightened suffering

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From: Islamic Human Rights Commission

24 May 2018

PRESS RELEASE – UK/Palestine: Al-Quds Day procession comes at a time of heightened suffering

The recent massacre by Israeli soldiers of Palestinian civilians protesting their dispossession on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (Catastrophe) in the Gaza Strip highlighted once again the brutal nature of the Israeli occupation.

The massacre presents a sobering backdrop for this year’s Al-Quds Day rally. With Palestinians being gunned down and maimed for simply standing up against their oppressors, thousands of people are expected to turn out once again to commemorate Al-Quds Day in London in order show their support for the beleaguered victims.

A fixture in the capital for over 30 years the annual event is a general show of solidarity drawing in people of all faiths and political persuasions. This year’s London event will again feature people of all political and religious persuasions including Jews from Israel, Christians and Muslims.

This year, the event will take place on Sunday 10 June, with demonstrators assembling in Charles Street in preparation for a march through the busy streets of central London. The Saudi Arabian embassy has been selected as a rallying point because of Riyadh’s growing support for the Zionist regime which has had the effect of isolating the Palestinians and giving Israel the green light to accelerate its injustices.

Numbers are expected to be larger this year in a gesture of defiance to the planned attack last year on the demonstration by the Islamophobic Darren Osborne. Osborne was jailed for murder this year after driving a truck into Muslim worshippers in London’s Finsbury Park but his intended target had been the Al-Quds Day rally. He was only prevented from getting through to the demonstration by traffic restrictions put in place by police for the march.

Zionist and far right extremists’ smear campaign last year was responsible for inciting Osborne, have again called a rival rally on the same day in order to seek to disrupt the pro-Palestinian march.

With much of the world’s attention deflected by other conflicts in the Middle East, the Zionist regime has continued its relentless policy of settlement building, confiscating and isolating Palestinian lands and restricting Palestinians’ movement and access to the necessities of daily life such as water and medical care. Resistance to the occupation has been met with bullets – hundreds of Palestinians have been killed in the last year.

The Gaza Strip remains effectively blockaded by Israel on one side and the Egyptian military regime on the other. The siege has crippled the economy with 41% of people out of work, higher than any other economy in the world, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Youth unemployment is believed to be 60%. Some 80% of inhabitants are dependent on external aid to survive.

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Notes to editors:

When: 10 June 2018, 3pm

Where: Gathering outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Charles St, London, W1J 5DZ
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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

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