Thousands of people will again be converging on London this summer for the annual Al-Quds Day demonstration in support of a free Palestine
While much of the world’s attention has been 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.
The ‘apartheid wall’ that has cut off whole Palestinian communities from one another and the rest of historic Palestine continues to exact a heavy toll on the population. Palestinians are routinely subject to arbitrary arrest and detention without trial, with reports of torture and extra-judicial killings commonplace.
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.
The UN has estimated that it will take 30 years to repair the damage caused by Israel’s 2014 invasion of Gaza. Tens of thousands of people remain displaced in Gaza with 90,000 homes still needing to be repaired or rebuilt. Power outages are frequent because electricity, mainly brought in on power lines coming from Israel, is routinely disconnected by the Israeli regime. A shortage of clean water is exacerbating already high rates of illness, pressurising a struggling health care system reliant on international handouts.
Al-Quds Day was inaugurated in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, who asked for the last Friday in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to be set aside by Muslims as a day for uniting against Israel and showing support for the dispossessed and oppressed Palestinians, it has snowballed into a general show of solidarity drawing in people of all faiths and political persuasions.
The event will take place on Sunday 3 July, with demonstrators assembling in Duchess Street in preparation for a march through the busy streets of central London to Grosvenor Square, home to the US embassy.
The embassy has again been selected as a rallying point because of Washington’s unyielding support of Israel. The US continues to underwrite the Zionist regime financially, militarily and politically and block all attempts at finding a just solution to the Palestinian issue.
The scale of US support is unlike any given by any country to another nation. Since 1948, the US has used its UN Security Council veto at least 40 times to block condemnation of Israel. Every day Israel receives $8.5m in military aid from its patron and in total each US citizen subsidises every single Israeli citizen to the tune of $500 per day.
Notes to editors:
Date and Time of demonstration: 3 July from 3.30pm
Assembly Point: Duchess Street (near BBC Radio)
End/rally location: Grosvenor Square, opposite US embassy
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