Israeli and International Activists Join Gazan Protestors in the Great Return March

Reposted with permission from the author and the International Solidarity Movement:


On the morning of October 10, 2018, ten activists from around the world delivered messages of support to the Great March of Return in the Eastern Gaza Strip via Skype, as a part of a ‘virtual rally’ entitled “Words Over Walls.”

The speakers hailed from countries as diverse as the US, UK, Brazil, South Africa and Norway. They included authors Mike Peled, Denny Cormier, Robert Martin, Mike Farah, and Peter Cohen and International Solidarity Movement volunteer Kristin Foss. Participants expressed their solidarity with the Marchers, their tactics and their goals. Musician and composer Mike Farah then sang an original song about the Palestinian’s Right of Return.

All people of conscience, all people who have a heart, regardless of nationality or religion, must stand with the brave people of Gaza and support their demand to be free and to return to their land and homes in Palestine. The siege on Gaza must be broken and the prison walls that surround Gaza must come down. Palestine must be free,” said author Mike Peled.

“[I’m] just an Australian man who wanted to see the truth, so I went to Palestine and was struck by the blatant abuse of Palestinians by Israel and the loving and welcoming by the Palestinian people,” said activist Robert Martin: “Everything I had read was wrong, the media had lied and I was embarrassed that I had believed [it].”

Additionally, group of anti-Zionist Israelis (Return) went near the fence to show solidarity with the Great Return March. They met and spoke with Palestinians activists but were separated by the Israeli siege fence and the Israeli Occupation Forces, who forced them to leave.

The Palestinian Media Youth Group, also known as the “16th October Group,” wishes to thank all of the speakers and hopes to see them soon in a free Palestine. 16th October is a youth Group from Gaza that works with internationals to reveal what is happening in Occupied Palestine, and to expose the brutality of the occupation.

Wafa Aludini, journalist from Gaza


October 12: 29th Friday of the Great Return March

While media coverage of the Great March of Return has greatly declined since the beginning of the protests on March 30, civilians in Gaza continue to organize the marches, with thousands participating every week. This week, while demonstrating peacefully on their own land, six Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces and over 252 were wounded; 154 with live ammunition.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, over 183 protestors have been killed since the beginning of the marches, and over 18,000 injured.

Wednesday, October 10: Return invited to the fence by Palestinians

On October 10, Return was invited to the Gaza fence by Palestinian activists for an event in support of the Great Return March and the right of return.

As Palestinians held a cultural event of traditional music and dancing in support of the right of return, the Israeli activists created a memorial by hanging pictures on the fence of Palestinian protestors executed by the Israeli army during the Great March of Return in previous months.

As the event took place, both group of activists were separated only by a a few dozen meters, and were able to see and speak to each other. Armed soldiers arrived and attempted to disperse the meeting. Activists from both sides chanted together to the rhythm of a drum, “free free Palestine”. The demonstrators left from both sides without incident, promising to meet each other again.

IMG-7430All our videos are taken by photographer Haim Schwarzenberg, who documents Israeli oppression in various struggles:


Friday, October 5: the Great March Continues, Return speaks with BDS activists in Gaza

Last Friday, Gazans gathered on the other side during the weekly Great Return March for the 28th time in a row, calling for the right to return to their land and for an end to the suffocating decade-long siege.

About 30 Israeli activists, organized by Return, went to Malaka, right next to the Gaza siege fence, to demonstrate in solidarity.

The Israeli activists flew Palestinian flags and held a banner that said “Liberate the Gaza ghetto”. They created a small memorial for the Palestinians who have been murdered in past protests, and spoke with BDS activists in Gaza by phone to express solidarity. The army declared the area a closed military zone and demanded for everyone to leave. While the activists left this time, they promised to come back to stand together with the people of Gaza against the siege and their right to a full realization of return.

“We came to show our solidarity with the Palestinians that demonstrate on the other side. Our solidarity is with the right of return. We spoke with the demonstration that get killed there every week, also this week, and we will continue to come, will continue to protest in solidarity with them.” –A Return activist

This Friday, at least three Palestinians protestors were killed and 376 others were injured, including 126 by live gunfire, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. More than 198 Palestinians have been killed and over 22,000 other injured by Israeli forces at the Gaza fence since the start of the weekly Great March of Return protests on March 30. Still, the march continues.


All our videos are taken by photographer Haim Schwarzenberg, who documents Israeli oppression in various struggles:

September 21: Israeli activists demonstrate next to the Gaza border

On September 21, around 50 Israeli activists — organized by Return, the Coalition of Women for Peace and Jews for Return — demonstrated in Malaka, located right next to the Gaza border, in solidarity with the Palestinians participating in the Great March of Return for the 26th Friday in a row.

Israeli activists flew Palestinian flags and had a banner that said: “Liberate the Gaza ghetto” and contacted the organisers of the Great March of Return by phone to express solidarity.

We came here today to express solidarity with the Great March of Return and we demand that all the people that were deported from their homes and towns and villages in ’48 be allowed to go back,” said Yossi, an activist from Return.

I wish to say to everybody that we welcome your movement and your steps towards showing your solidarity with us, with our movement to get rid of the misery we are living in in Gaza,” said Issam Hamas, from the High Commission of the Great Return March.

After the demonstration had taken place for about half an hour, the army declared the area a closed military zone and demanded that everyone leave. While the Israeli activists left this time, they promised to come back to stand together with the Gaza people against the siege and their right to a fair and just life.

The Great Return March demands the internationally recognised right of return for Palestinian refugees — and their human rights — to be respected, and for the Gaza siege to be lifted. At least 312 Palestinian protestors were injured during Friday’s protest, including 54 by gunfire, while Karim Mohammed Kullab, 25, was killed. Over 180 unarmed protestors, medics and journalists have been killed during the protests since March 30.


All our videos are taken by photographer Haim Schwarzenberg, who documents Israeli oppression in various struggles. Please go to his website to discover more of his work.