On Friday afternoon, September 7, Gazan protestors gathered for the Great Return March for the 24th Friday in a row, calling for the right to return to their land and for an end to the decade-long siege. At the same time, Return activists approached the fence from the other side, as Palestinian activists had invited Return activists to have tea with them and protest in solidarity with the Great March of Return.
As the Gaza siege fence and occupying military forces stood between them, Return instead joined the demonstration from the Eastern side with Palestinian flags. In a symbolic gesture, both sides had tea together and spoke over the phone. Eventually, the activists were forcibly removed from the area by soldiers.
“This is their land, they invited us over for tea but unfortunately they cannot join us. They are locked in there, trying to get out, so we are just sitting here waiting for them, waiting for our hosts.” –A Return activist
“Soon we will have a cup of tea with you, when we cross that fence and when the injustice and the aggression and oppression all goes and fades away.” –Abdel Karim, Palestinian activist
During the protest in Gaza, two children, 17-year-old Bilal Khafaja from Rafah, and 16-year-old Ahmad Abu Toyour were murdered by Israeli forces, while over 210 protestors were injured. At the time this is written, over 18,000 protestors have been injured by Israeli forces during the protests since March 30, and over 168 have been killed.
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.