3rd November | Wafa Aludaini | Gaza, Occupied Palestine
On the 102nd anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, churches rang bells and mosques called for prayer at the same time, while tens of thousands of Palestinians entered the buffer zone this Friday between the besieged Gaza Strip and Israel in the massive weekly Great March of Return protest.
This 81st week of protests was called “Down with the Balfour Declaration!”. It marks the 102nd anniversary of the British declaration announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. Palestinian masses now are calling on Britain to not only apologize but also rectify this major historical disregard for Palestinian self determination and statehood.
Ali Salim, 55, stated that the Balfour Declaration, in fact, is the cause and source of all the Palestinian tragedies and sufferings since then: “The 102nd anniversary means 102 years of displacement, expulsion, massacres, and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.”
Khawla Khalil added, “We came here today to confirm our rights, and our rejection of Balfour! These days, we are experiencing the declaration through Trump’s Deal of the Century, when he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Duaa Abdellateef — spokesperson for the Women’s Committee adjunct to the Committee for the Great Return March — said the weekly marches will continue until Palestinian rights and demands are met.
“We will defeat all the local and international conspiracies that aim at liquidating our Palestinian national cause, including the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, disregard of the internationally recognized right of return, and the proposed Israeli annexation of the West Bank.”
On Thursday afternoon, October 31st, mosques in Gaza called for prayers at precisely the same time local churches rang their bells, marking the 102nd anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. The public statement was intended to show all faiths in Gaza renewing their rejection of the British empire’s edict. The coordinated actions by mosques and churches across Gaza were organized by the Great Return March’s higher committee.
Wafa Aludaini is a journalist and activist in Gaza who writes a weekly column for ISM on the Great March of Return.