The group, which maintains a large international activist presence in the West Bank, has called on global demonstrations to Israeli embassies around the world on June 5th, “Naksa Day”, to show solidarity with refugee’s seeking a return to their homes.
Naksa, meaning “setback”, marks the forced exodus of 300,000 Palestinians during the 1967 Six Day War between Israel and the Arab states. While it is normally marked on Nakba Day (May 15th), this year the group for the “Third Palestinian Intifada” has called on Palestinian refugees to mark the day by repeating actions taken during this year’s Nakba Day when they marched to the Israeli border in Lebanon, Syria, and in the Gaza Strip.
Referring to the events on Nakba Day the group noted that “Israeli forces killed at least 15 demonstrators on three borders (with occupied Gaza, Lebanon, and between Syria and the occupied Golan Heights), wounded hundreds more with live gunfire, artillery shells, and tear gas, and unleashed a wave of arrests and repression in the occupied West Bank. This massive violence could only have been planned as a show of brute force”.
In the statement the group said that international law showed clear obligations on Israel to allow Palestinian Refugees to return to their homes.
The International Solidarity Committee engages in peaceful protest and civil disobedience in solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The group’s notable members have included Rachel Corrie, the American activists crushed under an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2000, and Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian activist who was killed by Salafist elements in Gaza this year.
The day will be a litmus test as to what extent rumours of a third Palestinian uprising, or Intifada, are based on a reality on the ground. It will also shine a light on the question as to whether the recent events in the region, fuelled by social networking technology, have spread to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and more broadly in the region.