Egyptians to mark Nakba with a march to Palestine
March to Palestine planned to commemorate the Nakba and demand the right of return to all Palestinian refugees
Salma Shukrallah, Monday 9 May 2011
Egyptian soldiers stand guard outside the Israeli embassy as protesters wave Palestinian flags and chant slogans in Cairo (Photo: AP)
On 15 May, the annual commemoration of the creation of the state of Israel and the expulsion of Palestinians, known as Nakba, Egyptians plan to march to Palestine under the slogan “Cairo’s liberation will not be complete without the liberation of Al-Quds [Jerusalem].”
Following Egypt’s January 25 Revolution, Egyptians are pushing for some of the country’s foreign relations policies to change, especially those related to Israel and Palestine. Aid or protest convoys to Gaza were frequently stopped or arrested during the Mubarak era by the ousted president's regime, and now for the first time since the revolution thousands of activists are planning to march to the Rafah border town.
Ahmed Doma, member of the Justice and Freedom Youth Movement, said “we are organising this event as part of the Arab internet call for a third Palestinian Intifada and as part of what has now been termed ‘the Arab mass march’.” The call went out on Facebook for all Arabs to march en masse towards the borders to besiege Israel from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan and demand the right of all Palestinian refugees to return.
The Egyptian convoy departing from Cairo added several demands besides the right of return, including the permanent opening of the Rafah border to allow the movement of people and goods; ending the export of Egyptian gas to Israel; ending all “humiliating agreements with the Zionist state;” and releasing all Palestinians in Egyptian prisons.
The Cairo march will start in Tahrir Square, the hub of Egypt’s revolution, on 14 May at 12pm and is expected to reach Gaza in the evening and to join the Nakba rallies in Gaza on 15 May.
Parallel to the march to Palestine, demonstrations are planned in front of the Israeli embassy in Giza and the ambassador’s house in Maadi.
Arwa, member of “We are All Resistance,” says “other convoys heading to Palestine are moving from Alexandria, Suez, Damietta and North Sinai. People will also join convoys from Gharbiya, Beni Suef, Assiut, Qena and Sohag.”
The groups participating from Cairo include The National Front for Justice and Democracy, Supporters of the Palestinian Revolution (Cairo University), Justice and Freedom Youth Movement, Kifaya, We are All the Resistance Movement, Resistance Movement (Helwan University), a group of Ahly Club football Altras, likewise a group from the Zamalek Club (White Knights), Activists for Palestine, The Palestinian Women’s Coalition, April 6 Movement and The Nasserist Party. Several independent activists are also organising and publicising the event.