Arab citizens of Israel on Friday staged a demonstration near Israel’s border with the blockaded Gaza Strip to show solidarity with weeks-long protests that remain underway along the strip’s eastern border.
Hundreds of people took part in Friday’s demonstration, including Mohamed Baraka, head of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee (which organized the protest), and several Arab members of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament).
Demonstrators decried the Israeli army’s use of excessive force against protesters in Gaza, 47 of whom have been killed since the border rallies began on Mar. 30.
Speaking at Friday’s demonstration, Baraka said Israel — especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman — should be held to account for the ongoing violence against peaceful protesters.
For the last five weeks, Gazans have staged mass rallies along the strip’s eastern border to demand the “right of return” to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
The rallies will culminate on May 15, which will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment — an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or "The Catastrophe".