On March 30th, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) used live fire to suppress unarmed civilian demonstrators along the Gaza border resulting in 18 fatalities and more than 1,400 casualties, at least 750 of which were from live fire. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) denounces this violence and fully affirms the right of the Palestinian people to engage in nonviolent resistance.
In observance of “Land Day,” 30,000 resident Palestinians joined in demonstrations along the Gaza fence: a nonviolent act of political protest commemorating the death of six Palestinians during the general strike of 1976. The event’s endorsement by all major political parties in Gaza--including Hamas--does not delegitimize the peaceful actions of the demonstrators nor justify the classification of the protest area as a “combat zone.”
Maha Mehanna, a human rights activist in Gaza affiliated with Other Voice and Friendship Across Borders, writes that demonstrators, “...came to show the world that Gazans ‘deserve to live.’ We will continue to camp here and come daily until someone looks at us and there is a solution to our difficult, miserable, and unbearable reality.”
Show your solidarity with the people of Gaza engaging in peaceful protest. Tell your Member of Congress to speak out in support of the right to nonviolent protest.