Israelis march against “43 years of occupation”

Marking the anniversary of the 1967 seizure of the West Bank and Gaza, some 15,000 Israeli leftists and peace activists marched in Tel Aviv June 5 to mark "43 years of occupation," while also protesting the recent IDF raids on Gaza-bound aid ships. A heavy police presence did not prevent right-wing counter-protesters from attacking the march. A smoke grenade was hurled at the protestors outside the Tel Aviv Museum, and counter-protesters tried to attack leftist activist Uri Avnery, snatching a banner he was carrying.

The march was organized by a coalition that including Meretz, Peace Now, Gush Shalom, Hadash and Physicians for Human Rights, and was led by Knesset Members Muhammad Barakeh, Dov Khenin, and Haim Oron. Slogans included "Israel, Palestine, two states for two people" and "We love the country but are ashamed of the government."

Over the past week, right-wing activists led by Im Tirzu held various protests in support of the IDF and against Turkey. On June 3, about 1,000 people protested outside Turkey's embassy over its involvement in the Gaza flotilla operation. The following day, a memorial for Turkish soldiers killed in the Land of Israel during World War I was spray-painted with a pro-IDF message. (YNet, June 5)

See our last post on Israel/Palestine and the Gaza crisis.

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