At least 5,000 people marched in central Tel Aviv on the night of June 4 in support of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders. The march was sponsored by several parties and organizations, including Peace Now, Meretz, Hadash, Combatants for Peace and Gush Shalom, and Other Voice. Chants and slogans included “Netanyahu said no—We say yes to a Palestinian state,” “Palestinian state—An Israeli interest,” “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies,” and “Bibi, recognize the Palestinians.” A few dozen right-wing activists held a counter demonstration at the start of the march. (JTA, June 5)
The next day, Israeli troops opened fire as protesters from Syria stormed a ceasefire line in the occupied Golan Heights, with Damascus saying 20 demonstrators were killed—including a woman and child—and more than 220 wounded. Hundreds of protesters rushed towards the ceasefire line, cutting through barbed wire as they tried to enter the occupied Golan Heights in a repeat of protests last month that saw thousands mass along the line separating Israeli-controlled territory from Syria proper. In Majdal Shams, Israeli troops opened fire as protesters sought to push through the mined ceasefire line, which has been reinforced with several rows of barbed wire since the May demonstrations.
The June 5 protests were held as a commemoration of the Naksa, or the “defeat” for the Arabs in the 1967 Six-Day War, in which Israel seized Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza. The May 15 protests marked the 1948 Nakba or “catastrophe,” when Israel was founded and thousands of Palestinians were expelled.
Protests were also held in the West Bank, where hundreds demonstrated at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah, and in the Gaza Strip, where several hundred more gathered. (AlJazeera, June 6; AFP, June 5)
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