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Graffitti, AD endorse cause for free Jerusalem in pro-Palestine gathering

Solidarity gathering organised by the Embassy of the State of Palestine (Malta) and Moviment Graffitti calls for justice and peace in the region

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Tia Reljic
13 December 2017, 5:31pm
Maltese and Palestinian speakers address solidarity gathering organised by the Embassy of the State of Palestine and Moviment Graffitti
Maltese and Palestinian speakers address solidarity gathering organised by the Embassy of the State of Palestine and Moviment Graffitti
US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel should draw the ire of people across the world who hold justice dear, pro-Palestine activists said today. 

A solidarity rally was held in front of Parliament in Valletta this afternoon, organised by the Palestinian Embassy and Moviment Graffitti, also drew the support of Alternattiva Demokratika (AD).

The gathering was organised in the wake of heavy violence which broke out in the West Bank following the US President’s decision. At least two Palestinians have already died in clashes with Israeli forces.

During the gathering, which was addressed by both Maltese and Palestinian speakers. Andre Callus of Moviment Graffitti said that for the past 70 years, Palestinians have been violently forced out of their homes in what he describes as the worst kind of colonialism.

“[The conflict] is not case of dispute between Jews and Muslims, as it is often portrayed. This is a case of a state which seeks to steal and colonise land,” he said, referring to the state of Israel on the one hand, and the Palestinian population on the other, who he says are fighting to simply exist and defend the limited few Palestinian territories which remain.

For this reason, the decision by Trump should hurt and anger anyone who values justice, according to Callus, who explained that Jerusalem is an important city for the Palestinians, and that the Israelis cannot simply claim it for themselves and force people out of their homeland through military power.

“It is unacceptable for the United States to attempt to legitimise such injustice and violence. Jerusalem, just like all the other territories stolen by Israel, belongs to the Palestinians.”

Callus said that, on a visit to Palestine, he and other activists witnessed firsthand the suffering of the Palestinian people, whose homes were destroyed by Israeli bulldozers every day and whose olive trees are burned and poisoned in the thousands every year.

Thousands of Palestinians are locked up in Israeli prisons without ever having stood trial, Palestinian land is continuously diminished, and the Gaza strip is regularly bombarded, he said.

“Solidarity is essential. The Palestinians are not alone and so Israel cannot do as it pleases. Millions of people around the world have gathered to express their anger at this injustice and show solidarity to the Palestinians, which is why we are here today as well.”

AD Secretary General Ralph Cassar also criticised president Trump’s decision and reiterated the party’s position against the setting up of Israeli settlements in occupied territory and “against the harsh and cruel occupation of Palestine by Israel.”

Cassar said that not much has changed since the occupation of 1967, as UN resolutions are being ignored and the US president was adding “fuel to the flames of hatred.”

“Violence in the Middle East is a consequence of the violent, cruel, and humiliating Israeli military occupation of Palestine.”

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Tia Reljic joined MaltaToday in 2017