Three Martyrs in Qalandiya #48kmarch As Thousands Protest for Gaza
On Thursday 24th July, three Palestinian men lost their lives to Israeli occupation bullets in Qalandiya*, in what is said to be the largest protest in the West Bank in years.
It was Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power), a holy Muslim night before the last Friday of the Ramadan. The aim of what became known as the #48kmarch was to pray in Jerusalem – pray for the people of Gaza murdered in Israel’s current genocidal attack on the Strip (latest number of the dead stands at more than 800 – mostly civilians, including many children). Estimates of people taking part in the protest vary from 10,000 to 30,000+.
They never reached Jerusalem. The Israeli occupation army used their full arsenal of weapons, ranging from tear gas to live ammunition, against civilians. Local youth responded with stones, fireworks, and chants. Local medics reported that the occupation army aimed their rifles at people’s heads and chests.
As of early morning Friday 25th July, five men with live ammunition wounds remain in extensive care unit; around 200 people were injured. At one point in the night, when ambulances couldn’t cope with the injured, locals stepped in with their private cars to take people to the hospital, which itself was over-stretched. Occupation soldiers also shot at ambulances carrying the wounded, smashing their windows and tires.
Our thoughts and solidarity go to the families of the three martyrs. May they rest in peace.
*Qalandiya: Israeli checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem; it is often closed by the occupation regime to prevent Palestinians from the West Bank from praying in the Holy City.