A group of young activists in Gaza are organizing an international day of solidarity to protest against the impossible conditions and human rights violations created by Israel’s and Egypt’s siege, the occupation, internal Palestinian conflicts and poverty.
By Yael Marom
“Life in Gaza has always been hard. But after Israel’s last attack it became impossible to live here. The problems became worse and the conditions deteriorated to the point that it is no longer possible to live humanely — and nobody cares,” Sajida Alhaj, 21, says in a Skype interview.
Alhaj is part of a group of young activists in Gaza that last month published a call for a mass protest in the Strip on April 29, demanding an end to the siege, the occupation and the human and civil rights abuses that accompany them.
The activists are calling on anyone who believes in freedom, justice and equality, the world over, to join them and organize parallel protests in their own countries, to express solidarity and to recognize their suffering.
“The situation in Gaza is disastrous,” she says. “We are calling on people to support Gaza by demonstrating in front of the Israeli and Egyptian embassies in every country, and force them to open the borders and break the siege — let building materials in to allow rebuilding, and let sick people out for medical treatment.”
Alhaj is a student and Palestinian refugee who lives in the central Gaza Nusirat Camp. In the past, the activist group she is a part of has mostly worked with women, children and the wounded in Gaza. Now, they are trying to unite the entire Strip.
“This action is our answer to the siege under which we live,” she explains. There are more and more human rights violations each year, and there is no sign that anything is getting better, she adds.
When you walk down the street, she explains, you see one house standing and one house in rubble, one after another, on and on. In order to reach her university every morning, Alhaj says she must “walk between homes damaged in the war, to walk through places where people were killed.”
“And all that to reach my damaged university...Read More