Palestinians rally for weekly demonstrations in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Palestine

Hundreds of Palestinians across the Gaza Strip on Friday flocked to the security fence to participate in the weekly anti-occupation protests — known as the Great March of Return.

Protesters from across the Gaza Strip headed to the eastern areas of the coastal enclave raising the Palestinian flags.

The Higher National Commission of the Great March of Return and Breaking of the Siege of Gaza, formed by Palestinian factions, named this Friday’s rallies Down with the Balfour Declaration.

The spokesman of Hamas group Hazem Qasem said in a statement that “the Great March of Return reflects the will of our people and expresses the conscience of the Palestinian national movement.”

The Balfour Declaration was a letter sent by Britain’s then-foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild, a prominent Zionist leader, on Nov. 2, 1917.

In the letter, Balfour declares his government’s support for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

Almost 270 protesters have been martyred — and thousands more wounded — by Israeli forces at the security fence areas with Gaza since the Gaza rallies began in March last year.

Demonstrators demand an end to Israel’s 12-year-old blockade to the Gaza Strip, which has shattered the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its two million inhabitants of free movement in and out from Gaza and prevented many basic amenities.

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