In 1977 the UN General Assembly declared November 29th the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
This date was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people: in 1947 the General Assembly voted to partition Palestine. Soon after in 1948, following the declaration of the state of Israel, approximately 900,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes. Today, more than 5 million Palestinian refugees are registered with UNRWA and struggling to survive in the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
Palestinians continue to suffer from deep poverty, restrictions on movement, malnutrition, ill-health, systematic violence and on-going psychological trauma. The recent assault on Gaza, known as “Operation Protective Edge”, had a devastating effect on the population. Approximately 2,254 Palestinians were killed, including 538 children. The shocking devastation faced by Palestinians during this time caught the world’s attention, bringing about an unprecedented wave of support from the international community.
In the aftermath of the assault, reconstruction continues to stall, more Palestinians continue to die and thousands of families remain homeless, hungry and without access to adequate healthcare. As the humanitarian crisis in the region continues to worsen, now is the time to ensure that the fierce public support for Palestinians does not fade.
It is for this reason that the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinians could not be timelier. To show support for Palestinians during this time, the international community must call on its leaders to help protect their human rights. For those of you in the United Kingdom, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is asking you to call on your MP to speak in the debate about Palestine on Monday 1st December.
The aim is to ask them to raise the issues of Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights, and to call for the government to take action on East Jerusalem, an arms embargo, a block on settlement trade, and an end to the siege on Gaza.
If you would like to help rebuild homes and lives in Gaza, call Interpal on 020 8961 9993 or visit www.interpal.org