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76th anniversary of the Nakba to be commemorated on 14th March for Palestine in London

• Hundreds of thousands expected to protest in London
• Anniversary of the Nakba comes as Israel intensifies its genocide in Gaza
• Pressure is increasing on the UK government to reinstate funding to UNRWA and suspend arms export licenses to Israel
• World famous Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza amongst speakers

On Saturday May 18th hundreds of thousands of people are expected to demonstrate on the 14th March for Palestine in London since Israel began its genocidal assault on Gaza in October 2023.

Tomorrow’s march is the annual, globally observed occasion to mark the Nakba, or “catastrophe” in Arabic, in which 750 000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and 500 towns and villages destroyed in the foundation of the state of Israel. In this, the 76th year since the Nakba, Israel’s genocide and mass destruction of the Gaza Strip is the darkest moment in the ongoing Nakba, the continuing process of dispossession, ethnic cleansing, occupation, and apartheid.

Israel’s prolonged and brutal attack on Gaza has killed more than 35 000 people, with thousands more missing, presumed dead. For several days Israel has cut off all supplies to the besieged Gaza Strip by closing the Rafah crossing, in yet another violation of international law. It’s attacks on Rafah are reported to have caused 700 000 Palestinians to flee, without a safe destination to go to. Famine is imminent for 1.1 million people, as half of Gaza experiences catastrophic food insecurity.

Yesterday the South African government pressed the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order Israel to immediately halt its assault on Gaza, saying that Israel’s genocide has “continued apace and has just reached a new and horrific stage”. The current attack on Rafah is “the last step in the destruction of Gaza and its Palestinian people”, argued Vaughan Lowe, a lawyer for South Africa.

The British government has refused even to halt arms exports to Israel or to restore funding to UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, the only agency on the ground capable of providing aid at scale.

The demonstration on Saturday will be attended by a range of groups, including large student, trade union, medical worker, and Jewish blocs. Speakers will include Jeremy Corbyn MP, Fran Heathcote General Secretary of PCS union, poet Ahdaf Soueif and Gazan photographer Motaz Azaiza, whose images of destruction have brought the reality of the genocide to people across the world.

Ben Jamal, PSC Director, said :
“Today we march to commemorate the Nakba as an act of ongoing dispossession, occupation and ethnic cleansing. Today we call again for action to end the genocide in Gaza, the darkest moment in this ongoing Nakba. Today we reflect on the reality that this Nakba could not be sustained by Israel without the enduring complicity of Western powers including successive UK Governments. Today, even in this darkest moment, we also march to celebrate and affirm the refusal of the Palestinian people to succumb to erasure. We will not stop, we will not rest, until the Palestinian people finally achieve their liberation.”