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Gaza marches continue

20,000 Palestinian women march for end to illegal siege

On 7 July, the Palestine Chronicle reported that the Palestinian ‘Great March of Return’ had taken place near the Gaza-Israel border for the 15th consecutive Friday. A Palestinian man was shot dead by an Israeli soldier, bringing the overall Great March death toll to 135.

Nearly 400 Palestinians were injured on 7 July, according to the Palestinian ministry of health. Overall, some 5,000 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli live fire and tear gas during the largely nonviolent demonstrations. No Israeli soldiers have been killed; one has been reported as (slightly) injured.

The original end date for the Great March of Return was 15 May. 1,400 Palestinians shot by Israeli forces during Great March face the possibility of long-term disability, the UN reported on 10 July.

The US has used its veto at the UN security council to block Great March-related resolutions from Kuwait. The first, on 1 April, called for international protection of the Palestinian people, and an ‘independent and transparent investigation’. A watered-down version, presented on 2 June, saw 10 countries vote in favour, four (including Britain) abstain, and only the US vote against.

Women

Earlier, on 3 July, the first ‘Women’s March in Gaza’ took place near the border.

Over 20,000 Palestinian women marched for an end to the illegal Israeli siege of Gaza and the right to a dignified life. In Israel, 50 activists, mostly women, marched in solidarity from Kibbutz Nahal Oz to the border.

Gaza flotilla news

Meanwhile, on 17 June, French police stopped two boats, Falestine and Mairead, on their way to join a ‘Freedom Flotilla’ in the Mediterranean aiming to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

The boats were not allowed to dock in Paris or to display banners or the Palestinian flag while travelling through the city. ‘We didn’t know that Israeli waters now begin in the Seine’, commented the head of the France-Palestine Solidarity Association.