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The Year of the People: The Untold Story of Gaza’s ‘March of Return’

30 7 23
14.03.2019

What is the ‘Great March of Return’ but a people attempting to reclaim their role, and be recognised and heard in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine?

Much has been said about what the popular mobilisation in Gaza, which began on March 30, 2018, represents. Sympathetic views rightly understood the daily protests at the fence separating Israel from the besieged Gaza Strip, as a people frustrated with a protracted and inhumane blockade. Others also emphasised the fact that the protesters are mostly refugees from historic Palestine (today’s Israel), who are demanding their right to return home.

Unsympathetic, dubious media reports kept poking holes in the above facts, with Israeli and pro-Israeli media falsely claiming that the popular initiative is a Hamas-driven ploy to embarrass Israel by placing people in harm’s way for cheap media attention.

Nearly 250 unarmed Palestinians were killed and thousands more maimed and wounded by Israeli snipers since the protests began.

What is largely missing from the discussion, however, is the collective psychology behind this kind of mobilisation, and why it is so essential for hundreds of thousands of besieged people to rediscover their power and understand their true positions, not as hapless victims, but as agents of change in their society.

The narrow reading or the misrepresentation of the ‘March of Return’ speaks volumes about the overall underestimation of the role of the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and national liberation, extending throughout a century.

Indeed, the story of Palestine is the story of the Palestinian people, for they are the victims of oppression and the main channel of resistance, starting with the Nakba........

© Middle East Monitor