Arab League calls for int'l protection for Palestinians before Land Day
CAIRO, March 29 (Xinhua) -- The Arab League on Thursday called for international protection for the Palestinians a day before the Palestinian Land Day, an annual occasion marking the Palestinians' protest over Israeli confiscation of their lands.
Palestinians are preparing for a massive anti-Israel rally on Friday along the border fence with Israel to mark the day, a national occasion observed by Palestinians since 1976.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees are expected to participate in the rally to demand their return to their home they were forced to leave during the Arab-Israeli war in 1948.
The event is also meant to defy a tight Israeli blockade that has been imposed on the coastal enclave since 2007, when Hamas had violently seized control of Gaza after routing forces loyal to the Palestinian Authority.
In a statement, the Arab League affirmed its full support for the Palestinian people against the "Israeli oppression."
The pan-Arab organization urged the international community to take immediate action to prevent the ongoing violations against the Palestinian people and to provide international protection to enable them to end their long-suffering tragedy by exercising their right to self-determination.
The Arab League also called on the United Nations, especially the Security Council, to exert pressure on Israel to stop the policies of collective punishment against the Palestinians.
The Palestinian rally, dubbed the "Great March of Return," which will last until May 15, coincides with Israel's Independence Day and the Palestinian Day of "the Nakba," or the catastrophe, when thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their towns and cities that became later Israeli territories.
On the official Facebook page of the rally, organizers said the march is going to be a massive peaceful event that will be observed in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.
The decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict emerged since the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the Western-backed creation of Israel in 1948.
Israel is blamed by the international community for the deadlock of the peace process due to its settlement expansion policy, which is rejected even by its strongest ally, the United States.
The Palestinians seek to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital in the light of the UN-proposed two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders.