Thousands of mostly Jewish protesters have rallied in Jerusalem al-Quds to denounce 50 years of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Organizers said around 2,000 demonstrators marched to Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City during Saturday’s event which was organized by the Standing Together movement.
The rally was the first in a series of events organized by the group, an umbrella movement consisting of pro-peace organizations and left-wing parties, marking 50 years since the Six-Day War.
The rally was meant to “protest against the continued Israeli control over the territories and especially East Jerusalem [al-Quds], and in favor of a peaceful solution,” the movement said in a statement.
The protesters called for an end to the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement expansion, chanting “No to a government of annexation.”
Mohammed Abu Hummus, the head of the popular committee of Isawiyah in East Jerusalem al-Quds, urged “anyone who believes in the Palestinian people to stand against the racist” Israeli regime.
On Wednesday, the Arab League called for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied lands and the formation of an independent Palestinian state based on the borders before 1967 Six-Day War that led to the occupation of the West Bank, and other territories. Since then, Israel has built over 230 settlements in the Palestinian lands.
Israel’s so-called security cabinet on Thursday unanimously voted in favor of the construction of the first new West Bank settlement in 20 years. The move sparked widespread condemnations from the UN to European countries.
Emboldened by the new US administration’s support, the Tel Aviv regime has given the go-ahead to the construction of many settler units in the occupied Palestinian lands.
Israel’s settlement expansion defies the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 adopted in December 2016 that condemned the settlements as a “flagrant violation of international law.” It further called on Israel to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities on the occupied territories.
The international community views the Israeli settlements as illegal under the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied territory.