Middle East Monitor.com Sun., June 07, 2020
Thousands of Israelis demonstrated on Saturday against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to extend sovereignty over parts of the occupied West Bank, de-facto annexation of land that the Palestinians seek for a state, reported Reuters.
Protesting in face masks and keeping their distance from each other under new coronavirus restrictions, the demonstrators gathered under the banner “no to annexation, no to occupation, yes to peace and democracy.”
The Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in a 1967 Middle East war.
A Reuters photographer and Israeli media estimated the protesters gathered at Tel Aviv’s Rabin square numbered a few thousand. A poll published this week found that about half of all Israelis support annexation.
Netanyahu has set July 1 as the target date to begin advancing his plan to annex Israel’s settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, hoping for a green light from Washington.
The organisers screened a video address by US Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, who said:
“It has never been more important to stand up for justice, and to fight for the future we all deserve…It’s up to all of us to stand up to authoritarian leaders and to build a peaceful future for every Palestinian and every Israeli.”