3rd Intifada begins as thousands of Palestinians crash border

15 May 2011, the Third Palestinian Intifada began on Nakba with thousands of people, mostly Palestinians seeking the right of return, but mnay many others acting in solidarity try to break down the fences that are used to brutalise and punish the Palestinian people. Inspired by the recent uprising across the region, youth movements and other helped co-ordinate a multi pronged uprising to put pressure on the blockade in ways that took the Israeli authorities by suprise. Dozens in Syria managed to scale the border fence and cross into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Approximately 14 protesters from Lebanon and Syria were shot dead by the Israeli army, which accused Lebanese forces of being responsible for the Lebanese deaths.

This comes as Israeli and Egyptian military forces opened fired and illegally detained the  Spirit of Rachel Corrie Mission, involving a Malaysian owned ship carrying aid for Palestine, has been intercepted and attacked by the Israeli naval forces in the Palestinian security zone. Currently the ship has been forced to anchor in the Egyptian waters at one and a half nautical miles from the Gazan waters. The vessel left the Port of Piraeus, Greece on Wednesday, May 11 carrying 7.5 kilometers of UPVC (plastic) sewage pipes to help restore the devastated sewerage system in Gaza. More on that here

The humanitarian initiative is sponsored by Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) and participating in this mission includes anti-war activists and journalists, consisting of 7 Malaysians, 2 Irish, 2 Indians and 1 Canadian

Here is some footage and comments from those involved in the Third Intifada

This video below is footage of Lebanese and Palestinians in Lebanon crossing the border on the Irsaeli occupied Golan Heights

Demonstrators carry a fallen comrade during a march on the Lebanese border with Israel, 15 May 2011. ( Hassan Bahsoun / Newscom )

Moe Ali Nayel  writes at Electronicintifada

Contrary to our original plans, the bus had to stop in Bint Jbeil, a village a few kilometers away from our destination — the border at Maroun al-Ras. The village had been turned into a big parking lot for buses carrying people from a dozen refugee camps all over Lebanon and the many Lebanese that wanted to march to the border. We jumped out of the bus and without asking how we would get to the border, we found ourselves joining thousands of people walking through the green fields and climbing mountains as a short-cut to our shared destination.

It was an approximately five kilometer walk or more accurately, a hike. It was beautiful to see endless lines of people marching from different directions in the green land. Next to me were Palestinian families who had brought the young ones and dressed them up for the occasion. There were old women and men who struggled to climb the steep hills and there was a great spirit of solidarity among the people as everyone gave a hand, everyone offered to help, and everyone smiled.

My wife and I slowed our pace at one point to listen to an old Palestinian man leaning on a cane. He was walking with his grandson and telling him the story of the time he had had to leave Palestine and carry his nine-year-old sister while escaping to Lebanon over these very same mountains and paths. The old man spoke to his grandson of the beauty of Palestine and described how their home looked.

Finally, as we gradually drew closer to the border, he told the young boy, “Soon you will go and see Palestine, the most beautiful country I have ever seen; it’s where we come from. It’s our land.”

He writes

The march to return left at least ten persons dead in Lebanon and many others in Syria and Palestine, while in Egypt the people were prevented from reaching the border.

People who normally don’t care about Palestine and enjoy a life of apathy and consumerism asked me today, what did you achieve? What did you change? Was it worth it the death of tens of people?

My answer is the following: after yesterday, things will not be the same as before 15 May. Just like after Muhammad Bouazizi, things are not the same as before he shook the Arab world. The Arab people, us, the Arab youth, we are not going to let the status quo continue, we are not going to be humiliated by our own people anymore. We are not going to let Palestine and the Palestinian people be humiliated and tortured every time they breathe.

We are freedom-loving people and we won’t live anymore on empty promises from our corrupt governments who use Palestine as a pretext to repress us while they enjoy stealing from our pockets. We won’t let them continue to make sure Israel is safe and sound, enjoying the beautiful land of Palestine, while hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees live in inhumane conditions in the camps.

How do you expect a Palestinian refugee to see his land being enjoyed by the Israeli occupation and not react to that? We, the Arab people, the Arab youth, the millions, have decided that we have nothing to lose but our chains and that Palestine is our prize. I saw yesterday how much the people want to free Palestine, how much they want return to Palestine. The Arab people are here, the Arab rage is here, the malayeen are here.

IN Egypt there where clashes as people tried to shut down the Israeli embassy. For decades the former dictatator Mubarak was a US/Israeli ally in the region, something that clearly went against the popular support and solidarity Egyptians have for their Palestinian neighbours. At least 120 people have been injured, after Egyptian security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets

More updates later. See also http://electronicintifada.net/content/nakba-marchers-met-israeli-fire/9964

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