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American Activist, Aishah Schwartz Attends 5th Week of Pro-Palestinian Protests in Cairo
Outside the Israeli Embassy in Cairo hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered Friday in support of the call for a third Palestinian Intifada on May 15. Demonstrators also demanded expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador.
By: Aishah Schwartz
In prior demonstrations supported by Cairo University students and other citizens of conscience, demands included calls for closure of the Israeli Embassy, an end to the embargo on Gaza, permanent opening of the border at Rafah, cancellation of natural gas contracts and suspension of Camp David.
Protesters waved Palestinian flags, stood along both sides of the highway holding banners and signs and returned boisterous calls from the gathering's center.
On May 15, The Third Intifada, associated with the occasion on which Palestinians in Israel, and world-wide mark the Nakba, expelled Palestinian refugees who live in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, will march toward the borders of occupied Palestine and attempt to cross into the occupied territories.
Solidarity events are expected to be held globally. The event could serve as a turning point in the history of Palestine as The Third Intifada determines the nation's destiny.
As Fatah and Hamas prepared to sign The Unity Agreement in Cairo on May 4, it was announced at a news conference in Gaza City that for the first time in five years, rival parties Fatah and Hamas would form a joint committee to prepare commemoration events for the Nakba (translated as 'Catastrophe')
PLO Executive Committed member and head of the refugees' affairs department Zakariyya Al-Agha was reported as stating that, "Commemoration of the Palestinian exodus is an appropriate way to begin the new unified path of the Palestinian leadership."
Egypt's military secured Friday's demonstration with armored vehicles and dozens of soldiers. Buses and cars sporadically halted traffic and honked their horns in solidarity with protesters as they drove past the demonstration site.
In addition to the weekly protests in front of the Israeli Embassy, April proved to be a significant month for the pro-Palestinian movement. In an April 24 Antiwar.com radio interview (http://dissentradio.com/
Primary focus during the meeting was given to allowing commercial goods into Gaza, opening the Rafah crossing permanently, and the billions in Gaza aid sitting idle while the cement and steel needed to rebuild remains blockaded by Israel.
The main objective of the Egyptian-International Coalition for Ending the Blockade and Rebuilding Gaza is to peacefully demand the permanent end of the Egyptian blockade of goods, services and building materials to the Gaza Strip.
In a statement by the Foreign Ministry's office following Elassy's meeting with Al-Araby, an official spokesperson announced on April 17 affirmation of Egypt's full readiness to facilitate delivery of the goods and supplies Elassy requested be delivered to the Palestinians in Gaza.
On April 29 Foreign Minister Al-Araby announcement Egypt's intention to permanently open the Rafah border, stating that Egypt would take, "important steps to help ease the blockade on Gaza in the few days to come."
Speaking to Al-Jazeera Al-Araby said Egypt would no longer accept that the Rafah border, Gaza's crossing that bypasses Israel, remain blocked, describing the decision to seal it off as "shameful".
Further signaling Egypt's intention to move forward with pro-Palestinian changes in foreign policy, The Unity Agreement, signaling the conclusion of intra-Palestinian political hostilities between Fatah and Hamas, was signed in Cairo on May 4.
Serving as a catalyst for The Unity Agreement was the Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO) March 15 revolution. Palestinian youth, reportedly more than 65% of the territory's population, called for unity demonstrations that were supported by global solidarity movements. Among GYBO's demands was the call for immediate unity and reconciliation among Palestinian political factions as well as free and fair elections.
According to The Unity Agreement signed in Cairo on May 4, the Legislative, Presidential, and Palestinian National Council elections will be conducted within one year from the date of signing.
DEMOTIX PHOTOS: Pro-Palestinian Protests Echo Call for Third Intifada - Cairo
DEMOTIX PHOTOS: Fourth Week of Pro-Palestinian Protests at Israeli Embassy - Cairo
ON FACEBOOK: Aishah Schwartz, Activist-Writer http://www.facebook.com/
ARTICLE (30 Apr. 11) Protest against Israel's Embassy, Cairo http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/
VIDEO: (29 Apr. 11) Demonstration, Israli Embassy, Cairo http://www.facebook.com/
ARTICLE: (28 Apr. 11) Egypt FM: Gaza border crossing to be permanently opened
ARTICLE: (27 Apr. 11) Egyptian protesters call for severing Israel ties - Massed on a bridge next to the high-rise building where the embassy is located, they chanted: "the people demand the cancellation of normalization."
PHOTOS: (22 Apr. 11) Egyptians and Palestinians Protest Israeli Embassy, Cairo http://www.facebook.com/
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Aishah Schwartz, a Muslim American, is an internationally renowned human rights activist and writer focusing on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza. Full biography here: http://aishahsjourney.blogspot.com/
Page Updated Last on: Dec 16, 2012