Thousands of protesters from PA, Lebanon and Jordan slated to head
towards Israel on March 30
A Global March to Jerusalem on the occasion of Land Day will take
place on March 30. Convoys from Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian
Authority are scheduled to arrive at Israel´s borders at 11am at the
end of Friday prayers.
Organizers are claiming that more than 700 institutions from 64
countries support the initiative, directly or indirectly. Protests
will also be held outside Israeli embassies in various European and
Arab countries. It appears no marches will be leaving Egypt and Syria
due to the volatile political climate in those countries.
Organizers are using social networks to attract Arabs to take part in
the event. In one Facebook page it was claimed that the goal was to
reach Jerusalem "or the nearest point to it."
Said Yakin, one of the organizers of the event at the Palestinian
Authority said they do not intend to use violence and added that the
protest will be attended by parliament members, citizens and clerics
from around the world, including Jews. "The protest will not be
violent," Yakin told Ynet. "We don´t expect the IDF to fire at the
protesters just as it didnít fire at the million Israeli social
protesters last summer."
The march is set to commence one or two days prior to Land Day with
events in the capital cities of neighboring countries. The
Palestinian march will start in two points: the Qalandiya checkpoint
and the Rachel´s Tomb crossing.
Yakin said that the reason that the Palestinian march will be leaving
from Area C is so as not to "give Israel the opportunity to enter the
According to the Yakin, a large rally will be also held in Gaza but
protesters are not expected to approach the border fence or the Erez
and Kerem Shalom crossings.
"We believe that the international community has failed as it has not
managed to force Israel to stop the Judaization of Jerusalem, the
settlements and the separation fence," Yakin said. "Jerusalem is the
key to both peace and war. We do not want Jerusalem to turn into the
city of death but the city of life for all people."
Yakin denies that Iran is involved in funding the event yet various
media reports indicate that Tehran is supporting the march both in
declarations, propaganda and in organizing the event. This raises
doubts over the organizers´ statements that the marches will not be
of a violent nature. It should be noted that Hamas, the Muslim
Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad in Lebanon are all taking
part in preparations for the events.
Iran´s spiritual leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei announced at the end of
February that he supports marches on Jerusalem as he believes Iran
must openly support movements and groups acting against Israel. Like
other Arab countries, Iran has also established a local organizing
body to prepare for the marches, with Hussein Sheikh al-Islam acting
as coordinator of the local convoy.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met on Sunday with participants
of the Global March to Jerusalem where he said it was no longer
legitimate for Israel to occupy any part of Palestine. "The
Palestinians should be running the field and God willing that will
The Iranian involvement is most evident in Lebanon where Hezbollah
and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are taking part in organizing the
event. A meeting on the matter held in February at Hamas headquarters
in Beirut included representatives from Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and
other Islamic movements in Lebanon.