Abdullah: Expect more marches

May 27, 2011 at 3:35 PM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, May 27 (UPI) -- Abdullah Abdullah, Palestine's ambassador to Lebanon, says Palestinians could more frequently march to Israel's borders to emphasize their right to return.

"This [march] is not a continuous battle [on the border] -- it is backed by peaceful popular resistance, which is taking place in the [occupied] Palestinian territories -- in rejection of Israeli occupation," Abdullah said in an interview with The Daily Star in Beirut Thursday. "These marches may take place more frequently," he said.

Abdullah said the actions are intended to express the "Palestinian people's commitment to its internationally recognized rights of self determination, of returning to its homeland and of establishing its independent state."

Israel shot and killed 11 Palestinians on May 15 on Lebanon's southern borders as thousands of unarmed marchers trekked to the frontier to mark 63 years of expulsion from their homeland.

Similar recent protests in the Gaza Strip and Syria resulted in several other deaths. A march planned for June 5 will mark Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Abdullah said organizers would take steps to protect protesters in the June action, although he did not say what they would be.

He also said "popular committees" embracing all Palestinian groups would be formed in refugee camps in Lebanon in response to the announcement earlier this month in Cairo of an reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas.

"Every camp will have one popular committee, which embraces all Palestinian factions ... we want a united position on how Palestinian refugees should live in Lebanon ... we have turned the page of division forever," Abdullah said

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