The Fourth International Forum of Solidarity with Palestine waslaunched at 7 pm on Sunday, March 18with an opening ceremony that included messages of solidarity with the steadfast Palestinian people delivered by a number of the participant figures.
This was followed by a tribute to more than 10 models of institutions and individuals within the Pioneers in Offering for Palestine program for their outstanding contributions in the service of the cause, including
Cindy and CraigCurrie, the mother and father of Rachel Corrie, the American activist who was brutally killed by the Zionists when she tried to stop a military bulldozer belonging to the “Israeli” forces that was engaged in demolishing Palestinians’ buildings in the Gaza Strip.
Jocelyn Herndall, the mother of Martyr Tom Herndall, a British peace activist who was shot dead and martyred by the “Israeli” occupation during his participation in a Palestinian demonstration condemning Zionist practices against Palestinians.
GiladAtzmon, a political activist, writer and jazz musician, was born in Tel Aviv, then emigrated to London and announced his abandonment of the Israeli nationality due to his full awareness and belief in the injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people.
Malak Al-Ghaleez, one of the youngest children prisoners, spent a year and a half in the Israeli occupation prisons. She was captured at the age of 13 and released in the beginning of 2018.
Latifa Abu Hamid, mother of four young prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment in the Israeli occupation prison; her fifth son is a martyr.
Mohammed al-Balboul, a doctor and prisoner freed from the “Israeli” prisons after a hunger strike for more than 100 days.
Mahmoud al-Balboul, a policeman and prisoner freed from the “Israeli” prisons after a hunger strike for more than 100 days.
Anne Lindi Woo, adopted daughter of Dutchwoman activist Margaret Tidras, who died recently after spending her lifetime while serving the Palestinian cause.
Jamal Sai’fan, a representative of the Sai’fan family that was targeted by settlers in the city of Al-Khalil (Hebron), whose house is within the confines of the KiryatArba settlement, the only Palestinian house in the city.
“We are all with Palestine”, TodosSomosPalastine, member of the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine in Spain.
Workers Without Land, member of the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine in Brazil.
Gulf People for Palestine, member of the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine in Kuwait.
The Sufi Muslim Students’ Association, member of the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine in India.
Mbarka l-Brahmi, a deputy in the Tunisian parliament and the initiator of the law to criminalize normalization in the parliament and a member of the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine.
Furthermore, the Global Campaign launched, in cooperation with vocalist Hussein Al-Agraf during the opening ceremony the Operetta and anthem “Capital of the World” on the stage of the Fourth International Forum of Solidarity with Palestine.
The anthemwas followed by a national performance by international musicianGiladAtzmon on the stage of the Solidarity Forum whoplayed for the first time a music piece that portrayed the suffering of the Palestinians.
At the opening of the second day of the forum, a short film was screened about the suffering of the prisoners in the Israeli occupation prisons and the blatant violations of human rights in violation of international laws and conventions.
Afterwards, Coordinator of the National Campaign for the Recovery of the Bodies of Arab and Palestinian Martyrs held by the Israeli occupation, SalwaRizkallah, said that the number of martyrs’ bodies held was more than 253.
“We’ve started legal action to retrieve a group of martyrs several years ago, and in 2010 we were able to retrieve the body of martyr Mash’hour al-Aruri after 34 years of retention,” she said.
Later, a short film about the Palestinian martyr-child Mohammed Abu Khudair, who was kidnapped, tortured and burned alive by Israeli settlers in 2014, was shown.
Hussein Abu Khudair, the father of the martyred child, spoke during the forum describing the crime of the Israeli occupation against his son as “a brutal act that cannot be tolerated”
A video report showing the violations by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian children was played. The report pointed out that since 2000, about 2031 Palestinian children have been killed according to DCI statistics, while some 10,000 Palestinian children have been arrested during these years.
Besides, a short film about Israeli settlement in various parts of the occupied territories, especially in occupied Al-Quds and the West Bank, was shown. The facts in the video confirm the Zionists’ intention to take full control over Palestine and emptying it of its people.
On the settlement issue, an activist from the occupied territories, Bakr Abdul Haq, said during the forum, “The goal of the settlements is to create large population centers in the vicinity of Palestinian cities and force the Palestinians to expand vertically, leading to a low economic level and social problems.”
Then, two short films were screened, the first about the suffering of Palestinian refugees in the camps and the second about the 12-year siege of the Gaza Strip.
For his part, the president of the “Flower of the North for Culture and Arts Association”, freedom fighter QaisAwais, said in a contribution at the forum, “The Palestinian people did not rest for one day in resisting the occupation in the form of habbat (mini uprisings), referring to the habba of 1976, which united the people of Palestine at home and abroad, in addition to the 1982 uprising that coincided with the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
“There is a direct conflict between Judaism and Zionism,” said Jewish Rabbi David Weis, the president of NaturiCarta organization, noting that “Israel” was found to oppose and get rid of Judaism.
He stressed that the real Jews do not accept the occupation of the Palestinian territories in any way, expressing his gratitude to the Arab and Islamic nation, which treats Jews with ” good hospitality.”
The first session, furthermore, saw many contributions by a number of prominent figures that are regarded as freedom fighters for the Palestinian cause, which focused on exposing the violations of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people.
Day 1, Session II
The second session of the International Forum started with Belgian volunteer Miriam de Lee who said, “There are problems that we are facing in Europe that is governments are trying to stop activists, so we are trying to create an environment that allows people to express their boycott of Israel,”
Founding member of the Global Campaign to Return of Palestine Dr. HaidarDaqmaq hailed the ethical Palestinian resistance against the occupation and the great efforts exerted by the civil society and NGOs around the world to support the cause.
Member of the Blacks for Palestine Foundation, Christian Davies Bailey said, “We have published a solidarity and support statement for Palestine that was signed by activists, students and political detainees. On the basis of the statement, we have developed our relationship with the Palestinians in the United States and most parts of the world,”.
For his part, Coordinator of the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine in Latin America, Edgardo Robin Assaad, addressed the forum and talked about the necessity of establishing a media bloc that is fast in spreading news, praising the importance of working in civil society organizations and its effectiveness.
YasmineNajjar, a Palestinian girl with a prosthetic leg, spoke during the forum about her suffering with the installation of the artificial limb because the Zionists prevented her from traveling for treatment abroad on the grounds that this poses a threat to “Israel”.
Palestinian freedom fighterWael Jodi described the date of February 26, 1988 as “an unforgettable history,” especially since it was the day the prime minister of “Israel” asked his soldiers to break the bones of stone children.
Matios Matthew, a Green Community activist in Scotland, said that despite all the difficulties they had faced, they were able to raise £170,000to help the Palestinian people, both in Gaza and in the camps.
Former Chilean sports coach and Global Campaign member, Nicolas Hedoi, expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
“In Chile, we have had several meetings and gatherings that have supported the issue of political prisoners in Palestine and the world,” he said, calling on all countries to form solidarity committees with political prisoners.
For his part, Coordinator of Brazil’s “Workers without a Land” Marcelo Bozito described Palestine as Vietnam, referring to the fact that the liberation of Al-Quds is inevitable as Vietnam was indeed liberated.
Day 2, Session III
The third session of the forum, which aimed to come up with a joint program that campaign members cooperate on the achievement and completion of its work and decisions, based on a working paper presented in advance was opened Monday afternoon. The committees were divided objectively into three: the Return Committee, the Al-Quds Committee and the Committee for the Elimination of Normalization.
The Mufti of Al-Quds and the Holy Land Sheikh Mohammed Hussein spoke in this session. He said, “Al-Quds is now subjected to more than one hostile campaign, the first is the “Israeli” occupation, which is trying to obliterate the Arab and Islamic civilization in the city through the imposition and drafting of laws; secondly, the decision to impose taxes on the holy places and to restrict the Palestinians’ movement and make their lives tough.”
For his part, the head of the Yaffa Center for Studies in Cairo, Rifaat Mohammed Sayed Ahmed, stressed that Palestine is a central issue in the Arab and Islamic conscience, noting that the duty of every Muslim and free man is to work to liberate Al-Quds.
In turn, the Coordinator of the Arab Network for Food Sovereignty Abdel-Hassan Mohammed al-Ja’ja’ said that more than 61% of the West Bank area is under the control of the occupation, noting that only about 12% of groundwater is available to the Palestinians.
Afterwards, Muhammad Shaheen, a member of the Conqueror’s Combatants Association and Al-Quds Society of Turkey, said, “You all know that Al-Quds has historic ties with the Turkish state historically, religiously, culturally and in various fields.”
A follow-up session will be formed for coordination in order to prevent the implementation of the US decision, he added, pointing out, at the same time, that Turkey has an energy of individuals who love Al-Quds and the cause.
The head of the Association for Education and Charitable Activities in Ivory Coast, Abdullah Bandi, stressed the need to exert efforts and invest the media to support the Palestinian cause.
At the end of the second day of the 4th International Forum of Solidarity with Palestine, an evening was held with the participation of a group of young Palestinians and musicians.
Mother of Martyr ImadMughniyeh delivered a speech during the evening, in which she expressed her thanks to the organizers, stressing that Palestine is the compass of every resistance man and woman.
The Palestinian prisoner freed from the prisons of the occupation, Mohammed Balbul, spoke at the evening, noting that the magnitude of the sacrifices of the Palestinian people is priceless, calling on all the free world to support the cause.
Furthermore, the Palestinian band which participated in the evening played musical pieces that portrayed the heritage of their country, including My Blood is Palestinian, Fedaye, and other anthems.