Rallies held across Pakistan to mark Jerusalem Day

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KARACHI, Pakistan

Thousands of people marched across Pakistan on Friday to mark Jerusalem Day and express solidarity with Palestinians.

Al-Quds or Jerusalem Day rallies were taken out by different political and religious organizations, mainly Shia groups in the capital Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, and parts of northern Gilgit-Baltistan region, and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

The day is observed on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in several countries to denounce Israel’s 1968 occupation of Jerusalem.

In Karachi, the country’s commercial capital, thousands of people, including women and children, rallied at M.A Jinnah Road. The rally comprised dozens of cars as most of the participants stayed inside their vehicles due to coronavirus restrictions.

Carrying Pakistani and Palestinian flags and raising anti-Israel slogans, the marchers vowed to continue to support the Palestinians in their struggle.

Addressing the rally, the speakers condemned the eviction of hundreds of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem in a fresh wave of violence against them by the “Zionist” state.

They also criticized the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the Arab world for their “cosmetic protest” over the Israeli move.

In the past months, the Israeli Central Court in East Jerusalem approved a decision to evict seven Palestinian families from their homes in favor of Israeli settlers as of the beginning of this year.

On Sunday, Israel’s Supreme Court postponed its ruling regarding the Jerusalemite families threatened with eviction from their homes in the neighborhood in favor of settlement associations. The court gave the two sides four days until Thursday to reach an agreement between them before issuing its final decision.

Since 1956, a total of 37 Palestinian families have been living in 27 homes in the neighborhood. However, illegal Jewish settlers have been trying to push them out on the basis of a law approved by the Israeli parliament in 1970.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced in 1948 to flee their villages and towns in historical Palestine to neighboring countries, including Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Residents of another part of Palestine found themselves displaced to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank amid rising attacks by Zionist gangs to pave the way for the creation of the state of Israel.

Palestinians use “Nakba” in Arabic, or “The Catastrophe,” to refer to the 1948 expulsions by Zionist gangs.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict dates back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous Balfour Declaration, called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

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