Leftist organizations hold march in Central Tel Avis under the banner 'Israel says yes to a Palestinian state'; demonstrators call on Netanyahu to recognize that establishment of Palestine serves vital Israeli interests
Latest Update: 06.04.11
Thousands of people are taking part in a march in central Tel Aviv in support of a Palestinian state. The protest is held under the banner "Israel says yes to a Palestinian state."
The organizers are calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recognize that the establishment of Palestine serves vital Israel interests. It is estimated some 20,000 people attended the rally.
The demonstrators are carrying signs reading "Yes to peace" and "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies." Giant posters featuring the image of US President Barack Obama read "Yes, we can." Among the groups taking part in the protest are Peace Now, Meretz, Hadash, the Labor party and even representatives from Kadima.
Yenina Altman, 80, came to attend the march all the way from Haifa. "It’s important to me to voice the desire to see the Palestinians independent," she told Ynet.
"I came from Poland after my entire family perished, I was in a ghetto and a concentration camp. I would like to have my country show tolerance and respect for the Palestinians and give them the right for an independent state just as we desired."
Makhoul Rwada from Kafr Yasif said, "We hope that such acts of protest will grow stronger and cause a change which will see an independent Palestinian state along 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as capital."
Meretz chairman and former MK Chaim Oron said, "The total containment of the peace process led by Bibi will ruin us all. "
MK Dov Henin (Hadash) stated "this is the most fatal battle in the peace camp's history – there is an alternative to a terrible war. A peace of two-states and two capitals in Jerusalem is not only vital. It’s also possible."
MK Ahmad Tibi stated that the "longest occupation in modern history must end and whoever refuses to negotiate 1967 will have to negotiate 1948 and one state instead of two neighboring states."
Referring to the settlement block he said: "Blocks are metastases and both are cancerous tumors that must be removed for a possible peace and a two-state solution."
Israel Police on Saturday prevented members of the United Arab List Ta'al party to hold a march in a Druze village adjacent to the Syrian border. The party members held a demonstration in the checkpoint where they were stopped to mark 'Naksa Day' – the 44th anniversary to the Six Day War which falls on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday cautiously welcomed a French proposal to convene Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Paris to try to renew collapsed peace talks.
Israel is holding consultations with Washington on how to handle the French proposal. Jerusalem is likely to demand several amendments to the French initiative which includes the outline President Obama presented in his Middle East speech.
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