May 15 marks the 75th anniversary of “the nakba” translating to “the catastrophe”, when more than 700 thousand Palestinians were exiled or fled Palestine. In the lead up to this anniversary, Palestinians have been facing intensified brutality from Israeli – a historical occurrence during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
At the beginning of April, Israeli Forces brutalized Palestinian worshippers inside Al-Aqsa mosque two days in a row, resulting in the arrest of more than 350 Palestinians. In response, Hezbollah and Hamas retaliated with rocketfire – which Israel responded with by sending airstrikes to Lebanon and the Gaza strip.
Al-Aqsa is a vital location for all three religions that inhabit the region. Under a longstanding agreement, only Muslims are allowed to pray there, while non-Muslims are allowed to visit. A committee run by Jordan is supposed to control access to Al-Aqsa, but as a result of Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem, Israel has claimed control over Al-Aqsa.
Palestine has been occupied by Israel since 1948. Palestinians experience brutality, oppression and arrests by Israeli forces daily, who aim to maintain the oppression of Palestinians.
Montreal is a strong hub for pro-Palestinian activism. Recently, activists gathered together to denounce the recent acts of violence on Palestinians by the Israeli occupation and for the end of the occupation.