Paris’ Tribute To Palestinian Martyrs
Bezons – a municipality in the north-western region of Paris – recently unveiled a new alley to mark the ‘catastrophe‘ experienced by the Palestinians immediately after the creation of Israel in 1947-48. The municipality named the street for the ‘Nakba’, an Arab word that means ‘catastrophe’.
After unveiling the sign for Nakba Alley on June 11, Mayor Dominique Lesparre said that nearly 700,000 Palestinians had to leave Israel in 1947. The communist politician also said that thousands of Palestinians sacrificed their life during the war between the Palestinian militias (backed by seven Arab Armies) and Israel in 1948 following the Jewish nation’s Declaration of Independence.
According to Lesparre, many Palestinians became homeless because of their leaders, who promised they would return swiftly following the victory of the Israeli Army. However, the Israeli forces did not allow the Palestinians to settle there after the war. The municipality further declared first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion a “war criminal” for “deporting” thousands of Palestinians.
Meanwhile, President of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities Francis Kalifat strongly criticised Bezons Municipality for unveiling the sign for Nakba Alley, saying that it was a “false declarations, shockingly irresponsible and dangerous”. He stressed: “They encourage anti-Semitic violence, which is now given false historical justification.”
Just a month after the French municipality paid a rich tribute to the Palestinian martyrs, the Israeli authorities released Ahed Tamimi from a military jail. The teenage Palestinian girl was jailed eight months ago for slapping the Israeli soldiers. The Israeli police had also arrested Tamimi’s mother on December 19, 2017 days after her daughter slapped and kicked two Israeli soldiers when they refused to leave Tamimi’s home in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Later, the girl became a symbol of Palestinian resistance.
Thousands of Palestinians and a number of mediapersons were present in Nabi Saleh on July 29 to welcome 17-year-old Tamimi and her mother who reached their village via West Bank. Upon her arrival in Nabi Saleh, the Palestinian girl thanked her supporters and called for a united Palestine. She also highlighted the struggles of female and juvenile prisoners in Israeli jails, saying: “Prison taught me how to be patient, how to be in a team and how to love life…the power is with the people and the people can decide her destiny.” Tamimi didn’t forget to mention that her brother, Wa’ed (22), was still behind the bars. Later, (Tamimi’s father) Bassam Tamimi took his daughter and wife to their home, with the crowd chanting: “We want to live in freedom.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets Ahed Tamimi
In the evening, Tamimi visited the tomb of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah to pay tribute to the iconic Palestinian leader. She laid flowers there and recited a prayer from the Quran. The freed teenager also met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the latter’s official residence in Ramallah. After their meeting, the president told the press: “The popular and peaceful style of struggle that Ahed Tamimi and her village and nearby villages have been practising proves to the world that our people will remain steadfast in this land, defending it no matter how much needs to be sacrificed.”
In the presence of President Abbas, the teenager said that she would study law so that she could advocate for the Palestinian cause in international courts.
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