SIDON, Lebanon: A march for Palestinians in remembrance of the 66th anniversary of the Nakba kicked off Thursday morning from the coastal city of Sidon, south Lebanon.
President Michel Sleiman expressed hope that Palestinians “would be able to restore their usurped rights.”
“We hope [Palestinians] will achieve their dream of a homeland and that the refugees will achieve their dream of return,” Sleiman said in a statement on Nakba Day.
Around 50 Palestinians, including religious figures, intellectuals and workers, joined the symbolic activity organized by the “Returning to Palestine” March committee.
Participants, mostly coming from the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Sidon, raised flags of their country and banners calling for their right to return to their homeland, occupied since 1948.
Youssef Ahmad, one of the organizers of the march, said the Palestinian people were holding on to their right of return and slammed the Arab and international communities over their silence on Israel’s occupation.
“The Palestinian people will never forget their right to return, and we are not ready to make any compromises over such right,” Ahmad said.
“The international community should end its silence and sluggishness over the Israeli occupation,” he said. “If not for the silence of the Arab regimes, the injustice suffered by the Palestinian people would not have continued."
The march, which will make various stops along the way, will go all the way to the village of Naqoura on the southern border.
Participants will make a stop there to deliver a memorandum to peacekeepers intended for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon regarding the Palestinian right of return.
May 15 marks the day that Palestinians commemorate their expulsion from historic Palestine.