SIDON, Lebanon: Dozens of Palestinians in Lebanon’s refugee camps turned out Monday to demonstrate in solidarity with Palestinians in occupied lands, as shops, UNRWA schools, clinics and services went on a general strike called for by Palestinian factions.
Demonstrators at the Ain al-Hilweh camp near Sidon held up banners bearing slogans condemning Israel’s Jewish nation-state law and reiterating the right to return. “No to the Jewish nation-state law, Palestine is ours and we will return to it,” and “We won’t accept our naturalization, we want to go back to Palestine,” two of the signs read.
The Israeli law redefines the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people, sparking fears that it would lead to blatant discrimination against its non-Jewish citizens.
Trash piled up in the streets of Ain al-Hilweh where protesters at the camp met, as UNRWA also halted its trash collection services for the day after its weekly day off.
A protesting woman, Entisar, held a black flag in her hands. “The news [of the law’s adoption] is black,” she explained. “The occupation is assaulting Palestine.”
Hajj Youssef Ouweid wore a Palestinian keffiyeh, a symbol of the Palestinian resistance.
“It’s a [discriminatory] decision to have a Jewish state. We refuse it completely,” Ouweid said.
The leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Sidon, Khaled abou Souweid, also spoke at the event.
“We are asserting that the Palestinian response must be united and firm in terms of rejecting this racist law,” Souweid said. “We call on the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority to [work towards] withdrawing the recognition of Israel, rescinding the Oslo accord and stopping security coordination with the Israeli occupation.”