Thursday, April 26, 2007

Five Palestinians Killed, Dozens Injured in Third Day of Anti-Violence Riots in Gaza

ISL – Gaza
In a series of anti-violence demonstrations reminiscent of Martin Luther King's historic "March On Washington", or Gandhi's famed Non-Violence Campaign to Free India, thousands of anguished Palestinians have taken to the streets protesting the unbearable violence in their society. Armed only with their own will power and grim determination, as well as machine guns and hand grenades, men, women and children from all walks of life marched through the streets of Gaza shoulder to shoulder, in an unprecedented show of unity between rival factions.
Trashing stores, burning cars and randomly shooting passers by, the wave of anti-violence protesters marched to the city hall where they were met for the third consecutive day by rows of determined, brutal policemen. Only after a bitter and prolonged gunfight were the non-violence protesters forced back.
Despite suffering severe losses, the protesters remain optimistic: "We are trying to change Palestinian society for the better and turn it into a more humane, peaceful society" said Fathi Salami founder of the newly formed United Palestinian Committee for Non-Violence "Fighting prejudice is never easy, and there will always be those who are entrenched in positions of power and oppose change for the good – it is those recalcitrant, self-serving politicians and bureaucrats whom we must find and kill in order to achieve our goal of complete and total non-violence" said Mr. Salami .

The UNPCV was founded in the wake of the deteriorating social conditions throughout the Gaza Strip where drive-by shootings, interminable blood-feuds, day-light robberies and spitting have become common place. Founder Fathi Salami praised Palestinian society for rising to the occasion: "The past days of protests have proven our resilience as a civil society" said Fathi addressing thousands of enthusiastic supporters " We have proven that we can rise above the petty, and selfish behavior of daily life and that we are all willing to contribute the time and effort needed to improve our society."
From the ensuing celebratory shots fired into the air two men were lightly wounded.
Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas called for a cessation of the non-violent protests claiming that his government is just as non-violent as the protesters and citing concerns that the blood supply as well hospital room in Gaza are reaching their limit as a result of the non-violent demonstrations: "Gaza has not seen such a blood-bath since the early seventies when Sharon cleaned us out" said Abbas "But, on the bright side, the Palestinian Organ Bank is getting richer by the minute."
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