The Party for Socialism and Liberation condemns the cowardly massacre carried out by the Israeli government and occupation forces against heroic unarmed protestors in Gaza on March 30, 2018. We hold the Trump administration, which has given Israeli leaders the green light to carry out such atrocities, equally responsible for the latest horrific attack.

On March 30, Israeli occupation forces murdered at least 15 Palestinians and injured more than 1,400 using live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, and huge quantities of tear gas against tens of thousands of protesters. Tank and air attacks were also carried out against unarmed demonstrators.

The massive protests in cities across Gaza — the world’s largest open-air prison — were held on Land Day, which commemorates a 1976 Palestinian demonstration against the ongoing confiscation of their lands inside the 1948 borders of Israel. Six Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops and many others wounded in the 1976 protest.

The March 30 actions were called under the banner of “The Great March of Return” and the demand that Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to their lands seized in the ethnic cleansing that made way for the creation of the state of Israel. The actions are set to continue for six weeks, culminating on May 15, the 70th anniversary of Al-Nakba (the Catastrophe) which commemorates the dispossession of the Palestinian people.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 1,416 people were wounded: 758 from live fire, 148 from rubber-tipped bullets, 422 from inhaling tear gas and 88 from other causes. Palestinian officials said that one was killed and 237 wounded in Rafah; four were killed and 345 wounded in southern Gaza; five were killed and 286 wounded in northern Gaza; two were killed and 197 wounded in central Gaza; and three were killed and 351 wounded in Khan Yunis. Many others were wounded in solidarity actions in the West Bank.

Some of the wounded were in critical condition and the Health Ministry issued an emergency appeal for blood donations.

The day before the protest, Israeli’s fascistic “defense” minister, Avigdor Liberman ordered 100 more snipers to the Gaza border. The Israeli occupation forces, while attempting to turn reality upside down by claiming to have been acting in “self-defense,” did not report any soldiers killed or wounded.

The occupation army’s own statement is self-incriminating: “Troops are responding with riot dispersal means and firing towards main instigators.” In other words, as is commonplace in Gaza and the West Bank, Israeli commanders were ordering troops – who were clearly in no danger – to shoot to kill those they labeled as “main instigators.”

Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s designated Middle East “negotiator,”  condemned the march before it started, saying, “Hamas is encouraging a hostile march on the Israel-Gaza border.” This was another unambiguous message from its chief funder, armor and protector that the Israelis could carry out unlimited repression including mass murder and would face no criticism in Washington.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation joins with all justice-minded people worldwide in solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine. The Palestinian people are continuing their courageous struggle and we will stand with them until they win true self-determination including the right of return.

Long Live Palestine!

Palestine Will Win!