On Saturday March 30, peace and anti-war activists held rallies in different capitals to demand that NATO be dismantled as well as to support the Palestinians’ right of return.
Despite pouring rain and Canada’s customary cold, hundreds of people participated in a rally outside the US Consulate in Toronto demanding that Washington end its destructive wars against peoples of the South. Speakers also called for ending Canada’s membership of NATO that is seen as a war-mongering alliance.
NATO was formed in 1946 to allegedly confront the threat from communism then led by the Soviet Union. With the end of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the rationale for NATO's existence ended. It should have been disbanded.
Perish the thought. It became even more virulently aggressive and expanded toward the Russian border despite having given assurances earlier that it would not move toward the Russian border.
The Washington warlords thrive on wars, hence the US’s enormous annual war budget at $719 billion and the slaughter of millions of innocent people in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen.
In recent weeks, Venezuela has also been targeted. The US and its Zionist ally have targeted Islamic Iran for decades.
It has been subjected to vicious sanctions that have inflicted massive misery on the people of Iran.
The US and its NATO allies—Britain, France etc—are also involved in the Saudi regime’s criminal war against the people of Yemen. Canada is also supplying the medieval kingdom $15 billion in weapons that the regime is using against its own.
Speakers at the anti-NATO rally demanded immediate end to Canada’s supply of weapons to the barbaric regime in Saudi Arabia.
Simultaneously there were rallies in many parts of the world in support of the Palestinian people. While the one in Gaza on March 30 was the largest (more on this below), there was also a noisy rally in Toronto.
It was held at the iconic Dundas Square on Toronto’s Yonge Street that thousands of curious shoppers witnessed.
In Gaza itself, tens of thousands of people gathered on the first anniversary of return and breaking the siege march from early morning.
Organizers had already set up gathering points away from the so-called border fence that Israel has erected in order not to provide any pretext for the trigger-happy Zionist soldiers to shoot and kill unarmed peaceful Palestinians.
This, however, did not prevent the Zionists from shooting and killing three Palestinian civilians and wounding 364 others. Among the wounded were 74 Children, 12 Women, 7 Journalists, and 6 Paramedics.
Israeli snipers had taken up positions on high ground and indiscriminately fired, using live bullets, at a group of Palestinian young men.
As a result, Mohamed Jehad Jawdat Sa’d (20), from al-Shuja’iyia neighborhood, was hit with a live bullet to the chest. He was pronounced dead at al-Shifa Hospital.
The two other Palestinians killed on March 30 were:
Adham Nedal Saqer ‘Amarah (17), from Gaza City, who was hit with a tear gas canister to the face in eastern Gaza City;
Tamer Hashem ‘Isaa Abu al-Khair (18), from Hamad City in Khan Yunis, who was hit with a live bullet to the chest while participating in demonstrations in eastern Khuza’ah in Khan Yunis.
Of the 364 Palestinian civilians wounded, Health Ministry officials confirmed 93 were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, six were hit with rubber bullets, and 148 were hit directly with tear gas canisters.
Even paramedics and journalists were not spared.
An ambulance carrying the wounded to hospital was also directly hit with a tear gas canister in northern Gaza Strip.
Among those wounded, 540 are in serious condition and 136 had their lower or upper limbs amputated; 122 lower-limb amputations, 14 upper-limb amputations, and 25 children had their limbs amputated according to the Ministry of Health.
The numbers of wounded only included those that were shot with live bullets or directly hit with tear gas canisters. Thousands of others suffered tear gas inhalation and sustained bruises.
In view of Israel’s deliberate targeting of Palestinian civilians demands for taking Zionist officials—civilian and military—to the International Criminal Court have increased.
On March 18, the UN Human Rights Council’s Special Inquiry Commission in its report had recommended such action.