Palestinians in Gaza have held a candlelit vigil to mark the 1000th day of the siege of Gaza. Hundreds of people gathered at the "Square of the Unknown Soldier" in Gaza City on 11 March to remind the world of the immoral blockade imposed by Israel, with Egyptian support.
Under the slogan "Enough is Enough – End the Siege", Jamal Al-Khudari, the President of the Popular Committee Against the Siege, lit the first candle of many that formed the number "1000". Hundreds of men, women and children followed suit, each lighting a candle, each with their own memory, each with their own loss.
In his speech at the event, Mr. Al-Khudari said, "On this day we have reached a thousand days of the siege and we have endured a thousand days of patience and persistence; we light a candle to remember the darkness of each of those one thousand days."
He went on to encourage all Palestinians to remain steadfast and optimistic, and not to tire until the inhumane blockade ends. He also renewed the call for the international community to take effective steps to end the suffering of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Stressing the need for the European Union to put pressure on the Israeli authorities, Mr. Al-Khudari said that this could be done through the imposition of sanctions until the Zionist state complies with the international will and international law.
The importance of the role of local organisations and dignitaries was stressed and commended, as well as that of regional and international community, in supporting the Palestinian people and helping to highlight their plight by humanitarian aid convoys, parliamentarian delegations and other initiatives to help bring the siege to an end.
The evening included performances by Palestinian children, who dramatised the illegal Israeli blockade and called for the protection of Palestinian children from military incursions. This highlighted the children's desire to have their rights protected as those of other children around the world are.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad