Dozens of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and their supporters commemorated the Palestinian victims of Israel’s indiscriminate campaign of violence in Shujaiya, Gaza by releasing balloons symbolising those Palestinians who had been killed.
Convoys of youths and community members departed from several community centres at the Burj Shemali and Rashidieh refugee camps, near Tyre (Sur) in Southern Lebanon, to a local beach. Upon arrival, a Palestinian student band played various national songs as students tied nametags for the dead to red, black, white, and green balloons.
The community members held signs calling on the world to stop Israel’s mass slaughter in Gaza and emphasising the genocidal nature of the Israeli offensive. They also proudly embraced their right to resist the Israeli occupation, as well as their legal right to return to Palestine.
The on-going Israeli assault on Gaza has so far claimed more than 1,000 Palestinian lives, most of whom are civilians. Israel killed over one hundred people during a single night of bombardment in the east Gaza neighbourhood of Shujaiya. Journalists and international volunteers observing the Shujaiya massacre have risked death themselves to report the indiscriminate shelling by Israeli forces, the bombardment of ambulances and the killing of medical staff and journalists, as well as morgues overflowing with bodies.
Amith Gupta is a US-based Palestine solidarity activist. He is currently volunteering as a teacher at the Rashidieh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, where he teaches Palestinian and Syrian refugees. Yeou-Shiuh Hsu contributed some photos for this article.