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March 30 is Palestinian Land Day. On this day, in 1976, Israeli repressive forces killed six Palestinian citizens of Israel who were protesting against the expropriation of land owned by Palestinians, in the North of the State of Israel, in order to settle Jewish communities there.

About 100 people were injured and hundreds were arrested during the general strike and in the large protest demonstrations that took place on that day in different Palestinian localities in Israel.

Since then, this date has been celebrated as Palestinian Land Day, symbolizing the determination of Palestinians — on both sides of the Green Line, in the refugee camps and in the diaspora — to preserve their history and defend their land as an essential element of their identity and their very existence as a people.

On International Women's Day, MPPM honors the women who, throughout the world and especially in Palestine, are fighting for freedom, justice, equality, and against discrimination.

Palestinian women, who are present in all sectors of national life, participate with all Palestinians in the struggle against occupation and ethnic cleansing, for the right to live in a free country, while developing their emancipatory struggle for recognition of their rights as women.

An arduous struggle, which is confronted daily with an occupying and annexationist power that denies basic political, economic, social and health rights.

An occupying and annexationist power that is a theocratic state, which develops an apartheid policy by recognizing rights based only on religious belonging, as enshrined in the basic law «Israel: the nation-state of the Jewish people», approved by the Knesset on July 19, 2018.

MPPM strongly condemns the US and Israeli military attacks on Syria.

In the last three days of February, US planes bombed the border area between Syria and Iraq, while Israel launched a missile attack on the Damascus region.

These are war actions that clearly violate international law and the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic, which has been a victim since 2011 of an aggression sponsored, armed and financed, among others, by those same countries.

Furthermore, Israel has occupied the Syrian Golan Heights for more than half a century, while the United States of America maintains, illegally and against the express will of the internationally recognized Syrian government, occupation troops in the North East of Syria – with the objective explained by ex-President Trump of “taking the oil” –, as well as in the South, where they have built the Al Tanf military base.

Responding to an initiative of MPPM, a significant number of personalities representing the most varied sectors of Portuguese life signed an “Appeal to the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the recognition of the State of Palestine” in accordance with international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions, and to take action with the other Member States to act in the same direction.

This is the text of the Appeal and the list of first signatories:

APPEAL TO THE PORTUGUESE PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
FOR THE RECOGNITION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE!

Since January 1, 2021, in addition to the constitutional obligations that impinge on the conduct of foreign policy, the Portuguese Government assumed, for a period of six months, increased responsibilities in the international context arising from the assumption of the rotating presidency of the Council of European Union.

The past year witnessed a criminal attempt to erase the Palestinian question, while acts of war and attacks on the rights, property and life of Palestinians intensified. The year that begins now must be a turning point in which governments comply with the will of their peoples and realise the respect for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

From the “deal of the century” to the annexation of the West Bank

The year 2020 began with Trump's proclamation of his “deal of the century”. Far from being a “deal” – no representative of the Palestinian people participated in its drafting – it was an attempt to liquidate the Palestinian question, tearing up the numerous international resolutions and agreements that promise the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State in the territories occupied since 1967 and failing to recognize the existence of millions of Palestinian refugees.

The Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC) and the Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East (MPPM) held this Thursday, November 19, 2020, at Casa do Alentejo, in Lisbon, a public session dedicated to the theme “Middle East: Defence of Justice and Peace”.

There were speeches by Ilda Figueiredo, President of the CPPC National Directorate, Carlos Almeida, Vice-President of the MPPM National Directorate, José Goulão, journalist and member of the CPPC Presidency, and Nabil Abuznaid, Palestinian Ambassador to Portugal.

The situation in Palestine is inseparable from that of the entire Middle East, and this was reflected in the different interventions.

They focused the external interference and aggression, with special emphasis on the United States and its European allies, remembering their responsibility in the wars in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Lebanon, and also in Saudi Arabia's aggression against Yemen.

MPPM joins the Palestinian people in mourning the passing away of Dr. Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who, for over three decades, was a tireless spokesman for the Palestinian cause and one of its leading negotiators in international fora.

Saeb Erekat was 65 years old and passed away today, a victim of the Covid 19 infection he contracted a month ago.

Erekat was born in 1955 in the Palestinian village of Abu Dis in East Jerusalem. He was married to Niemeh Erekat and had two sons, two daughters and eight grandchildren.

He graduated from the University of San Francisco in the USA with a BA in International Relations in 1977 and a Masters in Political Science in 1979. He completed his Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Bradford in England in 1983. He is the author of eight books and numerous research articles on Middle East politics and conflict resolution.

Gaza, mon amour, directed by twins Tarzan and Arab Nasser, is Palestine's candidate for an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. It premiered this year at the Venice Film Festival and is a co-production of Palestine, France, Germany, Portugal and Qatar.

The film was later screened at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award, which honours the best Asian films at selected festivals around the world.

Inspired by a true situation that occurred in Gaza in 2014, the film tells the story of Issa (Salim Dau), a 60-year-old fisherman from Gaza, who is secretly in love with the milliner Siham (Hiam Abass) and whose luck changes when he picks up in his fishing net a phallic sculpture of the Greek god Apollo...

The Algarve provided the locations for the filming of scenes on the beaches and in the sea of Gaza, put off-limits by the Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

YouTube considered that a video submitted to the "Peace for Palestine" school contest, which MPPM promoted in 2010, is inappropriate for all ages and rated it with age restriction (for those over 18). It is a rating that platform applies, namely, to pornographic content.

The video was made by 7th grade students and illustrates their message of peace with some images of Israel's violence against Palestinians, collected on YouTube itself.

Apparently, what shocks YouTube's censors is not Israel's violence against Palestinians, but the denunciation of that violence.

MPPM tried to appeal this decision, but received the reply "It is not possible to appeal this violation."

The video is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTjNbGU7y60

The Palestinian people are experiencing one of the most dramatic moments in their already martyred history. Once again, foreign powers and major economic and geo-strategic interests are dictating and seeking to perpetuate, in the absence of the Palestinian people and their representative political forces, the foreign occupation of Palestinian land and the denial of the inalienable rights of its people. In this context, MPPM stands in solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people, welcomes their national reconciliation initiatives and warns of the dangers of a new and greater war in the Middle East.

Peace agreements or winds of war?

Western foreign ministries welcomed, with moderate to enthusiastic approval, the recent celebration, under the aegis of the United States, of “peace agreements” between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, considering that they represented progress towards peace in the region.

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