(15 May 2019) From Haifa to Dheisheh to Beirut: The Light and Right of Return

On Wednesday, 13 March 2019, in association with the 71st anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, the Global Palestinian Refugee Network, in partnership with the Palestinian political parties, organized the lighting of the “Right of Return” torch.

Simultaneously, Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons on both sides of the Green Line and in Lebanon lit torches for the right of return to reiterate the continued Palestinian demand for this inalienable right.  The event in Bethlehem took place in Dheisheh refugee camp, with the participation of Palestinian refugees from refugee camps in the south of the West Bank, particularly from Fawwar, Al Arroub, Aida and Al-Azza, along with numerous participants from a variety of organizations, and both national and international activists. Multiple speeches were held by the Palestinian political parties in the district, in addition to several Palestinian artistic and cultural traditions and performances.

These activities were replicated in both Haifa and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, as a symbol of unity among the Palestinian people, and to emphasize the continued demand for the right of return to their homelands 71 years into the Nakba.

The lighting of the torches also serve to challenge Israeli apartheid, fragmentation, and subjugation. The activity embodies Palestinian unity, the continued connection to their homeland and commitment to the struggle for rights and justice.  The joint initiative challenges proposed unjust political solutions, the continued implementation of human rights violations and crimes by Israel, and the near silence of the international community.

The GPRN, comprised of 45 Palestinian community-based organizations from Historic Palestine and around the world, will be implementing additional initiatives throughout the year to elevate Palestinian voices and demands for just and durable solutions to the ongoing Nakba.