June 25, 2018
Middle East

Hundreds protest for Palestine in Kashmir amid Indian crackdown

Hundreds marched in Srinagar, and other parts of Indian controlled Kashmir to show their support for slain Palestinians (MEE/ Fahad Shah)

Srinagar, INDIAN CONTROLLED KASHMIR, Hundreds of Kashmiris held rallies across parts of Indian occupied Kashmir on Friday in a show of support for the 62 Palestinians killed in Gaza.

The demonstrations took place after Friday prayers and saw local youths battling with Indian soldiers, who fired tear gas, and pellet guns at unarmed Kashmiris.

Protestors held placards and banners with "free-Palestine" and "Down with America, Down with Israel" emblazoned on them.

Local leaders urged the international community to act and criticised the Organisation for Islamic Council on their perceived inaction to the plight of the Palestinians.

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Speeches were also used to draw comparisons between the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, its ongoing siege on Gaza, and India's security restrictions imposed on Kashmiris in Indian occupied Kashmir.

Among the groups who mobilised in support of the slain Palestinians include the Jammu Kashmiri Liberation Front and various Shia groups as part of the annual Al-Quds march.

Many shrines and mosques reverberated with anti-US, pro-Palestine and pro-Islam slogans during protests.


Hundreds gathered to pay respects to slain Palestinians in the Srinagar (MEE/Fahad Shah)

Yasin Malik, who is chairman of the JKLF called America's decision to relocate the US embassy to Israel as a move that will "infuse more tension and hatred in the world."

“Israeli terrorism against Palestinian people and the help it is getting from the international community is deplorable,” said Malik, currently incarcerated by the Indian authorities.

“Nothing is more tragic than the attitude of the international community which has sacrificed humanity for petty trade deals, economic benefits and other materialistic affairs.”

While Syed Ali Geelani, from the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, described the United Nations as a "mute spectator" to atrocities perpetrated in Palestine, and Kashmir.

Kashmir has been a disputed territory between India and Pakistan since 1947 when Britain partitioned the area.

Since then the territory has been divided with one part being under Indian rule and another with Pakistan.

In the Indian occupied territory, a growing political movement and armed rebellion continue to grow despite repressive military measures by India against the dissenting population.

Activist often draw comparisons of occupation between Kashmir and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.


Indian soldier shooting a rubber coated bullet at unarmed protestors in Indian controlled Kashmir (MEE/Fahad Shah)

Violence has been decreasing, but in 2017, about 350 deaths were reported following the Indian army's anti-militant offensive, known as operation all-out.

The Gaza health ministry reported that three more Palestinians died on Saturday, after succumbing to wounds inflicted upon them by Israeli fire.

Their deaths bring to 62 the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli gunfire on Monday when thousands of Palestinians protested as the US officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The three men were 20-year-old Mohammed Mazen Alyan, 58-year-old Moein Abdel-Hamid Al-Saai, and 21-year-old Ahmed Samara, the Hamas-run ministry said in a statement.

Since 30 March, Palestinians have been marching to demand the right to return to their homes in territory seized by Israel in the 1948 war marking its creation.

A total of 119 Palestinians have since been killed by Israeli gunfire on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, according to authorities in Gaza, which is run by the Islamist movement Hamas.

Israel says it has done everything it can to limit civilian casualties and has used lived ammunition only as a last resort.

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