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In January 2018, Ahmed Abu Artema wrote a Facebook post from his home in Rafah, Gaza: 
"What would happen if Palestinians marched nonviolently and in large numbers towards the boundary fence with Israel to demand respect for their rights and call attention to the Israeli-imposed blockade that has created hardship for millions of people for more than a decade?"

It was an idea that has reverberated throughout Palestinian history.
This time it happened…

Gaza's March of Return began on March 30, 2018 and for a time, it commanded the world's attention - unfortunately, most of all for the horrifying violence these marchers faced from Israeli snipers. By the end of 2018, over 200 were killed and tens of thousands wounded. Many are living with amputations and permanent injuries from the hideously destructive "exploding" ammunition that Israeli forces have used on these protesters.

The Israeli government strenuously sought to blame the marchers for the violence inflicted on them. Too often, the world press conveyed that message!

Congress needs to hear the truth about the Great March and why thousands of Gazans have risked their lives every week for the last 12 months.

This week, they can hear the truth, at the Congressional Briefing on Tuesday March 19th.

Urge your legislators to attend the briefing!

"Hashtag to Headlines - HOW THE GAZA GREAT MARCH OF RETURN CHALLENGED THE WORLD" is a U.S. tour sponsored by AFSC that is happening this month as we approach the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return.

Ahmed Abu Artema, the man who inspired the March, is a Palestinian writer, a refugee, a father of four, and an advocate for nonviolence.
Joining him is Jehad Abusalim, the program associate for AFSC's Gaza Unlocked campaign; Jehad is also from Gaza, where he lived for most of his life.

They are sharing with U.S. audiences the truth about the humanitarian disaster in Gaza today, the reasons for the Great March, and what can be done to support the people of Gaza in their struggle.

Their U.S. tour includes the Congressional briefing in Washington DC. on Tuesday, March 19th in United States Capitol Visitor Center: Congressional Meeting Room South (CVC 217) at 11:30 am.   

Contact your Representatives and Senators and urge them to attend this briefing or have a staff member attend on their behalf. 

UMKR Condemns Israel's Response to the Great March of Return 2018​
June 2018 – United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR), an international movement in the United Methodist Church, condemns without reservation Israel's deliberate killing of over 100 protesting Gazans and the maiming of thousands since protests began on 30 March 2018, Palestinian Land Day, and through the following weeks. We stand in solidarity with Palestinians and all people of conscience who call for lifting the crushing siege on Gaza that has left the people without adequate drinking water, electricity, medical supplies and other necessities, all while denying them the right to travel by land, air, or water to relieve their suffering. We cry out for justice for the people of Palestine and an end to their brutal treatment at the hands of an Israeli government that is aided and abetted, to our great shame, by some of our own governments, including the most egregious complicity of the U.S. government.


The NY Times:
"I Helped Start the Gaza Protests. I Don't Regret It."

The Nation:
With the Great Return March, Palestinians are demanding a life of dignity.

See the speaking tour "Hashtag to Headlines"

See AFSC's Gaza Unlocked Campaign:

Above: Razan al-Najjar was a 21-year-old medic targeted and killed by Israeli forces while she was tending to wounded in the Great March of Return on the 1st of June, 2018.
Read more about her

Above: Several journalists, wearing clothing that clearly identified them as press, were shot in the Great March by Israeli snipers who had been given orders to "shoot to kill" and who targeted civilians that posed no threat to them.

Left: the front page of The Guardian, May 15, 2018.
On May 14, when Israel killed 58 protesters, including 6 children and a paramedic, celebrations of the U.S. Embassy opening in Jerusalem went forward as though the horrifying tragedy a few miles away were not happening. Around the world, news channels and newspapers juxtaposed the jarring images of the suffering at the Gaza fence and the smiling leaders in Jerusalem.

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UMKR is an international grassroots peace movement of laity and clergy in the United Methodist Church. We are responding to the Palestinian Christians' urgent call, in Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth, for effective action to end the Israeli occupation and achieve a just peace in the Holy Land.
OUR GOAL: UMKR seeks – through nonviolent action and in partnership with our Palestinian sisters and brothers in Christ – freedom, equality, and justice for all Palestinians and Israelis.  Learn more about UMKR

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