On Friday, 16 September, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra — a member of the Samidoun Network — organized a Palestine Stand in Toulouse, France commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the massacres of Sabra and Shatila. Organizers distributed numerous flyers with information about the massacre, stating:
“From September 16 to 18, 1982, thousands of Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila camps were massacred by far-right Lebanese militias, allowed to enter the camp and monitored by the Israeli army which occupied Beirut. This massacre was not an isolated act, it was at the heart of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 which claimed more than 30,000 victims. Confronting this invasion and occupation, thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese joined in the resistance, such as Lebanese communist Georges Abdallah [today imprisoned in France for 38 years].”
40 years later, the Collectif was present in the streets to underline its commitment to Palestinian people, in homage to the martyrs and to demand the right of return of all Palestinian refugees to their land.
For over two hours, participants discussed the history of the massacres and the struggle for justice in Palestine today with neighborhood residents. For many, the memory of Sabra and Shatila remains alive and well. Many remember the terrible images of the barbaric massacre carried out by the Lebanese fascists and their Israeli partners.
As the Samidoun statement affirms, “Despite the passage of time, the calls of the victims and of the Palestinian people remain clear: a demand for justice and accountability, and, above all, the implementation of the right to return to Palestine and the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.” Dozens of people of all generations took photos to pay tribute to the thousands of martyrs of Sabra and Shatila.
Many people who wanted to find out more about what they can do to directly support the Palestinian people stopped by the stand. The organizers distributed free flyers and stickers promoting the international campaign to boycott Israel, for the release of Georges Abdallah and against the twinning of Toulouse with Tel Aviv. In addition, organizers distributed many “Boycott TEVA” stickers to be affixed to health cards to reject generic drugs from TEVA, a manufacturer that pays millions of euros in taxes each year that go to fund the Israeli settler colonial apartheid regime.
Highlighting recent urgent developments in the Palestinian struggle, organizers displayed several posters urging freedom for Hafez Huraini. Since 12 September, this Palestinian farmer and activist has been imprisoned for defending his land in At-Tuwani village in Masafer Yatta, a Palestinian region subjected to a policy of ethnic cleansing by the Israeli occupation. We join many around the world to affirm the urgency of freeing Hafez Huraini and #DefendMasaferYatta!
The Collectif Palestine Vaincra thanks all the people who came to pay tribute to the martyrs of the Palestinian cause and show their solidarity! The Collectif organizes information stands and various initiatives to support the Palestinian people in Toulouse. Do not hesitate to contact the Collectif if you wish to participate and to follow them on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Telegram).