OneVoice Palestinian Activists Join Mass West Bank Unity RalliesBy Onevoice, PRNE
Monday, March 14, 2011
NEW YORK, March 15, 2011 - OneVoice Palestinian activists participated in massive West Bank unity
rallies on Tuesday, demanding reconciliation between bitter rivals Fatah and
Hamas as the first necessary step toward ending the occupation and resolving
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
(Logo: https://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110117/DC31246LOGO-b )
Following demonstrations that began in Gaza on Monday, thousands gathered
today in the West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Nablus, and Ramallah for peaceful
unity rallies organized by Palestinian youth groups on simple pages of the
social networking site Facebook. OneVoice Palestinian activists called on
their chapters to ensure the demonstrations remain nonviolent. They have also
been tweeting throughout the day on the rallies. Visit OneVoice's blog to
view the movement's real-time Twitter stream (
"What we're seeing today is the start of the Palestinian Spring," said
Samer Makhlouf, executive director of OneVoice Palestine (www.onevoice.ps).
"At the heart of these peaceful rallies lies a youthful generation — inspired
by the Egyptian revolution — demanding national unity as the necessary first
step to end the occupation and resolve the conflict."
The organizers themselves also stressed the nonviolent nature of the
rallies. Beyond the call for unity, they will demand the release of all
political prisoners held by Fatah and Hamas and "full democratic
representation for Palestinians all over the world." They also called on all
participants to avoid waving flags or holding up posters that showed
affiliation with political parties.
Rallies were also scheduled to be held around the world, including
outside the offices of the Palestinian General Delegation to the U.K. in
London and the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the U.N. in New
"OneVoice was founded on the principle that the key unfulfilled role in
this conflict is that of civil society," said John Lyndon, executive director
of OneVoice Europe (www.onevoicemovement.org/programs/onevoice-europe.php).
"Today, we see ordinary people demanding unity and an end to occupation. We
encourage leaders - both in the region and further afield - to listen very
carefully to what they are saying and act accordingly."
OneVoice Palestine recognized the importance of ending factional
divisions as a precursor to ending the occupation, establishing a viable,
independent Palestinian state, and achieving lasting peace in the region.
They launched major activities across the West Bank early in March to channel
the energy on the street into a deafening cry for national unity.
OneVoice's Palestinian activists spread thousands of bumper stickers
emblazoned with the words, "the people want to end the occupation, the
settlements, the [internal] division - help build the state," on the streets
of Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Qalqilya, and Ramallah. They will be introducing
billboards, radio and television spots, massive murals, and several youth-led
initiatives in the coming months.
OneVoice (www.onevoicemovement.org) is an international grassroots
movement that aims to amplify the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates,
empowering them to demand a two-state solution. The movement educates and
trains Israeli and Palestinian youth in leadership skills, non-violent
activism, and democratic principles. To support and contribute to OneVoice,
join us at www.onevoicemovement.org.
Joel Braunold, External Relations Director, PeaceWorks Foundation, OneVoice, +44-208-948-5218, joel at onevoicemovement.org.uk
Tags: March 15, New York, Onevoice