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Julie Webb-Pullman: GMJ Gearing Up In Gaza

Global March To Jerusalem Gearing Up In Gaza
By Julie Webb-Pullman

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Several events were staged in Gaza City today in preparation for the Global March to Jerusalem, to take place this coming Friday, 30 March.

An event at the Ministry of Detainee Affairs was attended by most of the Palestinian prisoners released last year in the Gilad Shalit – Palestinian Prisoner exchange deal, several women among them.

The Minister for Detainee Affairs Dr Attallah Abu al-Sabah, and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Dr Ahmed Abu Halabiya addressed the gathering, as did the spokesperson for recent detainees Tafiq Abu Naeem, who was imprisoned for 24 years by Israel.

After the meeting, I spoke with Dr Abdul Aziz Umar, one of the prisoners released in last year’s exchange. Dr Aziz Umar holds a PhD in English Literature, and was a Professor at An-Najah University in the West Bank. On his release from prison, he was exiled to Gaza.

Other activities in Gaza today in support of the Global March to Jerusalem included events at the Palestinian Legislative Council, and at many mosques following the 'Asr prayer.

The peaceful nature of the march has been emphasised by all, and despite Israeli claims to the contrary, there is no intention on the part of participants to cross the ‘invented’ borders into their own territory.

CORRECTION: It has recently come to my attention that I made an incorrect assertion in the title of a video posted on SCOOP on 28 March 2012. The title of the video stated that Dr Abdul Aziz Omar's blindness was caused by medical neglect in an Israeli jail. His blindness was in fact caused by a medical condition, however he did suffer medical neglect in Israeli jails, most notably by being subjected to medical experiments without his consent.

I sincerely apologise for the error in attributing his blindness to the medical neglect - the person who organised the interview told me that he was blinded in an Israeli jail and I trusted their information, but did not check it with Dr Omar. In future I will ensure that I always check such facts with the subject. - Julie Webb Pullman 30 June 2012


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