November 6, 2023 -On Saturday, scores of Jamaicans took part in a ‘March for Palestine,’ in protest of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
The protest, which was organized by the Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism (LANDS) movement in Jamaica, was held in downtown Kingston to show solidarity with the state and people of Palestine.
LANDS also had specific requests from the Jamaican government including that they disclose state deals with Israel, an official condemnation of Israel’s actions, to cut diplomatic ties with Israel, and to officially recognize the state of Palestine.
The Jamaican government has come under fire recently for its absence from the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) vote which called for a resolution.
A total of 120 countries voted in favor of the non-binding resolution which called for the “humanitarian truce” in Gaza. Some 12 CARICOM states, including Trinidad, Barbados, Antigua, Bahamas, and St. Lucia voted in favor. Haiti abstained, while Jamaica did not cast a vote.
But Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamina Johnson-Smith later said Jamaica wants a ‘peaceful resolution’ to the war, despite not casting a vote.
Saturday’s march is just one of hundreds that have taken place across the globe to show solidarity with Palestine and demand an end to the war.
Israel-Hamas war ‘ graveyard for children’
The armed conflict between Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups and Israeli military forces began on October 7 with a Hamas attack on southern Israel that killed 1,400 Israelis and took 200 others hostage in a single day.
Israeli military forces retaliated with extensive strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip. The death toll from Israeli bombardments in the Gaza Strip has risen to 9,500, with well over half of them women and children.
UNICEF described the war as a “graveyard” for children. Human rights groups have said Israel is collectively punishing Palestinians for “the actions of a few.”
Israel also cut off food, water, electricity, and fuel supplies to Gaza, on top of the existing blockade by both Egypt and Israel. The UN reported that around a million Palestinians, nearly half of Gaza’s population, have been internally displaced.