Prior to its departure for Lebanon from the Turkish port of Tasucu, the Global March to Jerusalem’s SE Asia delegation was joined by Turkish activists.
According to the Iranian Fars news agency, some of them previously took part in the 2010 flotilla aboard the IHH-owned Mavi Marmara. The ‘Asian People’s Solidarity for Palestine’ website carries the same information.
At the SE Asia caravan’s final stop in Turkey – Konya – Global March to Jerusalem organiser Feroze Mithiborwala is reported to have made a speech somewhat contradictory to the march’s professed commitment to non-violence.
“Firouz Mitiborwala, representative for IEC and ICC, was invited to the podium to address the people of Konya. He stated that Palestine has become an element of unity for the people of Asia. In regards to Israel’s threats towards the GMJ – Asian Caravan, he stated, “Israel has gone crazy, and they are acting no different than Nazi’s. Our response to them is a response of bravery. We are ready for martyrdom for our Palestinian brothers.”
Meanwhile in Lebanon itself, the Daily Star reports that the number of activists permitted to take part in Friday’s demonstrations may be limited to 5,000.
“The committee organizing the march, which is expected to attract several hundred international activists along with thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians, met Monday and decided that the number of people gathering at Beaufort Castle in Nabatieh would have to be limited in number.
They settled on Beaufort Castle, near the village of Arnoun, but members of the organizing committee visited the site Monday and voiced concerns that it could only handle 5,000 people.
Beaufort Castle is located on a steep hill. Members of the organizing committee, which includes representatives of Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as civilian groups, expressed their worries about the venue, which is located on an outcropping with steep slopes on all sides.
A member of the committee, who requested anonymity, said that much of the enthusiasm for the event was waning because the authorities refused to give permission for a gathering south of the Litani River.”