More than 1000 people gathered at Hong Lim Park last Saturday afternoon to show their solidarity with the people of Gaza.
The event was organised by Mr Muhd Firdaus Bin Marzuki, founder of the facebook group, From Singapore to Palestine (FS2P). Mr Firdaus created the fanpage in 2012 to create awareness in Singapore about the situation in Palestine.
Although the event was publicised just a day before the actual date, more than a thousand individuals turned up at Hong Lim Park, much to the surprise of the organisers. Initially, only three speakers were scheduled to speak at the event. Eventually, a total of eight speakers voiced concerns about the humanitarian crisis happening in Gaza. Many of the attendees were Malay Muslims who were still fasting, who chose to sit and stand in the hot sun to listen to the speeches and to show their solidarity with the Palestinians.
A political science student at the event said that the situation in Gaza is an issue of trust between the Israeli and Palestinian people. He described it as a crisis that needed attention, but no one seemed to have the answer.
Many of the attendees have voiced out that the conflict in Gaza is not a war but a one-sided massacre due to the difference in military strength and the densely populated conflict area, which had up to 40 percent of the population being children.
One voiced out that the conflict is not due to religion but the contest for land from Palestine by Isreal.
She held a map that showed the changes in the Israel/Palestine borders over the years and said, ” The main conflict is not about and never about religion. It is about land, just look at the map and you will know. If anybody comes to take things from you, from your home, from your family. What will you do? Only a fool will sit and be quiet…”
One of the speakers, Ms Noor Matsura, had sent an open to the Singapore Prime Minister and President to voice her concerns about the Gaza conflict. Ms Matsura has yet to receive a reply from either the PM or the President.
The event received over S$4,500 in donations, and the organisers has donated the after-expense amount of around $3,800 to Badan Agama Dan Pelajaran Radin Mas (BAPA) for urgent medical relief for Gaza.
Since the recent Israel military offensive in Gaza, which started in early July, more than a thousand individuals have died as a result of the attacks. The Israeli government explained that the attacks were meant to counter the indiscriminate missile attacks by Hamas in Palestine. A Palestinian health official said that the Palestinian death toll has risen to 985 after at least 85 bodies were pulled from the rubble during a 12-hour humanitarian truce. 39 Israelis have also died from the conflict.
Video report of the event