Sana’a (GPA) – Despite an intense U.S.-backed operation along the west coast, thousands of Yemenis filled the streets across the country to demonstrate in support of Palestine, al-Quds.
International Quds Day is an annual event on the last Friday (Islam’s holy day) in Ramadan (Islam’s holy month) to express solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle against the Zionist occupation.
This year’s occasion remains more important than ever considering Washington’s recent — and extremely hostile — decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Palestinian people, as well as many Arabs, Muslims, and activists around the world, consider al-Quds the eternal capital of Palestine.
Yemenis, always devoted to the Palestinian cause, never fail to fill the streets around the country on International Quds Day. Despite intense airstrikes, starvation, disease, and U.S.-supported Saudi-backed mercenaries, the past four years’ demonstrations were no different.
This year’s demonstration took place at a crucial time. U.S.-supported Saudi mercenaries and Emirati forces are currently conducting an intense invasion along Yemen’s west coast to retake Hodeidah port. Hodeidah is Yemen’s last remaining lifeline. Millions of Yemenis rely on this port for aid shipments including food, medical supplies, and basic goods.
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According to the UN, Roughly 22 million Yemenis currently face starvation, direct famine, or humanitarian crisis due to the U.S.-enforced Saudi-imposed blockade which restricts all land, sea, and aerial imports, exports, and the flow of movement. The Saudi-led coalition controls all remaining ports, such as Aden, where they bottleneck the flow of aid into resistance-held territory.
Yemen and al-Quds, Palestine
Indeed, Yemen’s struggle against the Wahhabi Saudis holds many similar hallmark characteristics of the Palestinian struggle against the Zionist Israelis. Ironically enough, both the Saudi and Israeli regimes would likely not exist without military and diplomatic support from the United States and Western allies.
While the blockade of Yemen enters its fourth year, Gaza has faced an intense blockade for over a decade. Like Yemen, this blockade has crippled Gaza’s economy. The unemployment rate in Gaza reached a staggering 60 percent this year. In Yemen, youth unemployment skyrocketed past 35 percent in 2016 (shortly after imposing the blockade) and remains over 30 percent to this day.
Like Yemen, access to clean water, education, and medical care in the Palestinian territories is not guaranteed. Like Yemen, Palestinian territories face military occupation, checkpoints, and hyper-restricted flow of movement at the hands of their oppressors. The Sana’a airport in Yemen has not operated for years and Saudi Arabia has bombed its infrastructure over 160 times. Yemenis have virtually no route to leave the country.
Both Palestine and Yemen face war, occupation, and blockade with nearly the entire world supporting their oppressors.
Leader of the 2014 Yemeni revolution, Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi, spoke prior to the marches. He highlighted American, Saudi, and Emirati support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians as well as the Bahraini regime.
“The aggression on Yemen, the oppression of the Bahraini people, and what’s happening in Syria, Iraq, and other nations is a calculated product of American and Israeli influence.”
Al-Houthi pointed out how the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia attempt to create sectarian conflicts throughout the region to carry out their imperialist agenda.
Learn about U.S. Involvement in Yemen
Photos courtesy Ansarullah Media Center
Yemenis Fill the Streets in Solidarity with al-Quds, Palestine
Also published on Medium.