The Progressive Student Labor Front (PSLF) organized a mass rally to salute outstanding students in public high schools in an event called “Planting and Building,” in honor of the martyrs Ghassan Kanafani and Basil al-Araj.
The event was attended by large numbers of students, teachers and professors, comrades of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, cadres of the Progressive Student Labor Front in addition to representatives of the Palestinian factions and civil society organizations.
Nearly 400 students were honored at the event as Palestinian national songs played. Comrade Sawar al-Zaanin opened the event with a salute to Palestinian martyrs and prisoners.
The main speech of the event was delivered by Comrade Jamil Mizher, member of the Political Bureau of the Front and leader of its branch in Gaza. Comrade Mizher saluted the martyrs of the Palestinian revolution, especially the martyrs of Jerusalem who have fallen in the past weeks in the struggle to defend the Palestinian people, their holy sites, their rights and dignity.
Mizher saluted the role of Palestinian youth as a burning candle amid the darkness of siege, occupation, oppression and the difficult economic and social conditions in Gaza. He demanded that the Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah end its attacks on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.
He emphasized that the next session of the Palestinian National Council must be of renewed membership in accordance with democratic elections on the basis of proportional representation or consensus where this is not possible, and must take place outside the auspices of the occupation. He emphasized that the Front will continue to confront the state of monopoly in the PLO and any and all attempts by the Palestinian leadership to undermine the Palestinian national consensus, demanding that this official leadership end its reliance on the US administration.
Mizher emphasized the importance of a unified national leadership for the intifada against the occupation, its soldiers and settlers. He urged the importance of building on the popular achievements in Jerusalem by escalating the struggle throughout the occupied homeland.
He concluded by urging all officials in education, academia and government to pay close attention to the youth and students and the impact of the political and social conditions upon them. He urged the implementation of free higher education as a right necessary for students.
Dr. Abdel-Jalil Sarsour, president of the University of Gaza, praised the role of the PFLP in serving all sectors of Palestinian society, especially the students.
Comrade Mahmoud Shatat, the secretary of the PSLF in the Gaza Strip, emphasized that Palestinian universities must take into account the difficult economic circumstances of students and the barriers that they pose to education, calling for free education for all at all levels. He also urged full proportional representation in elections for student councils in all Palestinian universities.
Outstanding student Sawaar al-Jadba delivered a speech on behalf of the awarded students, praising the role of the Front and the PSLF in consistently supporting the role of students, especially university students. She expressed the hope for a better future beyond the current economic, political and social conditions.
The event included a number of folkloric dance and song performances, as well as the presentation of a painting by outstanding student Suleiman Shahin of the martyr Basil al-Araj.