The rally is scheduled from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. and will support the Palestinian people, who the United Nations says are living in an "open-air prison" amidst Israeli apartheid.
This week, thousands of Israeli settlers marched on Palestinian territory, leading to injuries and mass arrests of Palestinians by Israeli military police. This incident is just one of several encroachments by the settlers in recent months, including on the holy site Al-Aqsa.
After seeing the violence unfold, the Palestinian activist group "The Resistance of Tampa Bay" (TRTB) is hoping to raise attention around the situation.
"In recent events of what is happening in Palestine, the Resistance of Tampa Bay and surrounding community members are hosting a protest on April 23rd 2022 at the corner of 56th and Fowler in order to promote awareness and protest the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people, the attack on the holy mosque, Al-Aqsa, and the bombing of the city of the Gaza," TRTB wrote in an Instagram post.
Just about all of the world—aside from the United States and Israel—agree that what is happening in Palestine is apartheid and violates international law, including the activist group Jewish Voice for Peace. But the U.S. has a material interest in supporting the occupation. Last year, President Joe Biden approved a $735 million weapons sale to Israel , with senators and congresspeople offering little to no objection.
In the most recent encroachment in the decades-long occupation of Palestine, thousands of Israeli settlers marched to the evacuated settlement outpost of Homesh, in the occupied West Bank, on April 19. According to Al Jazeera, the Israeli military police had even warned the settlers against proceeding with the event, but they continued anyways. When Palestinian protesters stood up to the settlers, the Israeli army intervened.
Israeli forces fired rubber-coated bullets and tear gas at Palestinians protesting against the march, leading to the injuries. Israeli forces injured at least 40 Palestinian protesters and arrested dozens more.While some in the U.S. and Israel argue the conflict is evenly two-sided, the actual situation on the ground and the death toll numbers speak otherwise.
Millions of Palestinians who are under Israeli control by military force are without adequate access to power, water, or healthcare systems, with a collapsing economy and with no ability to freely travel to the rest of Palestine or the outside world. The disparity in the number of Israelis killed and injured in the conflict versus the number of Palestinians is staggering, with some reporting that Israel killed five times as many Palestinians in 2022 as it did in same period of 2021.
At the protest on Saturday, local Palestinians and concerned allies hope to address these issues to a large crowd.
"We need to show out in numbers and we need the city to hear our demands," TRTB wrote. "We are the resistance and we will show up and show out."