As hundreds of non-violence advocates gather in the village of Bil’in for a conference and tree-planting to plan the next stage of non-violent resistance to the Wall’s construction, peace activists in Gaza and throughout the world renewed their commitment to non-violence on Feb. 20th, the international day of non-violent resistance.In a statement from the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, the Palestinian peace organization said:
"We are emphasizing our convictions that the individual is the product of the environment as a violent and oppressive environment is damaging to self and community. We are united in this day to raise our voices together with all those who believe in nonviolence to enhance the values of human sacredness and dignity. Non-violence is not only a human value, but also a source of power to conquer evil and hatred within and outside.
"Nonviolence has proven throughout history that it can achieve tremendously for the struggle against occupation and justice. The first Palestinian Intifada is a good example in changing stereotypical images of Palestinian people from terrorists to victims of occupation and suppression. It opened the eyes of the world that Palestinians are struggling for their basic human rights and freedom for their country in a peaceful and human manner. The images of children confronting Israeli soldiers and being killed won the hearts of the international community and justice loving world."
As non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation continues in Bil’in, Budrus, Biddu, Jayyous and many other towns and villages, the proponents of peace and non-violence renewed on Monday their commitment to maintaining non-violence, even in the face of massive military might lined up against them.