Below are key calendar dates in May related to Canada and the Middle East, especially Palestinian activism and resistance. Please email [email protected] if you would like to suggest other anniversaries or dates for our "On this day" commemorations.
May 10, 2021: Israel launches 11-day assault on Gaza
On this day in 2021, Israel launched an eleven-day assault on Gaza, which it called “Operation Guardian of the Walls.” Israeli airstrikes and other military actions killed at least 240 Palestinians, 63% of them civilians, including at least 59 children. Almost 2,000 Palestinians were injured, including 630 children. This is in addition to Palestinians killed and wounded during this same period in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Israel. Rocket fire from Palestinian militants also killed at least 12 Israeli civilians, Including 2 children... (Read more)
May 14, 2018: Palestinian Canadian doctor Tarek Loubani shot by Israel while providing medical aid in Gaza
On this day in 2018, Tarek Loubani, a Palestinian Canadian doctor from London, Ontario was shot in the leg while providing medical aid to protesters in Gaza during the Great March of Return. While standing with his medical team, he suddenly found himself fall to the ground, injured. A paramedic by the name of Musa Abuhassanin rushed to aid him, who was later shot and killed. A total of 19 medical personnel were shot that day... (Read more)
May 15, 1948: Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day, marking the destruction of Palestine when Israel was created
On this day, Palestinians commemorate the Nakba – or “catastrophe” – referring to the ethnic cleansing and destruction of Palestinian society that took place during the creation of Israel, between 1947-1950. For Palestinians, the Nakba doesn’t represent one historical event, but it represents an ongoing process that they endure on daily basis... (Read more)
May 18, 2021: In show of unity, Palestinians launch General Strike across historic Palestine
On this day in 2021, Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line launched an unprecedented General Strike, demonstrating the unity of the Palestinian people under Israeli apartheid. This was part of the “Unity Intifada,” or the mass mobilizations of Palestinians in May 2021 which protested Israel’s attack on Gaza, the forcible displacements and ethnic cleansing of residents in Sheikh Jarrah, and the violent raids on Al Aqsa Mosque. The General Strike and Unity Intifada brought together Palestinians across the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Israel (’48 Palestine) – between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Palestinians also called for the international community’s help, resulting in tens of thousands of people worldwide protesting Israel’s brutal aggression... (Read more)
May 28, 1964: The Palestinian Liberation Organization is created
On this day in 1964, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded by the Arab League as the main representative body for the Palestinian people. Following the 1967 war, the PLO would become a prominent player in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine. While for several decades the PLO was engaged in guerrilla warfare against Israel, in the 1990s this strategy was replaced with the diplomacy and state-building approach of the Oslo Accords and the creation of the Palestinian Authority.