A Conversation With The Palestinian Non-Violence Activist Who Sparked Gaza Marches

Ahmad Abu Artema says he is inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.
Ahmad Abu Artema says he is inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Adam Dobby / CNN
Ahmad Abu Artema says he is inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.
Ahmad Abu Artema says he is inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Adam Dobby / CNN

A Conversation With The Palestinian Non-Violence Activist Who Sparked Gaza Marches

The conversation is an extended version of the original broadcast. 

Standing in Gaza, Palestinian activist Ahmed Abu Artema watched a bird fly over the fence separating him from Israeli territory. Then he posted on Facebook. “What would happen,” he wrote, “if thousands of Gazans, most of them refugees, attempted to peacefully cross the fence that separated them from their ancestral lands?” That post inspired the Great March of Return, a months-long campaign of protests by Gazan residents along the Israel-Gaza border in 2018. Protestors demanded that Palestinian refugees and their descendants be allowed to return to land in what is now Israel from which they had been displaced in the events surrounding the state’s establishment in 1948. 
A U.N.-backed independent panel said this Thursday it had “reasonable grounds to believe that during the Great March of Return, Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.” In response, Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz rejected the U.N. report, calling it "hostile, false and incorrect." Abu Artema joins us to reflect on the Great March of Return nearly a year after it began.