Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Palestinians mark Nakba Day with rallies across the West Bank and Gaza

By Zann H. - May 16, 2017
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Bethlehem] [Ramallah] [Nakba]

Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza took to the streets on May 15 to commemorate Al Nakba, or 'catastrophe', as Palestinians describe their forced exile and expulsion from their homes in 1948. It has been commemorated for 69 years since the state of Israel was created in 1948.

In Ramallah, the event started in Al Muqata, the seat of the Palestinian government, where about 500 participants and visitors gathered at 11 am. School children could be seen playing in a band while the others waved Palestinian flags or held a key symbolising their right of return.

The entire group marched all the way to Al Manara and eventually reached Yasser Arafat square to listen to speeches concerning the history of the Nakba as well as the ongoing prisoners’ hunger strike.

This year’s Al Nakba coincided with the 29th day hunger strike for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Alexandra, 66, whose son has been in prison for 6 years is one of those who is currently on hunger strike for 29 days. She laments that, “I have no news of my son, about his condition. The Israelis do not allow us to communicate. I am worried everyday.”

Amongst those who took part, Samira, 9, who was wearing a T-shirt of Marwan Barghouti with a keffiyeh wrapped around her shoulders, bore a huge wooden key. A resident of Jalazone Refugee Camp, Samira says that “This key represents our 'right of return’.”

Bashar, 59, who used to teach at the Hebron University says “I came here today, just like every year for the memories of the Al Nakba and to support the prisoners on hunger strike.”

Bashar also expressed his disappointment with the Palestinian leadership, whom he believes is not doing enough to support the prisoners on hunger strike.

As the event drew to a close, a group of about 50, made up mostly of young men and teenagers, began to their march to the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El. According to Maan news agency, at least seven Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces there.


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