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Palestinians Mark 71st Anniversary of Nakba

Palestinians Mark 71st Anniversary of Nakba

Thursday, 16 May, 2019 - 11:00
A Palestinian man holds a symbolic key during a rally marking the Nakba anniversary in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (File photo: Reuters)
Ramallah- Kifah Zboun
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip commemorated the 71st anniversary of the Nakba by asserting the right of return will not become obsolete in a new challenge to the United States, which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accuses of revoking the issue.

Thousands of Palestinians marched in the West Bank and in Gaza Strip carrying Palestinian flags and keys of their homes in the Palestinian towns and villages they had deserted in 1948. They chanted the names of these cities and villages and declared their commitment to return to their land.

At 12 pm, Palestinians stood in silence as sirens sounded for 71 seconds symbolizing the 71 years of the Palestinian catastrophe.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Wednesday that any political solution proposed by the US administration or any party that denies Palestinian rights would be "unacceptable" to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the leadership, parties, and Palestinian people.

"No matter what Israel has done, it will not change the facts of history, which say that this land is our land and whatever they have carried out of Judaizing Jerusalem and annexing lands will not deter us from demanding our rights," he said.

Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza took part in marches towards the border with Israel, which quickly turned into confrontations, resulting in the injury of 62 Palestinians, two of them suffering from serious injuries.

Israeli soldiers positioned behind hills along the separation fence fired tear gas at demonstrators.

Hamas official Ismail Radwan said that the participation of thousands of Palestinians in the Nakba commemoration confirms that the right of return is sacred.

Speaking at the protest, Radwan asserted that children and all generations will not forget the right to return to all of Palestine, stressing that Jerusalem will remain the eternal capital of Palestine, “and we reject repatriation and alternative homeland.”

Higher National Commission of Great March of Return and Breaking of Siege concluded the activities Return Marches activities by calling for participation in a protest on Friday near Gaza border.

Head of the Commission Khaled al-Batsh called for major participation in the upcoming “Great March of Return” events.

Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) reviewed the geographical, demographical, and economic situation of the Palestinian People on the eve of the 71st Commemoration of the Palestinian Nakba, indicating that the Nakba resulted in the displacement of 800 thousand out of the 1.4 million Palestinians who lived in historical Palestine in 1948 in 1,300 villages and towns.

Despite the displacement of more than 200 thousand Palestinians, majority of them to Jordan, after the 1967 war, the Palestinian world population totaled 13.1 million by the end of 2018, which means that the number of Palestinians in the world has doubled more than 9 times since the events of the Nakba of 1948.

“Nakba in Palestine describes a process of ethnic cleansing in which an unarmed nation was destroyed and its population displaced systematically by gangs and individuals from all over the world.”

Unlike previous years, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not address the Palestinians on this day.

Abbas received in his office in Ramallah Oman’s ambassador to Jordan Khamis bin Mohammed al-Faris, who handed the President a written letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi without mentioning the contents of the letter.

Oman had brokered the peace process earlier, but its efforts have reached a dead end.

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