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Palestinians March in Israel Calling for the Return of Refugees on ‘Nakba’ Anniversary

May 15, 2024
Young Palestinian women take part in a protest near the illegal Jewish settlement of Beit El, near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. Photo credit: Abbas Momani/AFP

Commemorating the “Nakba,” thousands of Palestinians gathered in Northern Israel on 14 May, and raised the Palestinian flag while wearing the symbol of their Palestinian nationality, the Keffiyeh. They marched near the city of Haifa, demanding the right of return for the refugees who fled the country during the 1948 war.

Thousands of Palestinians during the 1948 war became internally displaced, moving from one city in Palestine to another, and others were externally displaced, having to leave their country altogether. That day is remembered in the name of the “Nakba,” which is Arabic for catastrophe, where more than 700,000 Palestinians lost their homes.

Around 3,000 participated in the Annual March of the Right of Return, holding signs with the names of demolished villages during the Nakba. 

On a rare occasion, Palestinians were allowed to organize a protest in Israel amidst the war in Gaza and called for ending the war in the Gaza Strip as well as the liberation of Palestine from the Israeli occupation.

As Israelis celebrated the proclamation of the Israeli State, the protest passed through Israel with a rally slogan reading, “Your Independence Day is our catastrophe.” 

There are 1.4 million Palestinians living in what now became Israel, and they are the descendants of 160,000 Palestinians who refused to leave during the Nakba. 

“Our memory is our power,” Hamdan, a father who participated in the march with his son, said.

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