Palestinians call for refugee return on 'Nakba’ anniversary – newspaper

Near Haifa: Thousands of Palestinians held a flag-waving march in northern Israel on Tuesday to commemorate the flight and forced flight of Palestinians during the 1948 war that created Israel, and to demand the right of refugee return.

Many of the roughly 3,000 people who took part in a march near the city of Haifa called for an end to the war in Gaza, marking the „Nakba” or „catastrophe” as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were expelled. During the 1948 war with the creation of Israel.

Many carried Palestinian flags and wore keffiyeh headscarves, a rare Palestinian demonstration allowed in Israel as tensions escalate in the Gaza Strip.

Many clutched water bottles and some pushed strollers as they marched down a dirt path. A man holds up half a watermelon, which became a Palestinian symbol after Israel banned the flag due to its red, green and black colors. Others called for the liberation of Palestinians from Israeli occupation.

„This is part of our liberation,” said Fida Shehadeh, coordinator of the Women’s Coalition Against Arms and a former member of the Lit municipal council. „It’s not just about ending the occupation, it’s about allowing all refugees the ability to return home.” About 700,000 Palestinians fled or were forced to flee their homes during the 1948 war. Shehadeh said her family was forcibly displaced from the coastal village of Majdal Askalan, with some fleeing to the city of Lit in Israel and others to Gaza. She considered herself an internally displaced person. „Refugees remain refugees” after 76 years, he said.

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Shehadeh said his uncles and aunts in Gaza, whom he said he was last able to see with Israeli approval in 2008, are now displaced again as they try to escape Israeli bombardment. They do not know when they will return to their homes, he said.

Published on May 15, 2024 at dawn

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