Thousands of Arab-Israelis took part in an event marking "the catastrophe of the State of Israel's establishment" on Tuesday as part of "Nakba Day" events. Earlier on Tuesday, tens of thousands of Palestinians marked "Nakba Day" in various violent protests across the West Bank.
Palestinians hurled atones at security forces and Jewish worshippers in Qalandiya, Rachel's Tomb, near the Cave of Patriarchs, Beit Ummar, the al-Fawwar refugee camp and the Halhul bridge.
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During a protest at the Beitunia checkpoint, an IDF soldier and Border Guard officer were injured by stones hurled at them. As part of the West Bank events, a 64-second siren sounded to mark the "catastrophe."
Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said, "Our message to the refugees is that we will not yield the right of return."
Arabs near Umm al-Fahm (Photo: George Ginsburg)
An event held in the Aljoun area near Umm al-Fahm was attended by Arab Knesset members, the leader of the Islamic Movement's Northern Branch, Raed Salah and the head of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, Mohammed Zidan. Dozens of tents were erected at the site in honor of the security prisoners held in Israel.
"I feel an atmosphere of victory," MK Jamal Zahalka said referring to the end of the hunger strike. "They won a battle for their rights and we succeeded in introducing the Nakba in the public discourse," he added. "We won't forgive and won't forget," he remarked.
Protest near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
MK Ahmad Tibi said, "Empathy towards another people's suffering is a sublime human value on the way to reconciliation. The collective memory of a people who were ethnically cleansed in 1948 will not be quashed by erasing 530 villages."
MK Tala El-Sana said that "the denial of the Nakba is as much as a crime than the Nakba itself. Israel has a duty to recognize the Nakba."
Young protester in Umm al-Fahm area (Photo: George Ginsburg)
He added that as long as Israel does not recognize the issues of refugees, displaced persons and occupation the Palestinians will continue their struggle. "Any attempt to deny the Nakba will advance the next flare-up while recognition will promote reconciliation," he said.
Burning Israeli flags in Tehran (Photo: AP)
"As far as the Palestinians are concerned, the Nakba is equivalent to the Destruction of the First and Second Temples. It's a traumatic event that transformed the Palestinian people from a people living in their homeland to refugees longing for the right to return to their homeland."
'Nakba Day' in Iran (Photo: AP)
Meanwhile, some 200 people took part in a protest at the Old City's Damascus Gate in Jerusalem and waved Palestinian flags to mark "Nakba Day". There were no confrontations at the scene.
"Nakba Day" was also marked in Tehran as protesters carrying Palestinian flags rallied in the capital and burned and stepped on 64 Israeli flags.
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