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Nakba Day rally
Photo: Muhammad Shinawi
Arab leaders choose War of Independence memorial site for Nakba Day rally
In a move provoking anger among locals and relatives of Israel’s fallen soldiers, Arab organizers choose a war memorial site marking the deaths of 70 Jewish soldiers to hold this year's Nakba Day rally.
Arab-Israeli leadership has announced its intention to hold the main Nakba Day rally at a memorial for 70 fallen Jewish soldiers who took part in the battles for Yehiam during the 1948 War of Independence.

 

 

The "National Committee for the Protection of the Rights of the Displaced,"(NCPRD) which organizes Nakba Day ceremonies, expect 25,000 people to attend. In addition to the rally, participants will march past Arab villages abandoned during the war.

 

Nakba Day commemorations 2016
Nakba Day commemorations 2016
 

 

Family members of the fallen and citizens of the western Galilee reacted to the news with anger and astonishment, as Nakba Day ceremonies are usually held in Arab villages or cities.

 

Head of the Mateh Asher Regional Council, Yoram Yisraeli, vehemently opposed the event, saying, "It will not happen. On Independence Day, Jews will celebrate Independence Day. I will not give my hand to the rally. Let the organizers pick a suitable place to mark the Nakba."

 

For the time being, police have not approved the rally for security concerns.

 

Independence Day 2016 celebrations in Israel (Photo: AFP) (Photo: AFP)
Independence Day 2016 celebrations in Israel (Photo: AFP)

 

According to police, "Security for an event with 25,000 people requires special preparations, which are not available at this time. We are sorry that organizers chose the day Independence Day begins, during which there are hundreds of events across the country that the Israel Police invest all their resources in securing."

 

Head of the NCPRD, Wakim Wakim, said that if the rally is not approved, he will turn to the High Court. "Maybe this is a political decision," said Wakim.

 

(Translated and edited by Fred Goldberg)

 

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