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Wednesday, 16 May 2018 14:56

Palestinians mark 70th anniversary of Nakba Day amid outrage, grief

Palestinians on Tuesday, 15 May 2018 marked the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day, or "the Day of Catastrophe," to demand their rights of return to homes occupied by Israel in 1948.

The Israeli army has killed 61 Palestinians and wounded 1,771 others since Monday, when the U.S. relocated embassy to the disputed holy city of Jerusalem, fuelling more violent protests among the Palestinians, according to medics in Gaza's Health Ministry.

On Tuesday, a general strike mourning the Palestinians shot dead in eastern Gaza on Monday swept the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where schools, universities, shops and banks all closed down.

In the West Bank, the 70-second Nakba alarm was raised at noon to declare the start of popular activities. Marches and rallies were organized in the streets of several towns amid anger and grief.

Mohamed Ou'lian, the Palestinian coordinator of the Nakba activity, said protests broke out across West Bank, mainly in Bethlehem, Hebron, al-Bireh and Nablus.

He said the US embassy relocation to Jerusalem "is an attempt to strike the Palestinian national programme," calling for the Palestinians to rally for the establishment of an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society in the West Bank said in an official press statement that more than 22 Palestinians were shot and wounded by rubber bullets and dozens others suffered tear gas suffocation on Tuesday.

Sallah al-Khawaja, coordinator for the committees against the settlements, slammed the US for "leading an unjust war against the Palestinian people instead of supporting peace in the Middle East."

The Palestinian consensus government in the West Bank called on the UN to shoulder its historic responsibility toward the Palestinian people and their cause in its weekly cabinet meeting.

The government demanded "the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes and properties in accordance with Resolution 194."

"The energy of the Palestinian people is not exhausted by sacrifice, and its vitality brings us back from time to time under the ashes," it added.

Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said the Palestinian leadership decided to file a legal case against Israel with the International Criminal Court over the settlement activity on the occupied Palestinian territory.

In 1948 957,000 Palestinians, or 66 percent of the Palestinians who lived in historical Palestine, were expelled and displaced.

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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