Thousands of Palestinians March in Northern Israel To Mark Nakba Day

On Tuesday, thousands of Palestinians gathered in northern Israel, waving flags and marching to mark the Nakba Day, which commemorates the displacement of Palestinians during the 1948 war that coincided with the establishment of Israel. Approximately 3,000 participants convened near Haifa for the annual Return March, demanding not only the right of Palestinian refugees to return but also calling for an end to the ongoing war in Gaza.

During the march, many participants displayed Palestinian flags and wore traditional keffiyeh headscarves. The event is one of the few Palestinian demonstrations permitted in Israel, especially significant as hostilities continue in Gaza. Demonstrators, including families with children, walked along a designated path, with some displaying symbols like a halved watermelon, representing Palestinian identity after restrictions on their flag.

Fidaa Shehadeh, a prominent activist and former municipal council member in Lydd, emphasized the march’s importance for Palestinian liberation and the right of return for refugees. She shared personal stories of displacement from the village of Majdal Asqalan and highlighted the ongoing plight of her relatives in Gaza, displaced again by the recent Israeli military actions.

The Nakba Day march also served as a reminder of the historical and ongoing struggles of Palestinians, with many attendees being descendants of those displaced in 1948. This year, participants visited the remains of a village once inhabited by Palestinians, now depopulated and part of historical memory.

The Israeli stance remains firm against the right of return for Palestinian refugees, citing it as a demographic threat to the Jewish state’s character. Meanwhile, Palestinian citizens of Israel report increased hostility amid the current Gaza conflict, facing various forms of discrimination and repression.

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