Over 50,000 people filled the streets of Ramallah today, marking the 60th anniversary of the Nakba with the largest protest since the start of the second Intifada. Other actions were held across Palestine and in Palestinian communities in Jordan and Lebanon.
In Ramallah, crowds marched from Muqata to the central Manara square, accompanied by marching bands, bringing traffic to a standstill. At the central rally speakers called for the return of the Palestinian refugees and an end to the ongoing attacks on Palestinian communities. Black balloons were released, part of mass release of balloons across Palestine, 21,915 in total â 1 for each day of the ongoing Nakba.
The demonstration was organised by the National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba, who released a statement calling for national unity to move forward with the campaign against the occupation:
The reality [is] that the Nakba did not end in 1948, but has continued every day since then as Israel works to expand its control of our land and expel our people from it. As such we call for the adoption of the phrase âOngoing Nakbaâ
[The need for] strengthening the popular campaigns in Palestine, the Arab world and internationally, particularly the campaign for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, as well as the campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott, and the campaign against he Israeli Apartheid Wall;
To be very clear that any political arrangement, including the âtwo-state solutionâ, that does not include the full implementation of the rights of the refugees, is in no way a solution and no more than an insulting and deceptive way of conflict-management.
Other mass demonstrations took place across Palestine, in the West Bank, Gaza and inside the 1948 lines. Palestinians in the refugee camps of Lebanon and in Amman also mobilized to call for their rights.
The Palestinian Nakba of 1948 saw more than 750,000 people expelled from 531 localities by Zionist forces. Hundreds of these villages were razed while Palestinian land and properties were seized. Sixty years on, the Palestinian call for their return echoes louder than ever.