Israeli Arabs mark ´Nakba´ in march (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 04/26/12)
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Thousands of Israeli Arabs Thursday marked the "Nakba"
or "catastrophe" that accompanied Israel´s foundation in a march to
where two Arab villages existed before 1948, an AFP journalist said.
Bearing Palestinian flags and banners with names of displaced
villages, the procession left Abu Snan in northern Israel for the
nearby Kibbutz of Beit Haemek, which was established on the grounds
of Kweikat and Omqa villages.
The marchers chanted slogans against peace negotiations with Israel
and in favour of Hamas-Fatah Palestinian reconciliation, the
They also bore signs saying "no peace without the right of return,"
which is claimed by Palestinian communities in the diaspora but
rejected by Israel.
It was the fifteenth such march, which each year commemorates
different displaced communities.
Ali Ali, who currently lives in the town of Deir Hanna in the
Galilee, told AFP he was from a family that was displaced near
Tiberias. "I´m here to show my solidarity with all of those displaced
from their homes," he said.
To Ahlam Taha, a woman in her twenties from Kafr Kana, the march
was "to commemorate a very important memory, which is the day we left
everything. We are still suffering the repercussions of this. Their
independence is our Nakba.
"With God´s help the day will come when all the displaced return to
their land and have real independence for Palestine, not Israel."
Israel was on Thursday celebrating the 64th anniversary of its
foundation, in accordance with the Hebrew calendar.
Palestinians traditionally mark on May 15 the "Nakba" when hundreds
of thousands of them fled or were expelled from their homes in the
war that accompanied Israel´s declaration of independence.
More than 760,000 Palestinians -- estimated today to number 4.7
million with their descendants -- fled or were driven out of their
homes in the Arab-Israeli war which followed Israel´s establishment.
Around 160,000 Palestinians stayed behind and are now known as Arab
Israelis. They number about 1.3 million people, or some 20 percent of
the population. (Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 04/26/12)
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