Palestinians mark ´Nakba Day´ (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Elior Levy Latest Update: 05.15.12, 14:40)
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Palestinians, supporters in Arab countries to mark ´catastrophe´ of
Israel´s inception with rallies, marches. PA declares general strike;
IDF on high alert
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as pro-
Palestinian supporters in other Arab nations, will mark "Nakba Day"
Tuesday, marking the "catastrophe" of the inception of the State of
The Palestinian Authority has declared a general strike, as did the
Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, which declared a strike in Israel´s
Mass rallies and marches are planned across the Palestinian Authority
and in Arab cities in Israel.
The IDF has declared high alert across all borders, and has bolstered
its deployment in West Bank cities and along the Gaza border, ahead
of possible clashes.
Dozens of Palestinians clashed with IDF soldiers at the Qalandiya
checkpoint in the West Bank. The rioters stoned the troops, who
employed crowd-control measures in return. No injuries were reported.
Dozens of Palestinians rioted and torched tires at a checkpoint near
the Cave of the Patriarch, as well. IDF troops used crowd-control
measures there as well.
The PA held its main rally in the Yasser Arafat Square in Ramallah,
where thousands of Palestinians gathered at noon.
The rally will be preceded by a march starting at the former PA
chairman´s tomb, near the Mukataa. At 12pm, a 64-second siren will
sound across Ramallah to mark the beginning of the official ceremony.
A similar march will be held in the Gaza Strip, with members of all
Palestinian factions in attendance. The procession will commence at
the center of Gaza City and continue towards the local UN
In order to avoid clashes, the factions agreed in advance that only
the official Palestinian flag will be waived during the march – and
none of the individual factions´ flags.
Ahead of "Nakba Day," the PLO´s research center released its annual
census of Palestinians worldwide. The center found that in 2011,
Palestinians worldwide numbered 11.2 million, with 4.2 million living
in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and 1.37 million living within the
Some five million Palestinians live across the Arab world and 630,000
live in various European countries and the United States.
Nevertheless, over 50% of Palestinians live outside the West Bank,
Gaza and Israel.
High Arab Monitoring Committee Chairman Mohammad Zeidan urged the
Arab public to avoid clashes with Israeli security forces.
"I hope today will be uneventful. I ask the Arab people to respect
the strike, the Nakba and the security prisoners. I also urge the
(Israeli) police to stay away from the rallies. The situation is
sensitive and we don´t want to see any clashes."
In Jordan, the Muslim Brotherhood is also planning a Nakba Day march.
A similar event is planned in Cairo´s Tahrir Square. Roi Kais and
Hassan Shaalan contributed to this report (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth
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