Palestinians rally to mark 65 years since Catastrophe

Palestinians rally to mark 65 years since Catastrophe

PanARMENIAN.Net - Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, May 15, during demonstrations to mark 65 years since what they call the Nakba (Catastrophe) when Israel's creation caused many to lose their homes and become refugees, Reuters reported.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is to return to the region on Tuesday in another bid to revive peace talks frozen since 2010.

But a resolution remains elusive and many Palestinians cling to a desire for refugees and descendants to return to ancestral lands now in Israel - an idea Israel rejects, saying it would spell the end of the Jewish state.

Protesters skirmished with Israeli forces outside a refugee camp near the West Bank city of Hebron and at a prison near Ramallah, leaving several Palestinians injured.

Thousands also rallied in the main square of Ramallah, the Palestinians' de facto capital while Jerusalem remains under Israeli control, holding up placards with the names of villages depopulated in 1948 and old keys, symbols of lost homes.

According to official Palestinian figures published this week, 5.3 million Palestinians - almost half of their total number in the world - are registered by the United Nations as refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza.

Many of them live in the concrete warrens of overcrowded camps, with poor access to employment and basic services.

The Palestinian Authority seeks an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital - all lands captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. Israel deems Jerusalem its "eternal and indivisible" capital.

Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules Gaza, refuses to recognize Israel or renounce violence against it, saying a refugee return can be attained only through force.

"Any initiatives and solutions that do not secure the return of our full rights will be rejected by our people. Our holy land is not for sale or bargain," the group said in a statement. "Resistance by all its forms, and foremost armed resistance, will remain our way to extract our rights."

 Top stories
The earthquake caused a temporary blackout, damaged many buildings and closed a number of rural roads.
The Prosecutor’s Office has released surveillance footage and said that one of the detainees in the case, Iveri Melashvili.
Destinations welcomed 900m fewer international tourists in January–October when compared with the same period of 2019.
Austrian authorities said at least one gunman remained on the run at 1am Vienna time on November 3.
Partner news
---