Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip marked the 75th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba day, or the day of “catastrophe,” on Monday with large-scale rallies and demonstrations.
Nakba Day is observed annually on May 15 by Palestinians to remember the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes after the establishment of Israel in 1948.
In Gaza, dozens of Palestinians took to the streets, marching through the main thoroughfares, hoisting Palestinian flags, and displaying banners emphasizing the right of return.
The demonstration culminated at the headquarters of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process in the western part of the city.
Imad al-Agha, an official from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Movement, addressed the gathering, affirming the Palestinians’ commitment to their right to return to “historic Palestine” and their determination to achieve it.
“Our people await the awakening of global conscience to resolve their legal question, which has become the oldest and largest issue known to the world and the United Nations,” he stated.
The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), a militant group that controls the besieged Palestinian enclave, said in a statement that the Nakba day came “in the wake of a recent round of conflict where our Palestinian people, united with their resistance in Gaza, proved that they are capable of defending their national rights.”
The commemoration of the Nakba day in Gaza follows a ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement in Gaza, bringing an end to a five-day deadly confrontation.
According to Israeli and Palestinian sources, the recent escalation resulted in the death of one Israeli woman and 33 Palestinians, including six prominent PIJ leaders.
In the West Bank city of Ramallah, a large-scale demonstration took place in front of the tomb of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat before proceeding to the city center.
Participants observed a moment of silence for 75 seconds, symbolizing the 75th anniversary of Nakba.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye, who participated in the rally with other officials, said “the Nakba is a crime that extends over 75 years, and our people are still paying with their blood and living flesh the bill of aggression.”
In New York, the United Nations headquarters is set to hold its first-ever commemoration of the Nakba anniversary, with the participation of Palestinian President Abbas, who will deliver a speech during the online event.