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Hundreds of Palestinians march to destroyed village in Haifa for 68th Nakba anniversary

May 14, 2016 3:49 P.M. (Updated: May 15, 2016 5:15 P.M.)
HAIFA (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Palestinians commemorated the anniversary of the Nakba -- or “catastrophe” -- on Saturday with a “March of Return” in Haifa to the site of a Palestinian village destroyed by Israeli forces in 1948.

The march was held in order to highlight the internationally-recognized right of Palestinians who remain refugees or internally displaced to return to their homes and villages in Israel, a right which has been enshrined in international law following the adoption of United Nations Resolution 194.

This year, a crowd of Knesset members, activists, and local Palestinians made their way to the destroyed village of al-Tira in Haifa, where dozens of Palestinians were massacred by Israeli forces during the mass expulsion of several hundred Palestinians from the village 68 years ago. The village was almost completely destroyed with the exception of a few buildings which today remain either vacant or occupied by Jewish Israelis.

Member of Knesset and head of the Arab Joint List, Ayman Odeh, addressed the crowd during the march: “The large number of participants [in the march] confirms that the Nakba is a story of the past that also lives on as a story of the future, until a Palestinian state is established and we have achieved the rights of Palestinian refugees.”

Some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their lands in 1948 and were scattered across refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Today, there are over five million Palestinian refugees who remain displaced from their original homes and villages following the mass expulsion that occurred almost 70 years ago.

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