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Thousands of Palestinians commemorate Nakba in annual 'March of Return'

May 2, 2017 9:14 P.M. (Updated: May 3, 2017 10:56 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Thousands of Palestinians participated in the “March of Return” in Israel on Tuesday, which set off from the destroyed Palestinian village of al-Kabri to the western Galilee in commemoration of the Palestinian Nakba, “catastrophe.”

Protesters waved Palestinian flags and repeated slogans calling for the Right of Return, which refers to UN resolution 194 guaranteeing Palestinian refugees displaced in 1948 the right to return to their lands in what is now Israel.
Head of a follow-up committee in Israel Muhammad Barakeh also praised the some 1,600 Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli prisons.

The march, which has been held for 18 consecutive years, is aimed at highlighting the internationally recognized right of Palestinians who remain refugees or internally displaced to return to their homes and villages in Israel.
Each year, the march is launched from a site of a Palestinian village destroyed by Israeli forces in 1948.The March of Return is usually held on Israel’s Independence Day to commemorate the Nakba, referring to the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and villages during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that established the state of Israel.

The official commemoration of the Nakba is held on May 15 and is observed by millions of Palestinians and rights activists around the world.

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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