(c) Anne Paq/Activestills.org, Bethlehem, 12.05.2011
Thousands of Palestinians walked in Bethlehem. to commemorate the Nakba and demand the right of return for the millions of Palestinian refugees.
Des milliers de Palestiniens ont participé à une marche à Bethléem pour commémorer la Nakba, , et réclamer le droit au retour pour les millions de réfugiés palestiniens.
|Their Independence is our Nakba; Thousands of Palestinians March on Thursday|| |
|12.05.11 - 19:43|
By Munjed Jadou – PNN Editor in Chief- Their Independence is our Nakba. That is the slogan that was chosen for this year protests. In Bethlehem same as West Bank and Gaza Strip main cities; school students, teachers and politicians as well as religious leaders; both Muslims and Christians, marched affirming the right of return to the today’s 4.7 million refugees in and outside Palestine.
“Our massage this years that we will return, we will start to implement laws of right of return, we will march to Israeli checkpoints demanding to go home. We are working day and night to achieve our goal, right of Return to the villages we were expelled from in 1948.” Monther Amria, head of the Nakba Committee in Bethlehem told PNN.
Today’s protests marked the start of daily actions until May 15, were people will gather in Ramallah, central West Bank, and Gaza City demanding the right of return.
Bishop Attallah Hanna from the Orthodox Church reterated Palestinians right to Jerusalem. “We are gathered in the manager square in Bethlehem, as one people, Christians and Muslims to reiterate that we are Palestinians we are Arabs, and we demand our right of return and our right to Jerusalem and that right of return does not decay with time.” Bishop Hanna told PNN.
From his part Legislative Council member, Mohamed al-Laham, said in an interview with PNN that the most important characteristic of today’s activity that its shows that Palestinians still demand right of return, which is guaranteed by international laws, led by the United Nations resolution 194. al-Laham stressed that Israel must understand that its military power will not be able to erase the memory of the Nakba and the anniversary of the tragedy.
"They can kill and destroy but our people will continue to demand their rights, we call upon the international community to achieve justice for the Palestinian people after 63 years of displacement” al-Laham concluded.
In May 15th 1948 Jewish forces who later became Israel’s army destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages and towns; killing hundreds and expelling an estimated of 700,000 Palestinians from their homes. Now 1.5 million Palestinians still live in Israel, they also had representation in the protests:“Our hope and dream is to achieve the Palestinian Arab state with Jerusalem as its capital.” Mohamed Naf’e from the Communist Party in Israel commented.
Earlier this week the Israeli army announced that it well increase deployment of troops in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and borders. This increase was in response to groups on Facebook calling for civil disobedience in the Palestinian territories while in states sharing borders with Israel the organizers asked people to mobilize rallies to the Israeli borders.
Head of PNN’s English Department Ghassan Bannoura contributed to this article.