Palestinians Mark 'Nakba' Day amid Violence
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Two Palestinians, Mohammad Abu Al Thaher and Nadim Nuwara, were shot dead by Israeli soldiers on Thursday during Nakba Day commemorations near the Israeli military base of Ofer just outside Ramallah.
Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip were observing what they refer to as the 'Nakba' or 'catastrophe' that befell Palestinians in the 1948 war.
At noon, an eerie silence fell on the West Bank city of Ramallah as sirens wailed for 66 seconds. Following a march from the late President Yasser Arafat's mausoleum, hundreds stood at the city center, Al Jazeera reported.
Alongside a bagpipe-playing marching band and local scout groups, Palestinians, young and old, carried maps of historic Palestine and large metal keys—symbols of their homes lost decades ago, and the right to return to them. Actors, mounted atop a stationary truck, re-enacted scenes depicting the Nakba.
Mohammad Eliyan, who heads the Committee to Commemorate the Nakba, said the Palestinians' right of return to their ancestral homes was key to a just solution to the conflict. “This May 15, as we observe this sad occasion, we say that we are stronger and more determined to stand up to the Israeli government's policies that continue to dispossess Palestinians,” he said.
Similar marches took place in the West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Nablus, Qalqilia, Jenin and Tubas to mark the day.
At least five Palestinians, two of whom were later declared dead, were injured by Israeli soldiers in the environs of Ramallah and the southern city of Hebron, as protesters were met with live fire, teargas and rubber-coated steel bullets.