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Palestinians and their supporters across Latin America have commemorated the Nakba anniversary

Protesters gathering at Rua Rui Barbosa in the Bela Vista neighborhood and marching to the Pacaembu Stadium with flags and banners, protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 16 May 2021. [Cristina Szucinski - Anadolu Agency]
Protesters gathering at Rua Rui Barbosa in the Bela Vista neighborhood and marching to the Pacaembu Stadium with flags and banners, protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 16 May 2021. [Cristina Szucinski - Anadolu Agency]

Many events have been held across Latin America on the 74th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, both official and popular. The Nakba — Catastrophe — was the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the creation of the Zionist state of Israel by terror gangs helped by the British Mandate authorities. More than 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and villages at gunpoint. At least 500 Palestinian towns and villages have since been razed to the ground by Israel in the effort to Judaise historic Palestine.

With more than 15,000 Palestinians killed during the Nakba, the refugees fled to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and neighbouring Arab countries. They and their descendants have never been allowed to fulfil their legitimate right to return to their land.

Brazil

  • An event organised by Palestinian and Arab institutions in Brazil, along with civil society groups supportive of the Palestinian cause, was held in Palestine Square, São Paulo, to commemorate the Nakba and condemn the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. by an Israeli sniper last week.

Speakers and participants recalled the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to return to their land and establish an independent state. They condemned attacks on all Palestinian journalists and called on the international community to fulfil its duty and prosecute those responsible for the ongoing Israeli crimes against the people of occupied Palestine.

  • The Friends of Palestine group and the League of Parliamentarians for Al-Quds organised an online event that brought together many federal representatives, activists and defenders of the rights of the Palestinian people from several countries in Latin America. Participants discussed the reality of the Palestinian cause more than seven decades after the Nakba. They were reminded to continue to resist the Zionist project and affirm the support of the Latin American countries for the Palestinian people and their rights.
  • In their speeches, many Brazilian politicians were keen to emphasise the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state. They also condemned in the strongest terms the brutal assassination of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while she was doing her job covering Israel's military incursion in the city of Jenin.
  • In the city of Recife, the capital of Pernambuco State in north-east Brazil, one of its public squares has been named after Palestine. City Councillor Ivan Moraes explained that the residents of Recife who are of Palestinian descent are important to the city historically and culturally. "The city has more than five thousand Palestinian residents," he pointed out. "As such, it is the largest Palestinian community in Brazil."
  • The Brazilian Press Federation condemned in the strongest terms the assassination of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and demanded an investigation into the killing and the punishment of the perpetrator(s) of the crime. The federation also stressed the importance of press freedom and the need for Palestinian journalists to be protected from regular attacks by the occupation state.
  • The Brazilian cartoonist of Lebanese origin, Carlos Latuff, drew many cartoons denouncing the assassination of journalist Sherine Abu Akleh and reminding everyone about the Nakba in Palestine and the tragedy of its people.

Argentina

  • Several official and popular events were held in Argentina to commemorate the seventy-fourth anniversary of the Nakba. Many members of the Argentine parliament, led by Julia Perie, declared that they will continue the struggle for Palestinian rights. They also strongly condemned the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and demanded protection for Palestinian journalists who are subjected to systematic attacks by the occupation state.

Chile

  • In Chile, the Palestinian community — which is the largest Palestinian diaspora community in the world — held many events to commemorate Nakba Day and denounce the assassination of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Many historical monuments and towers had the Palestinian flag and pictures of Sherine Abu Akleh projected onto them.

Peru, Bolivia, Mexico and Venezuela also witnessed many popular and official events to commemorate the Nakba and to denounce the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh. Officials in these countries spoke about the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of an independent state of Palestine.

Peru's Minister of Foreign Affairs demanded an effective and independent investigation into Abu Akleh's killing.

Venezuela's Minister of Foreign Relations described the Nakba as a "despicable act that threatened life and human rights."

Read: Latin America condemns assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh 

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