Palestinians, on Monday, commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Nakba or ‘Catastrophe’, which is marked on 15 May to remember the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and lands in 1948 after the founding of Israel, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Thousands of flag-waving Palestinians participated in a mass rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah to mark the anniversary. Some of the participants held keys as a symbol of their hope to return to their homes in ancestral Palestine.
“Israel was founded on the ruins of 530 Palestinian villages, and its gangs committed more than 50 massacres that left 15,000 civilians dead,” Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, told a press conference outside the mausoleum of late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat.
Wasel Abo Youssef, a member of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said 100,000 Palestinians have been killed and one million detained since the Nakba.
“Today, the Palestinian people affirm that they will not forget their sacred right to return,” he added.
The Palestine-Israel conflict dates back to 1917 when the British government, in the now-famous Balfour Declaration, called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the Nakba resulted in the displacement of nearly 800,000 Palestinians out of 1.4 million Palestinians who lived in historical Palestine in 1948 in 1,300 villages and towns.