Palestinians celebrate 1948 Nakba in tense atmosphere

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Yesterday, the Palestinians marked the 74th anniversary of the Nakba, which coincides with tensions and escalations with the Israelis that escalated after the Israeli police attacked the funeral attendees of journalist Shirin Abu Akle, who was killed while covering an Israeli army operation in the occupied West Bank. Thousands of Palestinians gathered in the center of Ramallah in the West Bank with Palestinian flags, and there was a 74 second silence. Participants raised black flags and drew another “key of return”, which symbolizes the keys to the houses that their owners carried with them when they left in 1948, while sirens sounded throughout the city.

The Palestinian cabinet has called for the Nakba’s memory to be honored with a central “march of return” in the city of Ramallah, where the Palestinian leadership is based.

On May 15 of each year, Palestinians commemorate the 1948 Nakba, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced to leave their homes during the war that preceded the establishment of the State of Israel. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday that the number of Palestinians has more than tenfold increased since the Nakba. According to the agency, the number of Palestinians in 1948 reached two million, and today it has increased to about 14 million, distributed around the world.

The agency added in a statement that about half of Palestinians today live in “historic Palestine,” explaining that 1.7 million Palestinians live in Israel, while the population of the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has reached 3.2 million.

He said there were 477,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, of whom 308,000 live behind a wall that Israel has built for security reasons.

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