Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nakba in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon

Dear friends,
as you will be aware, last week marked the 63rd anniversary of the Palestinian Nakab (the catastrophe) which marks the destruction of Palestinian society, when more than 500 Palestinian villages were forcibly depopulated by Zionist forces and more than 1 million Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homes. 750,000 of the 1 million ethnically cleansed became refugees in neighbouring Arab countries and 150,000 became internally displaced refugees inside the newly formed Israeli state and were subject to military rule for 17 years from 1949 until 1966 (Palestinian Arabs in Israel continue to face discrimination and inequality today). The Palestinian refugee community is the biggest and oldest in the world, with 7 million Palestinians living in exile.

Throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, demonstrations were held to commemorate the Nakba. Palestinians from around the world also staged demonstrations, including refugee communities in Syria Lebanon. Palestinian refugees from Syria crossed the border between Syria and the Golan Heights, which is Syrian territory illegally occupied by Israel. In Lebanon, Palestinian refugees attempted to march back to their homeland and cross the border into Israel. The Israeli military opened fire on the refugees wounding hundreds and killing 12 people.

The US based Atlantic Newspaper ran a photo-essay with photos from the demonstrations both in the OPT and on the borders. I have include a couple of the most stunning photos here, but you can view all the photos here.

Also please find below a brief video of the demonstration which took place at Qalandia checkpoint (the main Israeli military checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah) and footage from the al Nakba demonstration in the small village of An Nabi Saleh which was brutally repressed by the Israeli military (please note the violence by the military in the footage is extreme).

in solidarity, Kim

Palestinian protesters at Syrian-Golan Heights border on May 15.(Jalaa Marey/JINI/Getty Images

A Palestinian man holding a Palestinian flag looks at fellow demonstrators gathering at Maroun al-Rass near the Israeli border in South Lebanon on May 15, 2011.(Reuters/Ali Hashisho)

Palestinian man and Israeli activist, Jonathan Pollak, struggle after being overcome by tear gas fired by Israeli Occupation Forces at demonstrators on May 15, 2011 at Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah, West Bank. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

Undercover Israeli Occupation Force office dressed as a Palestinian woman detains Palestinian protester during demonstration at Shuafat refugee camp in the West Bank near Jerusalem on May 15, 2011. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

Nakba Day demonstration at Qalandia Checkpoint

Nakba Demonstration in the village of An Nabi Saleh, north of Ramallah
video by Tamimi Press

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