Palestinians remember loss of their homeland 75 years ago

Ramallah/Tel Aviv, May 15, (dpa/GNA) – Thousands of Palestinians commemorated the loss of their homeland on Monday, by taking part in demonstrations and marches in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians observe the Nakba (catastrophe) Day every year on May 15, one day after the anniversary of the founding of the Israeli state on May 14, 1948 – commemorating the flight and displacement of more than 700,000 Palestinians during the first Middle East war in 1948.

Many people took time off work to take part in the annual rally in the Palestinian city of Ramallah. They paraded through the streets with Palestinian flags, signs and music.

This year, the Nakba is also being officially commemorated at the United Nations in New York for the first time, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas scheduled to speak.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry, accused those involved of “distorting history” and called for a boycott of the event.

The fighting in 1947 and 1948 was triggered by the UN partition plan of November 29, 1947, which provided for the establishment of an Arab and a Jewish state.

Arab countries rejected the plan and attacked Israel immediately after the proclamation of the Jewish state.

According to the UN, the number of Palestinian refugees and their descendants in the conflict is now close to around six million.

The refugee problem, along with the dispute over the future status of Jerusalem, is one of the most complicated issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, there are more than 14 million Palestinians worldwide. Around half of them live in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and Israel.