Palestinians on 69th Nakba: ‘We don’t have a homeland’

Jerusalem: Rallies were being carried out by Palestinians, marking 69th Anniversary of ‘Nakba’ on Monday, a day when Israel was declared as the state displacing 750,000 Palestinians from their homes.

Palestinians held candle light marches at Gaza strip, the west bank as well as in Israel. The Nakba, ‘day of catastrophe’, over 500 villages and towns were destroyed by the forces, leaving millions on the streets.

As per the ‘Nakba law’, Israel’s finance minister has the authority to repeal the funding of institutions that deny Israel as the Jewish state. Moreover, those who mourn on the day of independence shall also be deprived of the funding, as per a report by Al Jazeera.

In addition to the marches held, Monday was also marked as the 29th day of the hunger strike by 1500 political Palestinian prisoners. Their children are also expected to give speeches at the west bank.

Marwan Barghouti, a hunger striker who has lost 13 kilogrammes, urged Palestinians to engage in civil disobedience on Nakba day. The strikers have been demanding better medical facilities and telephone service to speak to their family.

At a Nakba protest in Ramallah, Mahmoud Ziadeh, father of political prisoner and hunger striker Majd Ziadeh, told: “My son and the other political prisoners are only fighting for freedom. We are people like everyone else; we have mothers, we have colour in our eyes, we love. But unlike other people, we don’t have a homeland.”

“Our nation marking 69 years of the Nakba, our national catastrophe, is symbolised in our exile and the systematic denial of our rights,” said Erekat, a Palestinian who participated in the failed Oslo Accords to bring about a two-state solution to the Israeli occupation, has demanded an Israeli apology over the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948.

Millions of the Palestinians are being stateless and live under military occupation outside of Palestine in refugee camps, since 1948. Their generations are living without having a right to return to their homeland.

Israel being repellant to the resolution 194 of UN, which gives the right to return, have stopped Palestinians to return.

“For me, I was born under occupation. I was raised under occupation. I live every day under occupation,” Palestinian journalist Elyia Gorbia said at the demonstration in Ramallah.

“It’s only getting worse. They are increasing their occupation strategy, the settlements are expanding, and more lands are being confiscated to build settlements. The number of prisoners in jails is also increasing. Daily attacks are increasing,” she added.

Israeli forces dispersed Nakba demonstrations in Bethlehem by firing tear gas. PC: Al Jazeera