Palestinians have been commemorating the 61st anniversary of the “Nakba”, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of their people during the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.
Some 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes in the war that led to the founding of Israel. Four and a half million refugees and their descendants now live in squalid refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said: “We are clinging to our national beliefs, to establish our own independent State, with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return for refugees in the framework of a just and agreed solution, based on UN Resolution 194. Refugees still cling to a “right of return” and the (house) key is a symbol of their determination to reclaim their homes. Their fate is one of the thorniest issues facing negotiators trying to reach a deal on the establishment of a Palestinian State. In the West Bank, a breakaway group of marchers confronted Israeli border guards illustrating the divisions that still exist to this day.