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Home Press Releases 2008 Nakba Commemoration - 10 May, 2008

Nakba Commemoration - 10 May, 2008

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Palestinians around Jerusalem organize a march in memory of the villages lost in 1948.
Mass demonstration in Hebron against the rising food prices and the ongoing Nakba.
Across the West Bank, a celebration of Palestinian culture and its resilience in the face of dispossession.

Events in Palestine

· March commemorating the destroyed villages during the Nakba in Biddu and Beit ‘Anan, Jerusalem district.

· “Hunger and Anger” demonstration to protest the rising prices of basic food staples and remind the world that on the 60th anniversary of the Nakba the Palestinian people are still suffering. Palestinians from the Hebron district will arrive in Hebron (Ibn Rushd Circle) and march to the government centre, bringing along empty cooking pots, forks and spoons in a symbolic gesture. Contact: Jaber Tmazi, tel.: 0598-921744

· 60 Years of Nakba: Loss, Dispersal, and Types of Resistance Conference. 9:30am-5:30pm at the Al-'Ayn Hotel in Nazareth. Organized by Mada Al-Carmel Research Institute, more at: www.mada-research.org

· "Children Draw the Nakba” Photo and Art Exhibit. 4pm-8pm in the Palestinian Heritage House – Nazareth. Organized by the Palestinian Heritage House

· Nakba 60 Art Exhibit and Human Chain in Tulkarm. Contact: Wajih Atallah, Union of Youth Activities Centers in the Refugee Camps, tel.: 0599-255584, mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

· Palestine Festival of Literature. Writers from Around the World Visit Palestine 6:30pm, Dar Al-Nadwa, Bethlehem. More at: http://www.palestinelitfest.org

· A number of additional cultural events including photo exhibitions, talks and Palestinian history in Bir Zeit, Jenin and Salfit. Contact: Wajih Atallah, Union of Youth Activities Centers in the Refugee Camps, tel.: 0599-255584, mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Events internationally

· Nakba and Right of Return Amateur Documentary Film Festival in Burj Al-Barajneh refugee camp, Lebanon.

· National Demonstration to commemorate the Nakba and continuing dispossession and denial of Palestinian rights in central London, UK,. Contact: Contact: PCS UK, tel.: 02077006192, mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

· Nakba Commemoration National Day of Action in Canada in Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver/Ottawa, Canada,. Contact: Palestine House, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Report on previous events


· The Al-Awda Camp: The camp opened in Ramallah on the 8 of May. Modelled after a 1948 refugee camp, the space functions as a place of commemoration and displays the names of the villages and towns depopulated during the Nakba. The site will serve as a forum for educational and cultural presentations throughout the week leading up to the May 15 central mass demonstration in Ramallah. The activities of the camp's openning as well as interviews with Palestinian and Arab personalities in Gaza, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nazareth, Damascus, Amman and Cairo were broadcast live on the Nakba-60 Open Studio on the Palestinian Space Channel, organized by Badil.

· Return March. Over 20,000 people gathered in Nazareth and marched west to the destroyed and depopulated town of Saffuriyya. Residents of Saffuriyya who were forcibly transferred from their town in the 1948 Nakba, as well as their descendants gathered in the town to welcome the mass demonstration, and held a festival of speaches, poetry, dance and music under the banner “Israel's Day of Independence is our Day of Nakba”. As participants walked back to their cars buses and homes, Israeli police on foot and on horseback attacked them, firing teargas into the crowds, assaulting them with their rifles and batons as police helicopters hovered overhead, injuring tens of people and arresting six. Several reporters were also targetted in the Israeli provocation. and three more participants were later arrested while in their homes.

· Over 700 people participated in a Right of Return Demonstration in Aida Refugee Camp in the Bethlehem Camp. The Demonstration featured the unveiling of the world's largest key. The key is a symbol of Palestinian refugees right to return to their homes, since many of these refugees took the keys to their homes with them when they fled in the 1948 Nakba.

The Palestinian Nakba on the ground
On this day, 1948

· During the night, Zionist militias launched attacks on al-Bira and Farwana as well as a number of smaller villages in Baysan district. This was part of larger campaign that succeeded in cleansing the Baysan valley of most of its Palestinian population.

 

· ‘Beginning today, Zionist militias launched attacks with the aim of seizing control of northern areas of village of Gaza. Barqa was one of the villages depopulated in this campaign.

Nakba Today


Al-Aqaba is a northern West Bank village just east of the city of Tubas. Since 1967, when the West Bank was occupied by Israel, a military base was established on the main entrance to the village, and the area designated a military training area. Under this pretext, Israeli soldiers have regularly entered the village, firing randomly at the homes and people of the village, resulting in the diaplacement of a majority of the villagers. In 2003, after a protracted legal battle, the Israeli High Court barred Israeli tanks from entering the village without a pressing reason, and the military base was closed (although, two military bases still stand within a few kilometers of the village. The military has also banned construction within the village, and so the 700 of the 1000 villagers are unable to return to the village since they cannot build homes; the village council itself meets underneath a tree since they are not allowed to build a building to house the council. In 1999, the Israeli military demolished seven of the houses in the village, as well as the village's only water tank. Today, 35 of the 48 existing buildings – including a kindergarten, a mosque and a clinic, are under the threat of demolition. Learn more about Al-Aqaba at: http://www.saveaqaba.org/

Background Resources:

l For resources on the history of the Nakba, information about Palestinian refugees, and their right of return under international law, see the Nakba-60 Resources Info-Packet at:
http://www.badil.org/Publications/badil-nakba-60-info-packet/index.html
 

l For information about selected cases of ongoing diaplacement, please visit:
http://www.stopthewall.org/activistresources/1583.shtml

 

l For information, resources and links to organizations working on the growing campaign for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions on Israel until it dismantles its military occupation's colonial apartheid system in the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights; ends systematic discrimination against its Palestinian citizens; and implements the Palestinian refugees' right to return to their homes and properties, please visit the website of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Campaign National Committee (BNC): http://www.bdsmovement.net

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For more information, please contact:

Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Tel.: +972-2-297-1505

Badil Centre for Palestinian Refugee & Residency Rights:
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Tel.: +972-2-277-7086

*The week’s events coordinated by the National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba. The National Committee represents national movements and networks, including the Council of National and Islamic forces, the Global Palestine Right-of-Return Coalition, the Popular Committees and youth centers of the refugee camps all over Palestine, the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, Badil Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), the Civic Coalition for the Defense of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem and the PLO Department for Refugee Affairs (DORA).