Thousands have gathered in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon to remember the 62nd anniversary of the Israeli occupation of their homelands.
Some 6,000 gathered in the Jabaliya and Nuseirat refugee camps in the northern and central parts of the strip on Friday on the occasion of the May 15, 1948 Nakba Day or ‘the day of the catastrophe,’ AFP reported. Some of the demonstrators carried the keys to the confiscated homes.
Around one million Palestinians were displaced and forced to live in camps in the aftermath of the Israeli war.
Hundreds also came together in refugee camps in both the Lebanese capital, Beirut, and the south of the country before heading to the Maroun al-Ras village — also in the south near the Israeli border.
The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, sent a message to the event, saying "In other conflicts, refugee rights have been honored and respected, including the right of return, restitution and compensation. In stark contrast, however, Israel refuses to even recognize the Palestinian right of return, thus continuing to deny the refugees’ basic rights."
The international community has, meanwhile, been unsuccessfully pressing Tel Aviv not to dim the prospects of peace by refusing to halt its illegal settlement work in the occupied lands.