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Wednesday, 16 May 2012






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Palestinians mark Nakba

PALESTINE: Palestinians and Arab-Israelis prepared on Tuesday to mark Nakba day, commemorating the exodus of hundreds of thousands of their kin after the establishment of Israel state in 1948.

Protests were scheduled to take place across the Palestinian territories, and an AFP correspondent said clashes broke out early on Tuesday between police and stone-throwing demonstrators in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya.

Israel also said a projectile fired from Gaza landed in the country's south, though it was unclear if it was linked to the Nakba day commemoration.

“An explosive device fired from the Gaza Strip, a rocket or a mortar shell, landed early this morning in southern Israel, causing no injuries or damage,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

Israeli security forces are on alert ahead of the main Nakba day commemorations, which have in the past often resulted in clashes with troops and police.

Tuesday's main rally was to take place near the West Bank city of Ramallah, but demonstrations are also expected by the nearby Ofer military prison and Qalandia checkpoint.

A mass rally took place in the Gaza Strip with smaller protests to be held elsewhere in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, which represents Arab communities in Israel, has called for a general strike and for Arab-Israelis to visit the sites of former Palestinian villages.

May 15 has traditionally been the day when Palestinians mark the “Nakba”or “catastrophe,” when hundreds of thousands of them fled or were expelled from their homes in the war that accompanied Israel's declaration of independence.

More than 760,000 Palestinians -- estimated today to number 4.7 million with their descendants -- fled or were driven out of their homes.

Around 160,000 Palestinians stayed behind and are now known as Arab Israelis. They now number about 1.3 million people, or some 20 percent of the population. AFP



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