Dozens of Palestinians injured in Nakba Day protests in Ramallah
Twenty Palestinians were injured on Sunday during confrontations between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces at the northern entrance of Ramallah, in the centre of the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said in a statement that 17 Palestinians were injured with rubber bullets, while seven more were hit with live fire. The Red Crescent added that its teams treated 20 cases of suffocation by tear gas.
Protests followed the commemoration activities of the 74th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba Day in Ramallah. Earlier on Sunday, a central march, organised by the PLO’s higher committee for the commemoration of the Nakba started at Yasser Arafat’s mausoleum in Al-Bireh and ended in Ramallah city centre, concluding with a series of speeches and performances.
“I am from Lod, from which my family was expelled when I was a newborn”, Sabiha, a woman in her late seventies who participated in the commemoration ceremony told The New Arab.
“I always participate in the Nakba Day commemoration march and I will continue to do as far as my health allows me until I return to Lod, and if I don’t, my grandchildren will”, she added.
Mohammad, a father in his late forties accompanied by his two 6-year-old and 8-year-old daughters told The New Arab: “I came from Biddo, west of Ramallah, because I want my daughters to know what the Nakba is.
“It’s important to let our children learn about the cause from an early age”, he added.
Palestinians commemorated the 74th anniversary of the Nakba yesterday in Ramallah. Nakba Day remembers the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the forced displacement of over 700,000 Palestinians in 1948 at the hands of the Zionists. #Nakba74 pic.twitter.com/4ZM1xhyF8e— 5Pillars (@5Pillarsuk) May 16, 2022
“I came from Faysal Husseini girls' school with my classmates to commemorate the Nakba”, Karmel, a 12-year schoolgirl, told The New Arab.
“Today is the anniversary of the catastrophe of Palestine, when many people became refugees”, explained Karmel, “I am here to say that we, the young, will never forget”, she stressed.
After the official ceremony ended, a group of youth who chanted slogans, was joined by bystanders and began to walk towards the northern entrance of Ramallah, where other protesters had already been facing armed Israeli forces.
Israeli forces fired rubber and live bullets and tear gas canisters at protesters.
Other Nakba Day commemorations took place in other West Bank cities and in the besieged Gaza Strip, where Palestinian factions organised a central commemoration march.
The 74th Nakba commemorations arrived less than a week after Israeli forces demolished a three-story residential building in Silwan in Jerusalem on Tuesday, due to an alleged lack of building permit, leaving 35 Palestinians homeless.
In the same week, Israeli forces killed Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while covering an Israeli military raid in Jenin, and 16-year-old Thaer Yazouri, while taking part in a protest outside his school in Al-Bireh.