Thousands of Palestinians march on destroyed village in Israel to mark Nakba Day
Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel marked Nakba Day on Thursday by marching to the site of a village in northern Israel which was captured by Jewish militias in 1948.
Thursday's rally is the 22nd time Palestinians in Israel have taken part in the 'March of Return', which marks the forced displacement of 750,000 Palestinians in 1948 from their homes, towns and villages to make way for Israel's establishment.
"The Return is not to commemorate the Nakba. Because a Nakba [Catastrophe] shouldn't be commemorated. The March is a pledge to cancel it, and all its manifestations, by returning and getting independence," said Mohammad Barakeh, the head of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel.
The march takes place annually on Israel's Independence Day - each time at a different Palestinian village demolished in 1948 - although the official Nakba Day is on 15 May.
The march, which has been dubbed "their independence day is our Nakba day," was called for by the Association for the Defense of the Rights for the Internally Displaced Persons in Israel (ADRID) and was supported by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee in Israel.
Muhammad Kial, one of the event's organizers, said at the rally that one of the main challenges facing Palestinians is the attempt to sabotage the right of return.
This march is to "confirm refugees' and the displaced individuals' rights to return to their villages and cities," Kial told The New Arab.
The Haganah, a Jewish paramilitary group in the British Mandate of Palestine, raided Khubbayza in the first few weeks of the 1948 war.
The empty village, situated in what is now the Wadi Ara area, was captured by Israeli forces between May 12 and 14 and was later razed by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in June of 1948.
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