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Catastrophe Day marks 60 years for Palestinian displacement

July 2, 2012

Saturday, May 17. 2008

Yesterday saw Palestinians once again commemorate Catastrophe Day or Nakba Day – the day the Israeli State was created in 1948.

The day was marked by marches and rallies in the Gaza and West Bank area and in some European and US cities and will continue for about a week afterwards in order to mark the 60th Nakba Day.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians feel they were dispossessed by the establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948 and the wars that followed.

The 85-year-old Palestinian refugee Mohamad Harb (pictured) shows his old house keys from his former village as a symbol of hope as he resided in his Rafah refugee camp is located within the Gaza Strip.

Harb used to live in the village of Hmamh before his family was forced to immigrate to the Gaza Strip in 1948.

After sixty years Harb has hope of returning to his old village which is now in Israeli territory and is named Kreat Hmamh.

According to official United Nations figures, there are almost seven million Palestinians living mainly in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon, and most are described as refugees.

Although Israel left Gaza Strip unilaterally on 12 September 2005, at the same time it consolidated its hold on less isolated settlements on historic Palestinian territory on the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Some Nakba demonstrations will incorporate protests against the Israeli West Bank barrier.

The International Court of Justice has ruled the construction of the barrier, 24 feet high in places, as “contrary to international law”.

Opponents claim that building and maintaining the wall is a crime of apartheid – isolating Palestinian communities in the West Bank and consolidating an “illegal annexation” of Palestinian land by Israeli settlements.

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