Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Medics: 80 injured in Nakba protests near Ramallah

AMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Over 80 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces near Ramallah on Tuesday, medics said, as protesters commemorated the Nakba, or catastrophe, of their exile in 1948.

After a mass rally in Ramallah's Clock Square, protesters headed to Israel's Ofer detention center and the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem to commemorate the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the founding of the state of Israel.

Medics said 63 Palestinians were injured outside Ofer prison and 21 were hurt at Qalandiya as Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces used riot dispersal means at protesters hurling rocks.

Earlier, thousands marched from the late President Yasser Arafat's tomb toward Clock Square carrying Palestinian and black flags and banners demanding the right of return and national unity. more

Gaza marks Nakba Day - day of catastrophe - with marches and rallies

by Saud Abu Ramadan

GAZA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- A yellow van drove through Gaza City's densely populated streets on Tuesday, with a loudspeaker calling on residents to mark the 64th anniversary of Nakba Day, or "the day of catastrophe" in Arabic.

Hundreds of young men and women waving small flags of Palestine marched through the city's main street Omer al-Mukhtar, led by eight young men carrying a huge map of historic Palestine with names of towns and villages on it.

A Palestinian flag of the similar size was also held by eight youths, who were chanted slogans that marked Nakba Day and called for giving Palestinians the legitimate rights they have been demanding and struggling for since 1948.

Every May 15, Palestinians mark this special day that reminds them of their homeland, which has been occupied by Israel since the Jewish state's establishment 64 years ago.

"I came here to join this rally to say to the world that Palestine is our right. I wasn't born in Jaffa, but my father, who died five years ago, was born there. I live in Gaza but I still consider myself a Palestinian from Jaffa," said Ahmed Abu Ghali, a 42-year-old Palestinian teacher from Gaza.

There are eight refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, the biggest of which is Jabalia in the north, where 200,000 Palestinian refugees from the occupied towns and villages are living.

Representatives and leaders of various Palestinian factions, including the Islamic Hamas movement and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party, joined the rally, speaking to the crowds about the Palestinian people's rights to their lands.

A marathon was also organized in Gaza City by the de facto Hamas government's ministry of sports and youths. Hundreds of participants, aged between 8 and 60 years old, wore T-shirts with slogans that "Jerusalem is ours, Palestine is our right" and started from the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in the city. more

Palestinian prisoners win battle for rights - solitary confinement to end within 72 hours

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian prisoners have finally won their battle of empty stomachs against the Israeli suppressive jailors and won back normal rights of prisoners after 28 days of hunger strike.

Political bureau member of Hamas Saleh Al-Aruri has said that the higher committee of the hunger strike had signed an agreement with the Israeli prison service (IPS) by which the hunger strikers would end their strike in return for meeting all their demands.

He told the PIC on Monday that the IPS would end the solitary confinement of Palestinian prisoners within 72 hours. more