May 15th annually is commemorated by Palestinians around the world as Yom al-Nakba (‘Catastrophe Day’). Over recent days various events have been implemented by Palestinians within the West Bank to mark the passing of another year since the ongoing national tragedy began.
Although commemorated on May 15th – the day in 1948 when ‘Israeli statehood’ officially began – the term Nakba more accurately refers to the period between 1947-49 and the forced displacement of an estimated 750,000 Palestinians as hundreds of Palestinian villages and cities were depopulated by the Zionist movement. Today as estimated 7.4 million Palestinians live in enforced exile including both refugees and internally displaced persons.
Events commemorating Nakba Day and demanding the right of return are being held across the 1967 occupied areas (the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip) and by Palestinian communities who remain within the 1948 occupied lands – today’s State of Israel.
In the West Bank various events have been held in all major cities in the lead up to Nakba Day and demonstrations will be staged on May 15th itself.