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PHOTOS: Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day in rallies and protests

Palestinian activist Mazzen Al-Azzah confronts Israeli soldiers blocking a march toward the Green Line near the village of Husan, West Bank, May 14, 2013. Al-Azzah was later arrested and falsely accused of throwing stones and assaulting soldiers. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

As Noam Sheizaf’s recent headline states, “the Nakba’s memory is more present than ever in Israel.”  The Nakba, literally, “the catastrophe,” is the name given to the massive deportation of more then 700,000 Palestinians from what became the State of Israel in 1948. Sheizaf goes on to point out how efforts, such as the “Nakba law,” which authorizes the finance minister to withdraw funds from organizations commemorating the day, have backfired and effectively injected Nakba consciousness into the global discourse.

From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank and Gaza, activists marched to assert a history which is no longer disputed by Israeli historians such as Benny Morris, who despite his shift to the right, still acknowledges that “in the case of Israel, the moment of its birth was also the moment of the destruction and wholesale displacement of Palestinian society.”

For more resources on Nakba history, visit the Zochrot (Israeli organization dedicated to raising awareness on the Nakba) website, or the website of the Palestinian NGO Badil.

Right-wing protesters wave Israeli flags as they demonstrate against a ceremony commemorating the Nakba that was held by Palestinian and Israeli students in the entrance to the Tel Aviv University. The event took place under heavy police presence, May 13, 2013. (Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)


Palestinians march with torches through the streets of Bethlehem to commemorate the Nakba, May 14, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)


Palestinian activists march on Road 60, the main north-south route through the West Bank, in a Nakba Day protest, May 15, 2013. (Photo by: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)


Palestinian activists commemorate Nakba Day by planting trees in the Ahfad Younis neighborhood of Bab Al-Shams protest village site in E1, May 15, 2013. The Israeli settlement Maale Adumim, illegal under international law, covers a nearby hilltop. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)


A Palestinian youth uses a slingshot during clashes with the Israeli army during a protest to commemorate the Nakba, outside the Ofer military prison, West Bank, May 15, 2013. (Photo by:Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)


Israeli border policemen arrest a Palestinian man during protests commemorating Nakba Day at Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem, May 15, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)


A mounted Israeli policeman charges Palestinian crowds during protests commemorating Nakba Day at Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem, May 15, 2013. (Photo by guest photographer: Tali Mayer/Activestills.org)


An Israeli policeman kicks a fleeing Palestinian woman as riot forces charge into crowds during Nakba Day protests at Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem, May 15, 2013. The Nakba, literally, the “catastrophe”, names the massive deportation of more then 700,000 Palestinian, made refugees and driven out of what became the State of Israel in 1948. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)


An Israeli policeman bleeds from an injury sustained attempting to eject Palestinians commemorating Nakba Day at Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem, May 15, 2013. According to Haaretz, “In Jerusalem, two policemen were lightly injured when Palestinian protesters threw stones. Two ultra-Orthodox men were lightly injured when they were beaten by Palestinians.” (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)


Members of the media take cover behind a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance targeted by Israeli water canons during Nakba Day protests near Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem, May 15, 2013. (Photo by: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)


Israeli police arrest a Palestinian man during protests commemorating Nakba Day at Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem, May 15, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Read more:
Remembering the Nakba, understanding this is a shared land
Report: Forced displacement on both sides of the Green Line
The Nakba: Addressing Israeli arrogance
The Palestinian Nakba: Are Israelis starting to get it?
Despite efforts to erase it, the Nakba’s memory is more present than ever in Israel

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    1. Richard Witty

      At least it wasn’t framed as “non-violent” demonstration.

      The man planting trees was certainly non-violent. The man with a slingshot wasn’t.

      Reply to Comment
      • Nonviolence does not happen on its own accord, nor is it rarely absolute. I think it important that the photo of the Israeli policeman was included here. But I cannot see demanding absolute nonviolence as a precondition for acknowledging the complaints of protest. Perhaps we should ask why violence was as limited as it was.

        Reply to Comment
    2. rsgengland

      Why is it that anyone supporting Israel is right wing.
      Both the “past their sell by dates” Palestinian administrations practice politics that are fascist in their interpretation and delivery of the law.
      The Palestinian freedoms are only permissible if they conform to the administrations definition.
      And yet the so called left wing support and serve as APOLOGISTS for their every action.
      When the Yishuv was in existence, it concentrated on building a State for the Future.
      The Palestinians and their “left wing” supporters seem wedded to perpetual protest, ignoring everything else in the process.

      Reply to Comment
      • It makes no difference what the PA does to its own when it comes to how the Israeli State treats Palestinians under the occupation. You have the ability to do better than you are.

        The PA has tried to improve its economy; but commerce and general mobility restictions make sustained real growth quite difficult.

        Under your own critical logic, we move toward a One State resolution. If you want something else, you cannot use the state of the PA as an excuse to maintain incremental annexation of the Bank.

        Reply to Comment
        • Leen

          I have to point out that the Paris Protocol and the Oslo II agreements make it impossible for the PA to have a sustainable economy. Pretty much every aspect of the economy is subject to Israeli control and approval.

          It’s why I find it strange when people keep pointing out well if palestine just focused on its economy, everything will be fine. Well no, it is still subject to Israeli control.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Abigail Calva

      The only pictures missing here and everywhere in order for the people to understand the whole picture are the palestinians being taken care of at israeli hospitals, the palestinians learning free of charge at israeli universities, the palestinians being employed by israeli companies and being paid as well as any israeli. I wonder why nobody mentions those things that happen in the “occupation”.

      Reply to Comment