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10,000 Palestinians hold independence day protest in Israel
Published Wednesday 07/05/2014 (updated) 08/05/2014 13:53
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Palestinian residents of Israel hold up their national flag as they
march for the right of return for refugees expelled during the
1948 war that followed the creation of the state of Israel, near
Tiberias on May 6, 2014 (AFP Ahmad Gharabli)
LUBYA (AFP) -- Some 10,000 Palestinians rallied in northern Israel on Tuesday to demand the right of return for refugees expelled after the creation of the Israeli state in 1948.

The demonstration took place in the Israeli village of Lavi, which was built on the ruins of the Palestinian village of Lubya.

Lubya was home to 2,726 Palestinians until 1948, when Jewish mobs captured the village during the conflict that led to Israel's creation.

Demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and read out the names of 530 Palestinian villages that were forcibly displaced 66 years ago, before observing a minute's silence in their memory.

"A demonstration organized by Israeli Arab associations gathered about 10,000 people and two youths were arrested for violence against the police," Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

Groups demanding the right of return for Palestinians expelled from their homes in 1948 organized the event under the slogan: "Your 'independence' day is our 'Nakba'," Arabic for catastrophe.

"There will be no peace, no stability and no reconciliation without the refugees' right of return," lawmaker Mohammad Barakei told AFP.

More than 760,000 Palestinians -- estimated today to number 4.8 million with their descendants -- fled or were driven from their homes in 1948.

Palestinians mark Nakba day on May 15, but Palestinian citizens of Israel hold demonstrations on Israeli independence day, which fell on Tuesday this year.

The Palestinian population of Israel is made up of around 1.3 million people, some 20 percent of Israel's population.

Most of Lubya's original inhabitants settled in the Yarmouk refugee camp in the suburbs of Damascus.

In Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, police dispersed a demonstration by Jewish extremists, who marched through the streets of the Old City chanting anti-Arab slogans, the police spokeswoman said.

Police arrested two of the demonstrators who tried to force their way past a checkpoint, she added.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
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1 ) Palestinian citizens of Israel / or
07/05/2014 10:35
Palestinian residents of Israel you use both terms which is which?

2 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
07/05/2014 13:11
#1 As a matter of fact they are Palestinians in occupied Palestine.

3 ) JoeFattal / USA
07/05/2014 23:48
Israel is an ethnic group or a race if you want to call it that but not a religion, 3000 years ago, maybe but not now. Netanyahu wants to call Israel a Jewish State, means that every Israeli has to be a Jew, as every Italian has to be a Christian, which not all of them are. Because as soon as Netanyahu has his ways, which he probably wont, every Palestinians living in Israel will be ask to leave. I don't see that to be approve.

4 ) Tom / USA
08/05/2014 16:57
A Palestinian is a Palestinian whether their citizenship is American or Israeli or Chinese. It's a cultural label. Zionists know they will ever have title to Palestine as long as one Palestinian lives and breaths.

5 ) horge / Spain
08/05/2014 18:45
It doesn't look like Hamas will change its tune on recognizing Israel anytime soon, however. Earlier this week, deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk told a press conference in Gaza City that Hamas would never recognize Israel. “We will not recognize the Zionist entity,” he said.

6 ) Outlier / USA
08/05/2014 20:00
(first comment spiked) 2. Sarah, as a matter of fact, they are Palestinian citizens of Israel. Since Palestine has never existed and does not exist now, it cannot be "occupied."

7 ) Sander / The Netherlands
10/05/2014 16:33
@ 5: You may wonder why Palestinians must recognize Israel's right to exist as Israel still denies Palestinians, -their right to live in freedom and dignity and -their right of return to their homeland.
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