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Lieberman slams Palestinians over Nakba protest
Published Wednesday 07/05/2014 (updated) 15/05/2014 22:00
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Palestinian protesters hold up the Palestinian flag as they march
for the right of return for Palestinian refugees who fled their
homes or were expelled during the 1948 war, during a protest
rally near Tiberias in northern Israel, on May 6, 2014.
(AFP Ahmad Gharabli)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday denounced as a "fifth column" thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel who joined a demonstration calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Around 10,000 protesters, many waving Palestinian flags, joined a rally in northern Israel on Tuesday to remember 530 villages from which some 760,000 people fled or were expelled following the creation of Israel in 1948.

The rally took place as Israel marked its 66th Independence Day, with Lieberman accusing the demonstrators of being traitors.

"Those who marched with flags of the Palestinian Authority demanding that it not give up on the right of return, are a fifth column whose aim is the destruction of Israel," he told army radio.

He also addressed the demonstration on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

"To those Arabs that took part today in the 'Nakba Day' procession and waved Palestinian flags, I suggest that next time they march directly to Ramallah and they stay there," he wrote.

But he acknowledged that those who joined the Nakba demonstration were only "a minority" among Israel's Palestinian minority, who make up just over a fifth of the overall population of 8.2 million.

At the rally, which took place in a small village in northern Israel, the protester marched under the slogan: "Your 'independence' day is our Nakba" - the Arabic for catastrophe.

More than 760,000 Palestinians fled or were driven out of their homes during the creation of Israel in 1948. Today, with their descendants, they number an estimated 4.8 million.

Lieberman, a hardliner within the ruling right-wing coalition, is an open proponent of the concept of "transfer" -- transferring densely-populated Palestinian areas in Israel to the control of the PA in any future peace deal.
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1 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
07/05/2014 21:34
The world don't worry about this, they would only worry if the text was: Palestinians slams Israelis over holocaust protest. That will wake them up. Lieberman should march back to Russia as a barkeeper (his old job) and stay there.

2 ) JoeFattal / USA
07/05/2014 23:28
@1) Sarah / The Netherlands.... And that goes to every Jew that came from Europe to a land that Britain gave it to them, and also now they say that God gave it to them. They haven't made an effort to move before WW2, because some of them were well off either in Germany or all over Europe and that the only place they had then. Now they getting so religious, Jerusalem is their Eternal capital because they got it as spoils of war, and its their holy land. In a way its everyone's holy land.

3 ) ian / australia (1)
08/05/2014 07:31
"The rally took place...with Lieberman accusing the demonstrators of being traitors." The rich comic tapestry of Israel. How can they be "traitors" in a state which officially defines itself as the "national home of the Jewish people" thereby explicitly excluding them from membership? Isn't this an expression of precisely the kind of divided society Bibi's new "Jewish State" initiative will create? But it's interesting. The RoR is an "extreme" demand which has been all but dropped by Abbas and

4 ) ian / australia (2)
08/05/2014 07:31
(contd.) Erekat and this rally is a marginal, minority event in an obscure village BUT Israel fears this kind of unrest amongst its (northern) citizens. It fears the damage to the brand if Arab Israelis are plainly NOT all enjoying Israeli democracy and eternally grateful to NOT live under despotic Arab rule. And it fears that a Palestinian state next door, founded in equity and justice, is just the BEGINNING of their Arabfrage.
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