Thursday, May 15, 2008


GUARDIAN, UK While Israelis celebrated the 60th anniversary of their nation's birth with fireworks and barbecues, sirens wailed across the Palestinian territories today in mourning. It was a day of grief for Palestinians, who refer to the founding of Israel as the Catastrophe, or al-Nakba.

Thousands took to the streets to commemorate those exiled or killed in the conflict that followed the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. More than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled, their property was expropriated and they have not been allowed to return.

Nearly 5 million Palestinians and their descendants still live in makeshift refugee camps across the neighbouring region.

President Mahmoud Abbas today spoke of the "pain and suffering" of the Palestinians. . .

To mark the anniversary, schools and universities were closed for the day and people marched to Israeli checkpoints. At noon, traffic came to a standstill and sirens sounded across the territories to mark the start of a two-minute silence.


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