The annual “March of Return” by Palestinians in Israel, commemorating the Nakba – the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in 1948, has been blocked by the Israeli police for the first time in its history. The police have denied the organizers a permit; say there is a shortage of officers to oversee the march. But Palestinian leaders in Israel accuse the far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu of being behind the decision, in what they believe is the latest move to silence their commemoration of the events of 69 years ago.
The Nakba – Arabic for “catastrophe” – refers to Israel’s creation on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland in 1948. Some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled outside the new state of Israel’s borders, and more than 500 villages razed to prevent the refugees from returning.
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