Palestinians staged a rally in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to commemorate Nakba Day, which marks the creation of the state of Israel in historical Palestine.
Observed on May 15 annually, Nakba Day, or the Catastrophe Day, marks the 1948 forced expulsion of nearly 800,000 Palestinians from their homes by Zionist gangs in historical Palestine.
During Sunday’s rally, protesters flew coloured balloons bearing the names of cities occupied by Israel in 1948, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter on the ground.
“Our return is inevitable,” and “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine,” were among banners carried by flag-waving protesters.
“The Palestinian lands will remain a scene of an open conflict with the enemy until liberation,” Louay al-Qaryuti, a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told the rally.
In a statement, the Palestinian group Hamas said resistance is the key to regaining Palestinian rights.
“The occupation has no legitimacy or sovereignty on any inch of historical Palestine,” said the resistance group, which rules the Gaza Strip.
It blamed the US and western powers “for the continuity of the Palestinian Nakba due to their bias to the Israeli occupation and pursuing a double-standard policy on the Palestinian issue.”
Islamic Jihad group, meanwhile, called for promoting inter-Palestinian unity “to confront the Zionist enemy.”
The Nakba Day comes as tensions have been running high across the Palestinian territories since last month amid repeated Israeli arrest campaigns in the occupied West Bank and settler incursions into the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.
It also comes days after Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed while covering an Israeli military raid in the West Bank city of Jenin. Palestinian officials and her employer, Al Jazeera, say she was murdered by Israeli forces.