Thursday, October 01, 2020

Israeli Forces Repress Nakba Commemoration in Jerusalem

By Leona Vicario - May 16, 2013
Section: [Main News] [Videos] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Apartheid] [Damascus Gate] [Israeli army] [Israeli border police] [Nakba] [Jerusalem] [arrests]

Photos and video by Lazar Simeonov.
The biggest event of this year’s 65th anniversary of the Nakba (Arabic for the catastrophe) took place outside of Damascus Gate in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem. Over 500 Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists gathered for the remembrance, a tribute which was marred by clashes that erupted between Palestinians and the Israeli army and border police, as the later attempted to bring the demonstration to a close. 
25 demonstrators were detained and several injured as a result of a confrontation that started as Israeli army and police attempted to contain the progress of the Palestinian parade that had stopped directly outside the Israeli police station in East Jerusalem. Two policemen and at least two ultra-Orthodox men were injured during the confrontation as well.
Israeli mounted police prevented the demonstrators from continuing on their way through East Jerusalem, enacting an aggressive chase against the demonstrators instead. Police on foot directed a water canon at the marchers in order to fragment the group up. 
For over three hours, Damascus Gate (the main entry to the Old City) and the adjoining streets were the scene of unusually intense clashes. Stun grenades, tear gas and water cannons were used as suppressive measures by the Israeli forces in attempt to bring the demonstration to an end. Palestinians and their supporters responded by throwing stones and bottles.
“We have been here for 65 years and each year our situation is getting worse,” regrets Ibrahim, originally from Beit Safafa, an Arab neighborhood in southern Jerusalem. 
He explains how some Palestinians were prevented to enter in the Old City through Damascus Gate during the morning, several hours prior to the commemorative event. “You are a terrorist…You will create problems,” were some of the words spit out by the Israeli soldiers who guarded Damascus Gate throughout the day. 
Some surprised tourists received a quick history lesson by an old Palestinian man who was lazing around. After the explanation, he concluded, “Even though we have a set date, for us Nakba is everyday.” 
Palestinian demonstrators and their supporters were demonstrating in demand for the Right of Return for the almost 6 millions of Palestinians refugees created since May 15, 1948, the date of the original Nakba.


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