Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in a number of Palestinians cities, towns, villages and refugee camps to commemorate 60 years of their dispossession by Israel in 1948.
The commemoration activities were simultaneously held in the West Bank and inside Israel proper by Palestinian residents of Israel. The organizers of these events released 21,915 black balloons in the sky over Jerusalem, to remind the world and especially the Israelis of what they have done 60 years ago.
The number of the balloons is equal to the number of days that have passed since the Nakba. "From our reporter on the ground Ghassan Bannoura in Bethlehem:" In Bethlehem, children performed Palestinian folklore dancing and carried signs stressing the right of return for the Palestinian refugees stated by the UN resolution 194 and the right of the Palestinian people to freedom and statehood. Most of the participants were wearing black T-shirts with a key painted on the back.
The key in Palestinian literature represents the keys of the homes of the refugees who kept them since 60 years hoping that they will return to them one day, although many of these homes were demolished by Israel, and others were occupied by Jewish families. Issa Qaraqi, member of the Palestinian Parliament spoke to the crowed who gathered near the giant key that was placed at the entrance of Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.
Qaraqi demanded the American President George W. Bush who is in a visit to Israel to celebrate with 60 anniversary of the state of Israel, to stand for peace as the US is sponsor of the peace process. Meanwhile, a young Palestian girl recited a poem that she wrote in which she called the world to enhance the living conditions of the Palestinian refugees by helping them erturn to their homes that they wee expelled from 60 years ago.
A similar activity was held in Ramallah, where people wore black T-shirts and carried signs with the names of the more than 530 Palestinian villages that Jweish militia destroyed 60 years ago. Organizers estimate that around 50 thousand people demonstrated in the West Bank city of Ramallah, for the 60th anniversary of Nakba.
The catastophe was mourned with the release of black balloons symbolising those killed in the Nakba of 48, when Israeli militia forced palestinians from their homes and destroyed almost 530 villages. About 100 youths demonstrated at Qalandia checkpoint throwing stones and building barracades behind which to shelter from the israeli barrage of rubber bullets and tear gas.
"From our reporter on the ground Aaron Lakoff in Ramallah:" The clashes are moving back and forth, the youth are sheltering from the rubber bullets and tear gas, behind wheelie bins, there are three jeeps parked by the wall from where the soldiers are firing.The youth have built barracades of burning tyres and are resisting the army's advances by throwing stones. One ambulance has just arrived on the scene. updates to follow "