As the Palestinians prepare to mark the Nakba (Catastrophe) Day on May 15, thousands of Egyptians are said to be preparing to march to the Gaza Strip to challenge the illegal Israeli siege on the coastal enclave. They intend to attempt to cross into the coastal region via the Rafah Border Terminal, between Gaza and Egypt. The Palestinians mark May 15 each year as the Nakba (Catastrophe) Day that marks Israel’s creation in historic Palestine in 1948, when the Israeli forces displaced more than 700.000 Palestinians, forcing them into different Arab countries and into the West Bank.

During the Nakba, Israel wiped out more than 500 Palestinian villages and towns, eventually leading 4.7 million Palestinians to become refugees in different Arab countries and in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Egyptian activists plan to protest the illegal Israeli siege on Gaza, and to express their solidarity with the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation, and struggling to achieve liberation and independence.

Israel passed several laws outlawing the marking of the Nakba in the 1948 territories. The same day, May 15, is marked in Israel as “Independence Day”.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Ministry of Interior demanded the organizers of the march to Gaza not to hold their protest “due to the sensitive and delicate situation Egypt is currently going through”, the Quds Press reported.

Furthermore, a number of civil-society institutions and organization in Britain, known for their support to human rights and the Palestinian cause, called on the Arab and Muslim residents of Britain and their supporters to participate in the massive protest in front of the British Parliament this Saturday, May 14th, marking the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba.

Under the rule of former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian regime collaborated with Israel in enforcing the illegal siege on Gaza by closing the Rafah Terminal, the only gateway that in not controlled by the Israeli forces.

Mubarak was removed from power in late January this year following massive Egyptian protests demanding his removal and real changes in the country.

Israel never recognized the internationally guaranteed Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees and all related United Nations and Security Council resolutions regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, especially United Nations General Assembly Resolution #194 that was passed on December 11, 1948, near the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War calling for the Right of Return of the
Palestinian Refugees.

Israel also never recognized resolutions 242,181 and other resolutions calling for its withdrawal from occupied Arab and Palestinian territories.

Israel occupied West Jerusalem in 1948 declaring it as its capital; following the 1967-six-day war, Israel occupied East Jerusalem.

In 1980, the Israeli Knesset illegally passed the so-called “Jerusalem Law” annexing East Jerusalem, and declaring Jerusalem “complete and united” as the capital of Israel.

The United Nations then issued Security Council Resolution number 478 declaring the Israeli “Jerusalem Law” as “null and void” as it violates different related resolutions and the International law. Israel never complied with any resolution.

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* For detailed information of the Nakba, reports, maps and testimonies please refer to this link on Palestine Remembered

‘The core issues of the Palestinian-Israeli are the collective dispossession and ethnic cleansing (compulsory population transfer to achieve political objectives) of the Palestinian people for the past six decades. In our opinion, the conflict would have been at the same level of intensity even if both parties had been Jewish, Muslims, or Christians…’