Despite Israeli “laws” criminalizing the commemoration of the “Nabka Day”, that marks the creation of Israel on Palestinian lands and the displacement of millions of Palestinians, thousands of residents, including Jewish peace activists, marched on Saturday evening in Jaffa, and held an art festival affirming the Palestinian historic rights and their legitimate struggle against oppression and occupation.The procession was organized by the “Jaffa Youth Movement”, and the “March 29 Youth Movement”, under the slogan “I will Return to Jaffa”, the Arabs48 news website reported.

The procession started in front of the historic City Council building, near the historic fountain of the city before the protestors marched in several streets until reaching Al Hilwa Street where they held an art festival with the participation of local artist who sang for Palestine, the refugees and the revolution.

Several intellectuals and local leaders delivered speeches in which they stated that Israel needs to realize that the Palestinians are not immigrants, but are the native of this country despite the Israeli occupation and aggression, and the forced removal of the refugees.

A Palestinian child identified as Ola Taha read several national Palestinian poems that affirm the Palestinian steadfastness and their continued resistance against the Israeli occupation.

Local artist, Amal Morqus, sang for Jaffa, Palestine, the Right of Return, Palestinian mothers, and also sang the Arab National Anthem “My Homeland”.
Several bands and artists also sang for Palestine and liberation, the refugees and the legitimate Palestinian rights. The famous Palestinian Rap band, DAM, participated in the event with several rap songs denouncing the occupation, racism, and calling for liberation.

The protestors carried dozens of Palestinian flags while chanting for the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees, and slamming the illegal Israeli policies of settlement construction and expansion.

They affirmed that there real peace can never be achieved in the region without the refugees’ return to their land, as they are the core of the Palestinian cause and there can never be any lasting peace deal without recognizing and achieving their legitimate right.

Arab female activists and human rights supporters, Yasmin Abu Zied and Fatima Hleiwa, delivered speeches stating that the Palestinians are not holding these processions to commemorate a dead issue, but to mark and to affirm a national and legitimate right despite Israel’s illegal laws and ongoing violations.

They said that thousands took off to the street to mark the Nakba and to challenge the illegal Israeli “Nakba Law” that prohibits and criminalizes marking this day.

Jaffa (Yaffa) was chosen as the central protest area due to its historic significance to the Palestinians and to its reputation as the “Bride of Palestine” due to its beauty, and geographic importance”.

Millions of refugees are currently living in several Arab countries, and in different parts of the world, denied their right to their homeland due to illegal Israeli laws that defy the international law, several UN Security Council resolutions, and all principles of human rights.

Hundreds of villages and towns were destroyed during the creation of Israel in historic Palestine in 1948, while at least 700.000 Palestinians were displaced and became refugees. Currently, more than 4.5 million Palestinians are refugees, living in refugee camps in the occupied territories and several Arab countries, and in different countries around the world.