Israeli Independence Day is a tragic day for Arabs, MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) said Tuesday at an event for Nakba (Catastrophe) Day, which is how Palestinians and many Israeli Arabs refer to the day on which Israel proclaimed itself a sovereign nation.

“What happened in 1948 is not independence, but replacing English colonialism with Zionist colonialism, which was not satisfied with taking over the land, but also expelled its residents, which is why this should be called ‘occupation day’ and not Independence Day,” Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the official daily of the Palestinian Authority, quoted Zahalka as saying.

The article was translated by Palestinian Media Watch on Wednesday.

“It is our right to return and it is our responsibility to fight for it,” the MK added. “There will not be peace, stability and reconciliation until the Zionist hegemony comes to an end.”

Zahalka was addressing Israeli Arabs marching in the Lavie Forest to mark the “Nakba Day.” Many participants waved Palestinian flags and called for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to be able to live in Israel.

“The younger generation...is more determined to fix the historic injustice caused to the Palestinian people,” he stated.

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