Over a thousand Arab Israelis are expected to hold a protest March in the Galilee on Israeli Independence Day on Tuesday, to mourn 63 years since the Palestinian exodus that accompanied the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee said Sunday.
Head of the Monitioring Committee Mohammed Zidane told the Jerusalem Post that the march will pass from the former site of the village of al-Ruways to the one-time site of the village Amoun before holding a vigil at the entrance to the present day village of Kabul. According to Zidane, both villages were destroyed during the War of Independence after their residents fled.
“The message of this day is that we don’t forget what happened and we are asking that those who left their villages must be allowed to return,” Zidane said, adding that there are in his estimation around 300,000 Arabs in Israel who were displaced during the war and lost any land rights to their former homes.
He said that there will be additional protests and marches in local Arab authorities across Israel, and that in these ceremonies they will “go and visit the sites of the villages and the cemeteries, which have become symbols of the communities that were destroyed and uprooted by force.”