Israeli Arabs, Palestinians to protest Friday on ‘Nakba Day’

Police brace for violence on what is referred to as a "Day of Catastrophe" by Palestinians referring to the creation of Israel.

A Palestinian man during a rally ahead of the Nakba day in Bethlehem May 14, 2015. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A Palestinian man during a rally ahead of the Nakba day in Bethlehem May 14, 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip plan to mark “Nakba Day” on Friday with a series of protests and marches following noon prayers at mosques.
The Israel Police said it was ready to counter any violence after Friday prayers at mosques in Israel and the territories.
The Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank instructed mosque preachers to dedicate Friday sermons to raise awareness about the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes inside the Green Line.
Nakba Day is marked every year by Palestinians, generally on May 15, as a “Day of Catastrophe” – referring to the creation of Israel and the displacement of Palestinians in 1948.
Because Nakba Day this year falls on a Friday, Palestinians held several rallies in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip already on Wednesday.
The main event was held in Ramallah, where hundreds of Palestinians marched in the streets, chanting slogans in support of the right of return for all refugees.
PA representatives who addressed the crowd emphasized that the right of return was nonnegotiable, adding that no one was entitled to make concessions on this issue.
Palestinian activists said they plan to hold marches on Friday toward IDF checkpoints in some areas of the West Bank as part of events marking the day.
Meanwhile, the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, led by Sheikh Raed Salah, has organized a protest to take place Friday to protest Israel’s creation.
The police approved the protest, which is to take place at midday near Zichron Ya’acov and the Ofer Forest.
There will be a police presence in order to maintain order.