A large number of people have held a demonstration in New York City to commemorate the anniversary of Nakba (Catastrophe Day), when Israel forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians out of their homeland and declared its existence on occupied territories in 1948.
Chanting slogans, holding placards and singing Islamic resistance songs, about 300 people marched through Brooklyn in New York on Monday to mark the 70th year since the Nakba, according to Al Jazeera.
Nerdeen Kiswani, one of the organizers of the protest march, said the demonstrators had gathered to demand an end to the Israeli occupation and the right of Palestinians to return home.
“We are saying that we are part of the Great March of Return. It has been 70 years too long,” Kiswani said to the crowd.
Nancy Mansour, another Palestinian rights activist, said they were marching to demand that Israel be brought to justice for the war crimes and human rights violations it has committed over the past seven decades.
“Every Palestinian [here] has to wake up every morning and check the news to see if our families [back home] are still alive. Who does that?” he asked.
“It’s a shame on the international community, especially the Palestinian Authority and the Arab leaders of the world, who are silent about this,” Mansour said.
Monday’s protest coincided with the massacre of peaceful protesters in the Gaza Strip, as the US celebrated the opening of its new embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds.
The peaceful rallies turned deadly on Monday when Israeli military forces started to shoot down people indiscriminately, killing nearly 60 protesters, including six children, and injuring over 2,700 more.
The Monday protests in Gaza were part of the “March of Return,” which first began on March 30 with the aim of condemning Israel’s occupation and demanding their right to return.
Tensions have flared across the Palestinian territories since last December, when the United States declared Jerusalem al-Quds in the Tel Aviv-occupied West Bank as the regime’s so-called capital, and said the American embassy would be transferred from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
Palestinians have historically sought the city’s eastern part as the capital of their future state.