Pro-Palestinian demonstrations staged across the US on Nakba

Rallies held in Washington DC, Boston, New York and other major cities

Thousands of people took to the streets of major American cities on Saturday to express support for Palestine on the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba.

Palestinians observe May 15 each year as the day of “catastrophe”, when more than 700,000 of them were forced from their homes during the creation of Israel in 1948.

In New York City, thousands turned out in Brooklyn chanting, “We will free Palestine, within our lifetime.” Similar chants echoed at gatherings in Boston, Washington and other major cities across the US.

This year’s Nakba commemoration came as new Israeli-Palestinian fighting rages.

The violence follows weeks of protests in East Jerusalem over an Israeli court ruling to evict several Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, and the storming of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound – the third-holiest site in Islam – in Jerusalem's Old City, by the Israeli police on Monday.

Over the past week, at least 188 people, including 55 children, have been killed in Gaza, as Israel has hit the enclave with air strikes.

In Israel, at least 10 people, including two children, have been killed by rockets fired by Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza.

Israel bombed a building housing the Associated Press and other media in Gaza on Saturday, and the conflict shows no sign of abating.

It is the worst round of fighting between Israel and Hamas since 2014. According to the UN, more than 2,000 Palestinians and more than 70 Israelis were killed in that conflict.

Updated: May 16, 2021 06:24 PM

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