Riots and Demonstrations Mark ‘Nakba Day’ 2019
An estimated 10,000 Palestinian residents of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip participated in riots and violent confrontations with Israeli troops guarding the border fence on Wednesday afternoon to mark “Nakba (Catastrophe) Day” as the Palestinians refer to the anniversary of Israel’s birth on May 15, 1948. Several incendiary balloons were also sent over the border into Israel, sparking large fires which destroyed crops, trees and buildings inside Israel. Large demonstrations were also held in PA administered cities in the West Bank and in Israeli-Arab villages and among Arab students in some universities.
Senior Hamas official Fathi Hammad declared at one rally near the Gaza-Israel border that Hamas would soon lead the Palestinian people to “victory and uprooting the Zionist enemy from our land.” In a direct message to Israelis, he added “Go away, the day of your slaughter and elimination is nearing. You have no place in Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa.”
Other speeches made by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders echoed these sentiments, while speeches made by PA officials at rallies in the West Bank were less bellicose while still including maximalist demands which they said they would settle for in return for a cessation of hostilities with Israel. (ICEJ)