May 15 marks the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian exodus that resulted from Israel's declaration of independence in 1948, called by Palestinians Nakba. Ahead of the anniversary, a series of deadly clashes took place between the Palestinians and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF); over 50 people were killed on Monday alone. In order to commemorate those killed on Monday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas declared a three-day mourning period.
Protesters wearing masks gathered near a checkpoint on the Israeli border and started burning tires.
Other protesters threw stones at the IDF, while the Israeli troops responded with bullets and tear gas.
Shops located in the vicinity of the checkpoint have closed and traffic flow has been disrupted.
Several cars equipped with loudspeakers were seen moving across the town spreading calls to participate in the protests.
Near an Israeli checkpoint between Ramallah and the Beit El settlement, loudspeakers blast political songs — "Where are the millions, where are the Arabs, where is Arab blood?" — and clashes are getting going. @nazzal_rami pic.twitter.com/AOiK3fH514— David Halbfinger (@halbfinger) May 15, 2018
For decades, Israel has been in conflict with the Palestinians, who have been seeking diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which are partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. In recent months the situation escalated amid US decision to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Today marks 70 years since the #Nakba. For 5 million #Palestinian refugees there is still NO prospect for return and most have NO prospect for resettlement. We call on #Israel to allow for their return and host states to protect and fulfill their rights. pic.twitter.com/6f7mnADutd— AmnestyInternational (@amnesty) May 15, 2018