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Protests held to draw attention to plight of Palestinians

Demonstrators protest before Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Nabi Salih, north of Ramallah, on May 12, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

People have held demonstrations in several parts of the world ahead of the 69th anniversary of the Nakba Day in solidarity with Palestinians who are enduring years of Israeli oppression and occupation. 

People rallied in Berlin on Saturday in remembrance of the Day of Catastrophe, marking the expulsion of Palestinians from their lands by Israel 69 years ago. The occasion is commemorated annually on May 15.

The protesters chanted slogans such as “Free Palestine” and “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea,” referring to the territory spanning from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Jordan River in the east.

They further carried banners reading, "Jews for the Palestinian right of return" and  "Freedom to Palestine."

"We are also here to make the Palestinian opposition visible in the streets," demonstrator Martin Suchanek of Nakba Day Alliance said. 

The day refers to the forcible expulsion of some 750,000 Palestinians from their lands in 1948 and their scattering across refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and neighboring countries. Now, over five million Palestinians are estimated to be displaced across the world.

Elsewhere, in the Canadian city of Toronto, pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside the Israeli consulate in support of the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails.

One of the protesters underlined the importance “to pressure our Canadian government to do more than what they are currently doing in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

People are “specifically protesting for the rights of the Palestinian prisoners who unfortunately do experience oppression under the Israeli occupation,” the protester added.

Since April 17, more than 1,600 Palestinian prisoners have gone on hunger strike  to express their outrage at harsh conditions in Israeli jails. 

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, however, has put the figure far higher, saying more than 3,000 prisoners are taking part in the strike. 

The protest action, dubbed the Freedom and Dignity Strike, is led by a jailed leader of the Palestinian Fatah movement, Marwan Barghouti.

Israeli forces kill Jordanian man, draw Amman's ire 

On Saturday, Israeli forces shot dead a Jordanian man over an alleged stabbing attack in East Jerusalem al-Quds' Old City.

An Israeli policeman stands next to the body of a Jordanian man, who was killed over an alleged stabbing attack, in East Jerusalem al-Quds' Old City on May 13, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

The Jordanian government denounced the killing of the 57-year-old victim, identified as Mohammed Abdullah Salim al-Kassaji, as a “heinous crime.”

The Israeli regime, "as the occupying power, bears responsibility for the shooting and killing of a Jordanian citizen in the occupied East Jerusalem [al-Quds] on Saturday," said Jordanian Government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani.

He said the Jordanian Foreign Ministry was following up the case through its embassy in Tel Aviv to find out the details and circumstances surrounding the incident.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the Jordanian man had arrived in the occupied territories several days earlier on a tourist visa.

The Israeli police officer, who was purportedly stabbed, sustained moderate injuries, she said.

Over the past two years, the occupied lands have witnessed tensions ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October 2015, when the tensions intensified.

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