Rallies and demonstrations have been held in cities across the United States, Australia and elsewhere in the world to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the Nakba (Catastrophe) Day, which marks the 1948 forced expulsion of nearly 800,000 Palestinians from their homes in historical Palestine as Israel proclaimed its illegal existence.
Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallied in many US cities, including New York, Boston, Washington, Montreal and Dearborn, Michigan, on Saturday, to show solidarity with Palestinians and call for an end to Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip.
About two thousand people turned out in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn in New York, chanting “Free, free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
They waved Palestinian flags and held placards that read “End Israeli Apartheid” and “Freedom for Gaza.”
Many protesters wore black and white, and red and white, keffiyeh scarves, while drivers sounded car horns and motorcyclists revved their engines as the sun beat down.
Several Jewish people also attended the rally, carrying placards that read “Not in my name” and “Solidarity with Palestine” as the protesters took over a street in the area.
A few dozen police officers looked on at the peaceful protest, dubbed “Defend Palestine.”
“I'm here because I want a Palestinian life to equal an Israeli life and today it doesn't,” 35-year-old Emraan Khan, a corporate strategist from Manhattan said, as he waved a Palestinian flag.
“Palestinians have the right to live freely and children in Gaza should not be being killed,” Alison Zambrano, a 20-year-old student, said.
Mashhour Ahmad, a 73-year-old Palestinian who has lived in New York for 50 years, said, “I'm telling Mr. Biden and his cabinet to stop supporting the killing. Support the victims, stop the oppression.”
“The violence committed by the Israeli army recently is genocide," he added, raising a poster above his head that said “Free Palestine, End the occupation.”
Separately, throngs of people gathered in Copley Square in Boston, while hundreds rallied on the Washington Monument grounds in the US capital.
Similar pro-Palestine rallies were held in San Francisco and San Diego as well.
Elsewhere in the Canadian city of Montreal, several thousand people called for “the liberation of Palestine” during a mass demonstration.
The protesters also denounced "war crimes" committed by Israeli troops in Gaza, and carried placards condemning the Tel Aviv regime for violating international law.
Earlier, a caravan of cars sounded their horns and drove with Palestinian flags outside the Israeli consulate in the western part of Montreal.
Thousands attend pro-Palestinian protests in Sydney and Melbourne
Moreover, Thousands of people marched through the streets of the Austrlian cities of Sydney and Melbourne in solidarity with the people living in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In Sydney, men, women and children waved flags and placards as they chanted "Long live Palestine." They called carried pictures of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was fatally shot by Israeli troops on Wednesday as she was covering an army raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.
مسيرة حاشدة إحياءً لذكرى النكبة في العاصمة الأسترالية سيدني pic.twitter.com/amh9sSsClf— AlQastal القسطل (@AlQastalps) May 15, 2022
Meanwhile, in central Melbourne, protesters holding Palestinian flags commemorated the Nakba Day.
People took part in a pro-Palestine rally in the city of Auckland, and paid tribute to Abu Akleh.
Hundreds of people also demonstrated outside the Storting building, which is the seat of the parliament of Norway, in the capital Oslo on Saturday in commemoration of the 74th anniversary of the Nakba and in protest at the cold-blooded murder of former correspondent of the Qatar-based and Arabic-language Al Jazeera television news network.
Photos | Crowds demonstrate outside the Norwegian Parliament in Oslo in commemoration of the 74th anniversary of the Nakba and in protest of Israel's cold-blooded murder of veteran journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh. pic.twitter.com/ZFHSUE5FPJ— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) May 15, 2022
Hamas statement on Nakba Day
Furthermore, the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has called on all Palestinians to mount resistance and confront Israeli occupiers by all available means.
“Comprehensive resistance is our choice and path to fight the occupiers. The occupying regime has never had any ownership or authority over our lands and sacred sites,” the movement said in a statement.
“It is necessary to form a national front that is in line with the aspirations of our nation. Freedom of prisoners is our first priority,” the statement also read.