Palestinians commemorated the 66th Al-Nakba (“Catastrophe”) anniversary with rallies in the cities across West Bank, on May 15. Protesters waved black flags to mark the sad day in their history when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven from their land to make way for the new state of Israel in 1948. 700,000 Palestinians were exiled or fled from their lands while others were subject to brutal massacres, on May 15, 66 years ago, marking the beginning of the largest refugee crises in the world, according to UN. Many settled in West Bank or in neighboring countries Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Al Nakba is commemorated a day after Israelis celebrate the founding day of the State of Israel.
Similar manifestations were organized also across the Gaza Strip. During the protests on Thursday Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians, outside Israel’s Ofer Prison near the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Reuters said. Muhammad Abu Thahr, 22, and Nadim Nuwara, 17, were both shot in the heart for throwing stones. The killings come after the deadly incident in March when three Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during a raid in Jenin. This year, Nakba commemorations came after the breakdown in peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, in April.
UPDATE (May 20): Officials originally said Muhammad Abu Thahr was 22, and Nadim Nuwara, 17, but later they said their respective ages were 16 and 17.
Sources: Agencies, United Nations Relief and Works Agency