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'Nakba Day' protests: What regional leaders said

Protests erupted on Israel’s borders and throughout East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Sunday as Palestinians marked the 63rd anniversary of Israel’s independence, which they refer to as the “nakba,” or catastrophe, because it resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Israel has used the clashes to argue that it does not have a legitimate partner for peace, while Arabs have capitalized on the regional spirit of uprising to press Palestinian claims to statehood. Here is a roundup of notable statements:

- Correspondent

People take part in a 'Nakba' sit-in protest outside the UN office in Amman, Jordan, on Sunday, May 15. Palestinians mark 'Nakba' or catastrophe on May 15 to commemorate the time when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled or fled from their homes in the war that led to the founding of Israel in 1948. (Ali Jarekji/Reuters)

Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority president

From Ma’an News Agency:

“Addressing those who were killed, Abbas said the ‘blood of the martyrs slain marking Nakba Day in the homeland and in exile was shed for the sake of the people's freedom. It was not shed in vain.’

‘To all who took part in the activities and events marking Nakba Day, I say to you that you have proved to all that right is stronger than time, and that the will of the people is stronger and more durable than the might of tyrannical forces and occupation,’ he said.”

From The Jerusalem Post:

"After 63 years of expulsion and the occupation of our land, the time has come for Israel to understand that our people have not forgotten and that the opportunity for a historic solution still exists.”


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