Thousands of Arab Israelis march in north to mark Nakba

Thousands of Arab Israelis take part in the annual “March of Return” to mark the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) of Israel’s founding.

Participants wave Palestinian flags during the march in northern Israel and call for the return of lands that Palestinians fled or were expelled from during the War of Independence.

A number of lawmakers attend the march, including MKs Ahmad Tibi and Ofer Kassif of the majority Arab Hadash-Ta’al faction.

“We stress our right to the homeland and are against the Nation-State Law, which treats the Arab public as visitors. But we’re the owners of the place and are fighting to be equal citizens in our homeland,” says Tibi in a video from the event.

Tibi was referring to legislation last year putting into law Israel’s status as the nation state of the Jewish people. Critics of the law have said it discriminates against the country’s non-Jewish citizens, while proponents say it is necessary to guarantee Israel’s Jewish character and does not diminish the status of existing legislation guaranteeing equality.

Arab Israelis wave Palestinian flags as take part in the annual “March of Return” held on Israel’s independence day,, near the northern city of Umm al-Fahm, on May 9, 2019. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

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