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The Nakba Day Protests and Their Significance

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At least a dozen people were killed and many more wounded on Sunday as Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinians in Israel, the occupied territories, and along Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria, as they marked the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba (“catastrophe”), and demanded their freedom.
The Nakba refers to the flight or expulsion of roughly 725,000 Palestinians during the creation of the state of Israel in 1947-8. This year’s demonstrations were the largest in memory and come amidst stalled negotiations. Do they signal the outbreak of a third Palestinian uprising against Israel’s 44-year-old occupation and colonization of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, as some have been predicting? 
Mustafa Barghouti is a leading figure in Palestinian civil society. Dr. Barghouti, an independent, has been an outspoken advocate for the nonviolent Palestinian protest movement against Israeli occupation and is one of the founders of the Palestinian National Initiative. 
Dr Eyad Sarraj is the founder and President of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program and remains at the forefront of efforts to promote national reconciliation between rival Palestinian political groups. In 2011 DR Sarraj was awarded the Olaf Palme Prize.
Joseph Dana is a freelance journalist reporting from the West Bank and is a contributing editor for independent commentary magazine +972.
Omar Ghraieb is a blogger and activist in Gaza and a frequent commentator on events there. His blog can be found at www.gazatimes.blogspot.com

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