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Palestinians mark Nakba Day across the occupied territories Open in fullscreen

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Palestinians mark Nakba Day across the occupied territories

Palestinians demonstrated on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba. [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 May, 2018

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Thousands protested in the occupied West Bank and Gaza on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the mass displacement of Palestinians in 1948.

Palestinians held demonstrations across the occupied territories on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of al-Nakba, or "The Catastrophe", when over 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes during the establishment of Israel.

In Ramallah, the occasion was marked by a 70-second siren, with people standing to attention and traffic coming to a halt.

Thousands of Palestinians took part in demonstrations across the West Bank, with larger protests taking place in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron, and Israel's Qalandiya military checkpoint north of Jerusalem.

Israeli forces responded to the protests with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets.

Protests continued on the Gaza border on Tuesday, though they were far fewer in number compared to a day earlier.

Palestinians in Gaza have been protesting for seven weeks for the right to return to their historic homes which they or their families fled in 1948 and which later became part of Israel.

On Monday, Israeli forces killed 61 Palestinians and injured over 2,000 as tens of thousands gathered near the Gaza border.

The massacre of unarmed protesters was the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war.

Israel faced a growing backlash on Tuesday over the mass killings, with Turkey expelling Israel's ambassador.

Ireland and Belgium both summoned their Israeli envoys, while leading European countries and the UN human rights office called for an investigation of the bloodshed.

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