Highlights

  • Nakba 'catastrophe' comes amid clashes
  • Marked for displaced Palestinians
  • 700,000 displaced during 1948 war

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What is Nakba 'catastrophe' Palestinians mark each year?

Nakba, Arabic for "catastrophe," comes amid a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has been fueled by tensions at a key Jerusalem holy site, which is claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestinians gathered on Sunday in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah to mark the anniversary of the displacement of hundreds of thousands of refugees from what is now Israel during the 1948 war surrounding its creation.

Nakba, Arabic for "catastrophe," comes amid a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has been fueled by tensions at a key Jerusalem holy site, which is claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians.

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Some 700,000 Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes during the 1948 war.

Today, they and their descendants number around 5.7 million and mostly reside in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

The Palestinians say they are entitled to a right of return, something Israel rejects because if it were fully implemented, then Palestinians would become a majority in the country.

The fate of the refugees has been one of the most divisive issues in the peace process, which ground to a halt more than a decade ago.

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