Saud Abu Ramadan, Emad Drimly
Xinhua (Analysis)
May 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian politicians and analysts said on Sunday that the Palestinian and Arab protests, rallies and demonstrations against Israel, which marked 63 years for the Nakba Day, or Catastrophe, might be a turning point in the history of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Saeb Erekat, former chief negotiator and a member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) told Xinhua that the Palestinians and the Arabs "reiterated in one united voice that there are no concessions over the stable legitimate rights despite the various Israeli crimes and brutal practices."

"Israel insisted today on its policy that it only deals with the Palestinian cause by gunfire and bullets," said Erekat, adding "the Palestinian cause has to be supported by the peaceful movement inside and outside Palestine in order to achieve the goals of this cause."

He also condemned what he termed as "the barbarian Israeli policy practiced against the Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and inside Israel as well as on the Syrian and Lebanese borders." These movements were made to mark 63th anniversary for Nakba.

Meanwhile, Islamic Hamas movement said that today's events in the Palestinian territories and at the borders with Israel which coincided with marking the Nakba Day "a turning point in the history of the conflict between Israel and the Arabs."

"Today's demonstrations an evidence that the Palestinian people want to end the occupation and achieve their return back home. This right is a stable right that will never be dropped whatever the price is," said Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas held Israel responsible for killing dozens of Arabs and Palestinians. Abu Zuhri called for organizing the largest campaign of condemnation to the Israeli crimes "which were committed against innocent civilians during peaceful protests."

"The Nakba anniversary is bringing for us significant positive changes in the Palestinian territories and in the Arab region," said Abu Zuhri, adding that "the international isolation of the Zionist entity is growing and we have to invest all the factors of powers to achieve our goals and dreams."

Taher al-Nouno, spokesman of Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip said in a press statement that the massive protests and demonstrations "are evidence that the Allah's (God) promise of victory and return to our holy sites and to our homes are imminent. "

"As we condemn the Zionist attacks on armless demonstrators, we consider the new Israeli crimes evidence that Israel is confused and concerned over any popular movement carried out by our people, " said al-Nouno, adding "Israel is really unable to confront such huge protests."

Meanwhile, Hani al-Masri, a Ramallah-based political activist told Xinhua that today's protests, mainly on the borders between Israel and the Arab countries "have strategic dimensions in the conflict between Israel and the Arabs because it coincided with the new Arab revolutions."

"Today's events are just an introduction in the popular movements that aim at pressuring on Israel in the nearest future in case a peaceful settlement is not achieved in the region with Israel," said al-Masri, adding "today's events are extension to the revolutions in the Arab countries."

The Israeli-Palestinian direct peace talks had stopped in October last year, just four months after it was launched in Washington. The talks were suspended after Israel refused to extend a moratorium over freezing settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ignores the principle of establishing an independent Palestinian state beside the state of Israel. Netanyahu gives priority to the expansion of settlement on the expense of reaching any peaceful solution with the Palestinians.

A Palestinian was killed and more than 80 wounded on Sunday in the Gaza Strip by Israeli troops' fire during protests and rallies the Palestinians organized all over the Palestinian territories to mark 63 years for the Nakba, or the day Israel was created in the United Nations.

Since the creation of the state of Israel, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were forced to flee their homes in their towns and villages, have been living in 52 refugee camps in the Palestinian territories, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.


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