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UPDATED: Palestinians Slain in "Nakba" Clashes with Israeli Troops/OpEdNews Contributor Arrested

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opednews.com Headlined to None 5/16/11


During a gathering to mark the 63rd anniversary of the "Nakba" (catastrophe), a Palestinian child holds a key made of wood, representing the key of her home snatched from her family during the creation of the state of Israel, at the Rafah border terminal between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip. (source)


Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, OpEdNews contributor, has been arrested.

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Excerpted from al Jazeera:

Several people have been killed and scores of others wounded in the Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, Ras Maroun in Lebanon and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, as Palestinians mark the "Nakba", or day of "catastrophe".

The "Nakba" is how Palestinians refer to the 1948 founding of the state of Israel, when an estimated 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled following Israel's declaration of statehood.

At least one Palestinian was killed and up to 80 others wounded in northern Gaza as Israeli troops opened fire on a march of at least 1,000 people heading towards the Erez crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

A group of Palestinians, including children, marching to mark the "Nakba" were shot by the Israeli army after crossing a Hamas checkpoint and entering what Israel calls a "buffer zone" - an empty area between checkpoints where Israeli soldiers generally shoot trespassers, Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston reported from Gaza City on Sunday.

"We are just hearing that one person has been killed and about 80 people have been injured," Johnston said.

"There are about 500-600 Palestinian youth gathered at the Erez border crossing point. They don't usually march as far as the border. There has been intermittent gunfire from the Israeli side for the last couple of hours.

"Hamas has asked us to leave; they are trying to move people away from the Israeli border. They say seeing so many people at the border indicates a shift in politics in the area." (TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE)

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Meanwhile, an OpEdNews contributor, Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, who teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in occupied Palestine and who previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke and Yale Universities, has been arrested by the Israelis along with, apparently, seven international supporters of the Palestinian people as well as others. I have received two emails regarding his arrest thus far since this afternoon:

1) This afternoon: This is a quick note that Israeli soldiers arrested Mazin along with two other Palestinians early this afternoon local time May 15, 2011 as he was participating in a peaceful nonviolent civil disobedient march toward the Green Line in Al Walaja (one of the many Nakba events taken place today.)

Many media were there and his arrest was caught on tapes as he was just at the scene peacefully.

He is currently being held at the Israeli military compound near Rachel's Tomb. As this message is being written, I got a call from a friend who was still in Al-Walaja reporting that IDF is firing tear gas at the remaining protest crowd. Some protesters escape to village houses, but IDF soldiers followed into one house and arrested five more people (one Irish, one other international, and three Palestinians) from inside the house.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and Golan Heights, there were reports that dozens were wounded in many places, including more than 150 wounded at Qalandia checkpoint. Please complain to your government and demand them to stop supporting the brutal Israeli Apartheid regime. Please support and participate in the Nakba events around the world today and double the effort of BDS on Apartheid Israel.

(name withheld)

2) This evening:

As of now at local time Monday morning 2 a.m. May 16, 2011, Mazin is still being detained. His cell phone battery died as he called and wanted me to write down the names and countries of the seven internationals that were detained with him so that I can get help calling their respective country's embassy (Ireland, USA, Canada, Germany, Netherland.) Later he borrowed someone else's phone to call and let me know that all the internationals would be released shortly, but not him and other Palestinians. For them, he said, maybe days. He wanted me to follow up with the lawyer. He sounded in good spirit and did not seem to be mistreated.

I will keep you updated.

Your calls to the U.S. State Department, Senators, Congresspersons, and foreign governments if you are non-US nationals should also help.

Here is a video that he took up to the moment when he was arrested. He managed to pass on the video to a friend before being taken away:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfizCh0TaZE  

or look at it directly:

Many of you wrote in response to the earlier e-mail breaking the news of Mazin's arrest. Our family greatly appreciate that. Please understand that they may not be replied individually due to the overwhelming responses. I will send updates as they become available.

Hope I have good news to share with you tomorrow.

(name withheld)

 

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