From DW News.
Conflict is escalating in Israel at this hour, with Hamas missiles reaching the biggest city Tel Aviv, and Israeli forces retaliating.
Israeli airstrikes destroyed the Jala tower block in Gaza City. The military say the building was connected to Hamas intelligence. But it also housed international media organizations including the Associated Press. The building’s owner said the occupants were warned and left the site. It’s not known if there were any casualties.
Most of the latest street violence has been seen in ‘mixed cities’ in Israel – where Jews and Arabs have been living together for many years.
Cities like Acra and Lod were captured by Israeli forces in the 1948 war. Much of the Arab population was displaced as Jewish migration flowed in from overseas. But a large Arab population remains – most of them Israeli citizens. The cities have until recently been mostly free of unrest. But the latest conflict is exposing underlying tensions.
In the central city of Lod, the running battles between police and Israeli Arabs erupted again.
Police say, in addition to 15 arrests, they confiscated an improvised submachine-gun and nine Molotov cocktails.
In Haifa in the north, there were more police searches, and nine more people arrested on suspicion of rioting and attacking police.
Not far away in Jisr az-Zarqa, Arabs and police faced off across a burning barricade before clashes that led to two more arrests.
In Jaffa, a mostly Arab district of Tel Aviv, the streets lay quiet after a night of violence that saw an Arab child seriously wounded when a firebomb was thrown into his home.
Some were determined to go about their daily business regardless. But many prefer to stay inside, fearing the civil war of which Israel’s prime minister has warned.
Several thousand people in Sydney have marked the Palestinian national day with a protest against Israel’s attacks on Gaza. Demonstrators marched carrying Palestinian flags and chanting slogans condemning Israel. Nakba Day commemorates the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs during the first Arab-Israeli war.
When Britain officially withdrew from Palestine in May 1948, Jewish leaders announced the creation of a new state, to be known as Israel.
To many Palestinians though, the day is known as Nakba, also called ‘the Palestinian catastrophe.’
What followed was a bloody conflict between Arab states and Israel, and for Palestinians a memory of displacement never forgotten. For them, Nakba, is a day rooted in historical tragedy.
But it’s symbolism is still felt strongly today, with the fight for statehood still ongoing. Many Palestinians hope that by continuing to assert their culture, it will keep the collective sense of nationhood alive and potentially undo the Nakba.
The day is normally marked with demonstrations, not just in the Palestinian territories, but all over the world. At times, the events have turned into confrontations with Israeli security forces.
The recent unrest, sparked by the potential eviction of Palestinians from their homes by Israeli authorities, will add further fuel to the fire of those commemorating this day.
People are also marking Nakba Day in Berlin. DW Reporter Jared Reed got caught up in the conflict at one of the demonstrations.
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