Palestinians mark Nakba with West Bank protests

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank marked the 65th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, which they call the “catastrophe,” with marches and protests.

Nakba Day observances are held annually on May 15, when thousands of Palestinians fled their homes during Israel’s 1948 War for Independence.

A siren sounded for 65 minutes on Wednesday to commemorate the 65th year since the Nakba. Ceremonies were held in the Palestinian cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Tulkarem, Kalkilya, Bethlehem, Jericho, and others.

In Ramallah, Palestinians marched from the tomb of former Palestinian Authority President Yasir Arafat to the center of the city.

Palestinian protesters carried signs, Palestinian flags, and both real and symbolic keys to property in Israel.

Some 25 Palestinians were arrested and several Israeli soldiers injured during clashes.