Clashes mark 'Nakba' anniversary in W. Bank

Clashes erupted Thursday in the West Bank between Palestinians marking the 66th anniversary of Israel's creation and Israeli forces

Clashes erupted Thursday in the West Bank between Palestinians marking the 66th anniversary of Israel's creation and Israeli forces

RAMALLAH – Clashes erupted Thursday in the West Bank between Palestinians marking the 66th anniversary of Israel's creation and Israeli forces.

Israeli forces used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse Palestinian protesters who gathered at the Qalandiya checkpoint in Ramallah.

Clashes also broke out in the West Bank city of Bethlehem between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli forces.

Thousands of Palestinians on Thursday marked the passing of 66 years since the "Nakba" ("the catastrophe"), when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven from their land to make way for the nascent state of Israel.

Israeli army troops deployed in the West Bank were in a state of alert for the Nakba anniversary.

A 1947 U.N. General Assembly resolution stipulated the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states in what was then British-mandated Palestine.

Around 800,000 Palestinians were subsequently displaced and 500 Arab villages destroyed in attacks by armed Jewish groups at the time.

According to the U.N. Palestinian refugees agency (UNRWA), there are currently more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees inside the occupied Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

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