Palestinians commemorate 74th Nakba Day: Live updates

Solemn anniversary comes at a time when many are angered by the killing of Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

On May 15, 1948, Israel was established as a Jewish-majority state at the expense of the forced expulsion of about 750,000 Palestinians.

The day has subsequently been commemorated annually as Nakba Day.

The word “Nakba” means “catastrophe” in Arabic, and refers to the systematic ethnic cleansing of two-thirds of the Palestinian population at the time by Zionist paramilitaries between 1947-1949 and the near-total destruction of Palestinian society.

Zionist forces had taken more than 78 percent of historic Palestine, ethnically cleansed and destroyed about 530 villages and cities, and killed about 15,000 Palestinians in a series of mass atrocities, including more than 70 massacres.

This year marks 74 years of Al-Nakba, or the Palestinian experience of dispossession and loss of a homeland. The anniversary comes at a time where many are angered by the killing of prominent Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Here are the latest updates:

Blinken offers support to family of slain Palestinian journalist

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with the family of slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh after criticising Israel’s use of force at her funeral.

Blinken offered “deep condolences” in a phone call with family members of Shireen Abu Akleh, a State Department official said.

The top US diplomat “noted Abu Akleh’s journalistic body of work and the importance of a free and independent press”, the official said on customary condition of anonymity.

Blinken offered the support of US diplomats in Jerusalem to the family of Abu Akleh, who also held US citizenship.

Abu Akleh, a prominent journalist across the Arab world, held US citizenship. She was killed last Wednesday by an Israeli sniper while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank.

One year since Al Jazeera offices destroyed by Israel in Gaza

Al Jazeera’s Youmna El Sayed announced the reopening of the new Al Jazeera bureau in Gaza City on the anniversary of Israel destroying the network’s media offices.

The Jalaa building, which housed Al Jazeera and The Associated Press offices, was targeted by Israeli forces last May during the 11-day offensive on the Gaza Strip. At least 266 Palestinians were killed.

According to local officials, 50 media offices were targeted during the war.

“Today, we stand here after one whole year after working from various locations and temporary offices,” El Sayed said, standing in front of the rubble that used to be the Jalaa building in Gaza.

“This hasn’t stopped us from reporting,” she continued. “We’ve become more persistent towards what we do.”

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