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Millions of Palestinians across the world commemorate 'Al Nakba'

Palestine supporters gather at Town Hall during a rally to commemorate Al Nakba on May 13, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Palestine supporters gather at Town Hall during a rally to commemorate Al Nakba on May 13, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Palestinians across the world are commemorating the 76th anniversary of what they call “Al Nakba,” which directly translates to “The Catastrophe.” The anniversary signifies the day in 1948 when the British occupation formally ended its mandate in Palestine, thus creating the state of Israel.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled from their homes and were displaced after the 1948 war that resulted in Israel’s creation. This year’s anniversary is being observed during the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel, precipitated by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, which resulted in more than 1,200 deaths. In the war that has followed, Israeli forces have killed tens of thousands of Palestinians and displaced 1.5 million people, according to the United Nations.

We speak to Beshara Doumani, Mahmoud Darwish chair in Palestinian Studies at Brown University, to get a sense of context around this anniversary.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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