Nakba day violence on the Israel-Lebanon border - Al Jazeera English

Nakba day violence on the Israel-Lebanon border

As Palestinians commemorated the loss of their homeland, hundreds of refugees marched on Israel's northern frontier.

Inspired by the wave of uprisings across the Arab world, Palestinian refugees planned for their own day of events on May 15, the day they commemorate the Nakba ("catastrophe") in 1948 when more than 700,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their homes and lands.

In Lebanon, activists organised hundreds of buses to take Palestinian refugees from across Lebanon to a protest site atop a mountain in Maroun al-Ras village, overlooking the border with Israel.

Due to the large number of buses, protesters were forced to climb the mountain to reach the protest site. Once they did reach it, however, most didn't stay for long. They descended the opposite side of the mountain and marched through fields covered in Israeli landmines leftover from its 2006 war on Lebanon, to reach the border fence. There they threw stones across the fence, and chanted for their right of return.

Israeli soldiers fired on protesters, killing ten Palestinian refugees, and injuring more than 100. After a couple of hours, the Lebanese army intervened and began firing M16 assault rifles and tear gas, which sent protesters fleeing back up the mountain.

Funerals have been held for protesters in their respective refugee camps, and some groups are calling for "Martyr's Friday" protests at the end of this week. Although, with the Lebanese army likely to prevent them from reaching the border again, it remains unsure where future protests will be held - and who they will be directed against.

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