Beit Nabala was a Palestinian village destroyed in 1948. (MaanImages)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Thousands of Palestinians commemorated Wednesday the 67th anniversary of the Nakba and renewed their demands to return to their cities, villages and lands that they were forced to leave in 1948.During a festival in Ramallah,
crowds set off from Yasser Arafat's tomb toward Yasser Arafat square holding Palestinian flags, black flags and signs reading the names of destroyed Palestinian towns and villages.
The march was headed by a military musical group.
Governor of the Ramallah and al-Bieh district Laila Ghannam said in a speech on behalf of the president that Jerusalem must return to its people despite Israel's plans to "Judaize" it.
Ghannam added that Palestinian people still carry the keys to the homes they were displaced from despite the 67 years that passed.
PLO executive committee member Zakariya al-Agha said that the Nakba had imposed a reality of suffering that is still ongoing.
Al-Agha said that 67 years proved that the Palestinian people will not forget and that they have the historic and legal right of return to their homes that they were displaced from in 1948.
He warned that the Israeli plan to declare itself a Jewish state threatens 1.5 million Palestinians living inside the country and threatens the return of 5 million refugees who were displaced from these lands in 1948.
Al-Agha added that "with the continuation of occupation with all its forms against Palestinians, increasing settlements and the Israeli government's refusal to obey international will, we stress the PLO's decision to stop all forms of negotiations until settlement is stopped, a reference to an international peace process, a timeline to end the occupation is provided and the release of prisoners."
"We are facing an extreme rightist government," he said, "which is a misfortune for Palestinians as it opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state, refuses to return to the borders of 1967, refuses the return of refugees and insists on Jerusalem as its eternal capital which requires of us to enhance our national unity and establish reconciliation."
Al-Agha called upon the international community to uphold its responsibility toward Palestinians and their cause.
The secretary-general of the Palestinian cabinet, Ali Abu Diak, said that after 67 years of Nakba Israel still commits crimes and massacres against Palestinians.
Abu Diak added that despite the suffering and Israeli blockade on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip Palestinians did not stop demanding their right of return and having Jerusalem as their capital.
He said that the government will continue to work on ending division and defending its religious sites and Jerusalem and support Palestinians and refugees in all refugee camps.