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Palestinians observe general strike in protest of Nationality Law

Oct. 1, 2018 11:52 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 2, 2018 12:56 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian territory occupied in 1948 and the Gaza Strip observed a general strike on Monday against the Israeli Nationality Law, approved in July, and to organize popular activities expressing people's unity and resistance against the law.

The National and Islamic forces of the West Bank and the Higher Follow-up Committee of Palestinian Residents of Israel had called upon Palestinians living in Palestine, as well as Palestinians living abroad, to carry out a general strike and organize popular activities.

All commercial shops and stores, governmental and non-governmental institutions, in addition to schools and universities closed their gates on Monday in response to the call for strike.

Activities in occupied lands of 1948 began at 9:00 a.m. and would include visiting all graves and shrines, in all Arab cities and villages, of Palestinians killed by Israel in the Intifada of al-Aqsa in 2000, as they commemorate the 18th anniversary of the Intifada.

The Nationality Law enshrines the status of the State of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people; it also includes legally preserving Israel's "democratic" character, its state symbols (national anthem, flag, icon), Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Hebrew as the official language and the right of return for Diaspora Jewry.

The law confirms that the State of Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people, who are the only ones in the nation to have an exclusive right to self-determination.

The number of Israeli Arabs makes up about 1.8 million citizens, which is approximately 20% of the total population of nine million.

The approved law strips the Arabic language of its designation as an official language alongside Hebrew language, receiving a "special status" as Israel's second official language, but the law would not require making state services accessible in Arabic.

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