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  April 26, 2012

Israel Celebrates Independence Day, Arrests Activists


While hundreds of thousands celebrated, the police arrested three activists for trying to question the history of this day.
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On Wednesday, Israel celebrated its 64th Day of Independence. While hundreds of thousands celebrated, the police arrested three activists for trying to question the history of this day. Each year the Israeli organization Zochrot organizes a discussion a symbolic peaceful action on this day to commemorate the Nakba. Nakba in Arabic means the “Catastrophe” (of 1948) and refers to the destruction of more than 500 Palestinian villages, the expulsion of two thirds of the Palestinian population from the land that became Israel, and Israel’s refusal to allow the refugees to return. This year, while the discussion was underway, police surrounded the building in advance, set up a barrier and detained the activists without letting them leave the building grounds for over two hours. One man, Yuval Halperin, was arrested when he arrived on site and began reading out loud names of destroyed Palestinian villages. Meanwhile, a religious nationalistic march went by. Passersby hackled and threatened the activists, caught inside the police barrier. They were not detained.


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