Jordan Bans 'Nakba' Observance

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AMMAN, Jordan - The Jordanian government banned the Islamic Labor Front from a Nakba (catastrophe) rally on Friday in Amman.

Nakba is an official Palestinian Authority (PA) "holiday" expressing Arab dismay over the birth of the modern State of Israel.

The Islamic Labor Front, which organized Friday's rally, called the government's ban "unconstitutional," citing the Israeli Embassy in Amman being permitted to celebrate Yom Ha'atzma'ut (Independence Day).

Meanwhile on Thursday, some 2,000 Israeli Arabs marked the Nakba at the site of the former Arab village of Suffurriye in central Galilee, destroyed during the 1948 War of Independence, where Tzippori now stands, about four miles northwest of Nazareth.

All Israeli Arab members of Israel's Knesset (Mks) joined the rally, along with the head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel Ra'ad Salah, and Shawki Khatib, head of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee.

"Palestine is Arab from the sea to the river. Zionists out," chanted the demonstrators.

Near the end of the event, a confrontation developed between the Arabs and a group of Israelis who arrived to protest the Nakba observance.

Northern Region District police Commander Shimon Koren and Brigadier Zohar Dvir were two of the five policemen injured when Arab demonstrators pelted them with rocks.

A few Arab demonstrators were also injured.

Contrary to police claims that provocative Arab demonstrators caused the violence, Hadash Party chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh said police prevented demonstrators from leaving.

"The police were nasty to the demonstrators, expecting them to simply vanish," Barakeh said. "I condemn the police's behavior. The event was perfectly organized. Only the police prepared itself for provocation against the masses," he said.

Balad MK Wasil Taha said patrol unit police officers hit him in the head and also injured his 16-year-old son.

On Friday, the Islamic Movement held a Nakba at a stadium in Kfar Kana. The Nazareth District Court approved the rally, which falls on the day Muslims observe as the birth date of their prophet Muhammad.

Sources: YNet news, The Jerusalem Post

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