As Israeli Jews celebrate Independence Day on Wednesday, the Israeli Arab community will be marking its own Nakba day.
The Nakba, which means "catastrophe" in Arabic, will be commemorated with a traditional procession organized by the committee for the uprooted villagers on the land of Um Alzinat, a Mount Carmel village abandoned in 1948.
The term Nakba refers to the outcome of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, during which about 700,000 Palestinians fled from villages and cities in the area, which eventually became the State of Israel. They were never allowed to return, and their land was seized by the government and given to Jewish immigrants.
530 lost villages
Marchers in the procession, sponsored by the Israeli Arab Follow-up Committee, will carry posters inscribed with the names of some 530 Arab villages that were uprooted or abandoned in 1948. The march will culminate with a large gathering of Arab MKs and representatives of the uprooted residents as well as Jewish and Arab organizations.
The committee of the uprooted villagers said this year's events will focus on the continued Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. It will also address the ongoing policy of damaging holy sites in the abandoned villages. The villagers are demanding a return to their homelands.