The Arab League on Monday called on the UN Security Council to protect the Palestinian people from continued Israeli violations of their rights.
The Cairo-based league made the appeal in a statement issued on the 69th anniversary of the “Nakba” (“catastrophe” in Arabic), when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their land in historical Palestine to make way for the new state of Israel.
"Palestinian towns and villages were occupied on this day in 1948, when Zionist gangs committed massacres against the Palestinian people," the statement read.
It goes on to urge the international community to pressure Israel to halt its ongoing violation of Palestinian rights.
"This year’s Nakba commemoration coincides with an ongoing hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails," the statement adds.
It continues: "We send our best wishes to the Palestinians and Arabs in Israeli prisons who are defending their homeland and dignity through the ‘battle of the empty stomachs’ with a view to winning their legitimate rights."
Led by jailed Palestinian resistance icon Marwan Barghouti, more than 1,500 Israeli-held Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike on April 17 to demand better prison conditions.
According to Palestinian figures, Israel is currently holding more than 6,500 Palestinians -- including scores of women and children -- at 24 detention centers across the country.
*Reporting by Khaled Ibrahim; Writing by Ali Abo Rezeg
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