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Last Update: 13 Hour and 57 Minute ago
News code: 27491
Published Date: Wednesday 15 May 2019 - 14:52:22
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Nakba Day: Palestinians mark 71st anniversary of 'catastrophe'

Nakba Day: Palestinians mark 71st anniversary of 'catastrophe'
World  - Palestinians are set to mark the 71st anniversary of Nakba Day with demonstrations and marches across the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, putting Israel on edge amid Eurovision song contest festivities.

"Nakba," or catastrophe, commemorates the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were expelled in the war that led to the establishment of Israel in 1948.

On Tuesday, the eve of Nakba Day, dozens of left-wing activists protested against Israel's treatment of Palestinians in Tel Aviv, where the first Eurovision semi-finals were being held.

"We are here to protest against the endless bloodshed in Gaza," said one of the organisers, Noa Levy.

Protesters carried banners reading "boycott Eurovision" and "songs and glitter cannot hide homeland being occupied".

Ever since Israeli singer Netta Barzilai carried off last year's prize with her spunky pop anthem "Toy," earning Israel the right to host Eurovision, increasing numbers of cultural figures have pressured performers to pull out of the contest.
Dozens of European artists, led by former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, signed a letter calling for the contest to be moved to another country.

Demonstrations have erupted outside television studios at a number of national finals.

Boycott activists stormed the stage during France's semi-final round, fuelling fears of disruption at the main event.

Iceland's performers have vowed to leverage their platform to show the "face of the occupation".

Although the BDS movement, a Palestinian-led campaign advocating boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, failed to compel any of the 41 national broadcasters to quit the competition, the campaign has drawn international attention to topics that Israel had hoped to avoid.

Scores of demonstrations to mark the day of mourning and Eurovision protest are planned throughout the country on Wednesday.

News Code: 27491
Published Date: Wednesday 15 May 2019 - 14:52:22
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