May 15 - Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day as one refugee remembers being forced out of his home. Lindsey Parietti reports.
Palestinians will never forget Nakba - the day of catastrophe. Each year they mark the displacement of some 700,000 Palestinians expelled from their homes in the war that led to the 1948 founding of Israel. About 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants now live in squalid camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank with no solution to the decades long conflict in sight. Ibrahim Mahmoud has spent his life in a West Bank camp, along with his wife and 14 children. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IBRAHIM MAHMUD, PALESTINIAN REFUGEE, SAYING: "After being a refugee for 50-60 years, how do you expect I feel? We left as 17-year old kids and today I am 83. This has never happened in history. From the day God created the world to this day no mass departure like this happened before." The "right of return" is one of the thorniest issues in efforts to create a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IBRAHIM MAHMUD, PALESTINIAN REFUGEE, SAYING: "I swear to God we will return, we have to return. Jews or not Jews, whatever, it is America that has kicked us out not the Jews." The stuttering Israeli-Palestinian peace process has failed to resolve the fight over borders, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the future of Jewish settlements.