India Reaffirms Support for Political Solution to Palestine Issue

In 2016, Israel detained at least 70 Gaza fishermen who had strayed beyond the border, a senior naval commander said. After his talks with Abbas, Modi said, "both sides, through practical cooperation, will work together to build Palestine's economy and contribute to improving the lives of its people".

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in the occupied West Bank Monday in a show of solidarity taking the form of a series of rallies, protests and vigils recounting the day in 1948, when the Israeli occupation descended, forcefully removing approximately 750,000 of them from their ancestral homes.

Troops used tear gas and rubber-coated bullets to break up Nakba Day marches in Bethlehem and Ramallah, the Ma'an news agency reported.

At the gathering, speakers narrated the history of the Nakba and its political implications, promising that the right of return for the refugees will never be compromised on for the sake of any political solution.

The families blasted a USA effort in 2013 led by then-Secretary of State John Kerry to restart peace talks, in the framework of which Israel released a number of convicted Palestinian terrorists as a gesture to the Palestinians. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners joined the action calling for more favorable prison conditions. This came amidst leaks on negotiations made outside prisons in an attempt to reach an agreement to end their strike.

The IPS has continued to punish the hunger-striking detainees by placing them in solitary confinement and denying family and legal visits by their lawyers since the strike began on Palestinian Prisoners' Day.

Modi also added that "India has been unwavering in supporting the Palestinian cause".

President Mukherjee will host a banquet in honour of his Palestinian counterpart.

The ongoing centrality of the Nakba to the Palestinian struggle was underlined by a 2016 Pew poll, which found that nearly half of Jewish Israelis believe Palestinian citizens of Israel should be expelled.

Barghouti has remained politically active behind bars, and is a popular figure among Palestinians who have tipped him among likely candidates to succeed 82-year-old Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Sixty-nine years on, the right of return remains at the core of Palestinian identity and collective memory, and is enshrined under UN General Assembly Resolution 194, which calls for the resettlement of refugees or compensation paid to those choosing not to return.

The prisoners on hunger strike are refusing all food and surviving only on salt water.

Barghouti, who has reportedly lost 13 kilograms so far in the course of his hunger strike, vowed to continue until the prisoners' demands were met.

  • Leroy Wright