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Germany bans Nakba Day events in Berlin

Jerusalem24– Sirens rang out across occupied Palestine for 74 seconds today to mark 74 years since the Nakba in 1948.

Al-Nakba (the Catastrophe) refers to the creation of the state of Israel and simultaneous expulsion of over 800,000 indigenous Palestinians from their lands by Zionist militias, amidst widespread looting, rape, and documented massacres.

A series of events and protests are taking place throughout historic Palestine and the wider world to mark the anniversary, including across the United States, Europe, South Africa and Australia.

In Germany however, the Administrative Court in Berlin-Brandenburg on Friday upheld a ban on planned Nakba Day events, after a last-minute petition had been filed by civil society group Palestine Speaks in order to allow the events to proceed.

Palestine Speaks issued a statement saying, “The ban on the commemorative events by the Berlin police restricts Palestinians in Germany in their fundamental rights and is worrying on several levels according to the standards of a democratic constitutional state.”

The State Criminal Police Office (LKA) said in a statement they feared incidences of anti-Semitism and incitement to violence, which they say took place during 2021 Nakba Day events.

German authorities also prevented a vigil for journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by Israeli forces on Wednesday, from going ahead in Berlin on Friday, citing the same concerns of anti-Semitic incidents.

The gathering in memory of Abu Akleh had been organised by Jüdische Stimme, a Jewish group that supports Palestinian rights.

Germany is a staunch ally of Israel.

Hoban, a music composer who lives in Frankfurt, told AlJazeera, “Their official position is that Germany has a special responsibility towards Israel because of the Holocaust,” he said. “People like us, as Jews, are constantly having to explain to Germans that they are not helping us by supporting the oppression of Palestinians.”

There are approximately 100,000 Palestinians living in Germany, a quarter of which live in Berlin.

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