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Portugal's parliament recognises Nakba and condemns Israeli 'expansionism'

The Palestinian Authority welcomed Lisbon's resolution and said it hoped to be the first step to recognise Palestinian self-determination
Palestinians in the city of Sakhnin in northern Israel, on 5 May 2022 ahead of the Palestinian marking of the 74th anniversary of the Nakba which marks the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians and the killing of approximately 15,000 people (AFP)

The Palestinian Authority welcomed the Portuguese parliament's recognition of the Nakba, or catastrophe, which refers to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist militias to make way for the creation of Israel in 1948.

The Portuguese parliament passed the resolution on Friday, which showed support for Palestinian self-determination.

Deputies from the ruling Socialist Party (PS), Communist Party (PCP) and the Left Bloc (BE) voted in favour. 

Representatives from the Social Democratic Party (PPD/PSD) and right-wing Chega Party (CH) voted against. 

The resolution condemned Israel's expansionism in the West Bank and continued violation of international law, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa

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It also called on the Portuguese government to take a "clear and frank position" defending the rights of the Palestinian people. 

In a statement, the Palestinian Authority described the resolution as the "first step in recognising Palestinian statehood".

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The statement, carried by Wafa, said it was a "true expression of Portugal's solidarity with the plight of the Palestinian people, which has been going on for 75 years".

In a premeditated military campaign starting in late 1947, Zionist forces killed around 13,000 Palestinians, destroyed at least 530 villages and forcibly expelled 80 percent of the Palestinian population from their homeland. More than 5,000 Jewish fighters and civilians were also killed.

After more than a year of violence, the newly created state of Israel captured 78 percent of historic Palestine.

The remaining 22 percent, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, were occupied by Israel 19 years later and remain under Israeli military rule. 

The events of 1948 are referred to as the Nakba by Palestinians, which is commemorated on 15 May each year, the day Israel declared independence. 

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