On Wednesday evening, Israel began to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding on May 14, 1948. Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza continue to take part in the Great March of Return, facing the Israeli military's shoot-to-kill-or-maim policy.
Under the slogan "Your Independence Day is the day of our Nakba", they gathered in the town of Atlit, about 12 kilometres (seven miles) south of Haifa.
He called on the United Nations as well as other world bodies and human rights institutions to refer to the violations committed by the Israelis against Palestinian prisoners as "war crimes and crimes against humanity that require the pursue of their perpetrators for urgent global trial".
"I am an Arab, and I want to preserve my culture and identity regardless of the name of the country", said 21-year-old Wassal Kanana.
IDF forces and security services who operate the ports and crossings prevented a major terror attack in Israel on Wednesday when they apprehended a truck being driven by Palestinians in Samaria near the Reihan crossing.
Celebrated on the fifth day of the month of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar, Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrates the formal establishment of the State of Israel.
"It is unthinkable that the owners of the land remain displaced in refugee camps and in the diaspora, while those who have no rights to it have settled in their place". "They seek Israel's technology".
On Thursday morning, official celebrations started in the President's Residency in Jerusalem, where Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, delivered citations for distinguished soldiers as a tradition.
Earlier, at a remembrance day ceremony, Netanyahu spoke of the "barbaric zealotry of radical Islam" and reiterated warnings about Iran and its presence in neighboring Syria.
On Thursday, one day after the anniversary, many families visited the Castel fortress in a suburb of Jerusalem.
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