Palestinians march on anniversary of uprooting

Thousands of Palestinians mark the anniversary of their uprooting almost seven decades ago with sirens and low-key marches.

Creation of Israel in 1948 — the 'nakba' — displaced hundreds of thousands

A Palestinian man holds a symbolic key during a rally marking the 69th anniversary of the 'nakba' in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)

Thousands of Palestinians have marked the anniversary of their uprooting almost seven decades ago with sirens and low-key marches.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven out in the Mideast war over Israel's 1948 creation. Their descendants now number several million and most still live in the region.

Sirens wailed Monday in the West Bank to mark the passing of 69 years since what Palestinians call their "nakba," or catastrophe. Cars stopped and pedestrians stood still in commemoration.

Marchers waved flags and used keys and other props to symbolize their demand to return to what is now Israel.

Israel says it will never accept a "right of return," arguing it would threaten the state by diluting its Jewish majority.

Palestinian demonstrators make the V-sign during a rally in the West Bank town of Hebron. (Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images)