August 6, 2012
Hundreds of Palestinians whose families were displaced from their villages in 1948 when Israel was created, have taken part in a rally to demand the right to return to their properties. The people of Iqrat and Kafr Bara'm villages were joined by Arab members of the Knesset and representatives of the different Arab political parties at the rally in Haifa on Saturday.
The protesters hope to force the implementation of an Israeli Supreme Court decision of 1952 to allow them to return to their villages. The Israeli government has refused consistently to allow this, citing "security reasons". The families have been refugees in their own country since 1948.
Dr. Ibrahim Atallah, the head of the committee of Iqrat villages, said that the objectives of the demonstration are "to get justice for Iqrat and Kafr Bara'm, and to let everyone with ears hear our cry".
The village of Iqrat is located to the north-east of the city of Acre. Armed Zionist groups displaced its people and demolished the village 31 October 1948 as part of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from their land which took place before and after the founding of the state of Israel. The village lands were annexed to settlements in 1951. Today, the only ruins left of the original villages are the Roman Catholic Church and rubble from farm buildings.