Middle East

Press sees Palestinians joining Arab Spring

Palestinians protest at the Syrian border near the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights
Image caption Tens of thousands of Palestinians and their supporters marched towards Israel

Papers throughout the Middle East hailed Sunday's disturbances at Israel's borders with the Palestinian territories, Syria and Lebanon as marking the beginning of a new chapter in the wave of protest sweeping the region.

The Palestinian press saw the "Nakba Day" rallies - held on the anniversary of the 1948 founding of the Israeli state - as evidence of a spontaneous upsurge of Palestinian national consciousness, with several papers expressing the hope that after such an event, Israel could no longer refuse to acknowledge the rights of the Palestinians.

Israeli papers saw Sunday's events as a sign that Israel could not remain immune from the effects of the "Arab Spring". One Israeli paper warned that if Israel bowed to pressure, it would before very long find itself confronted with further demands for concessions.

At least one Syrian paper saw the border protests as a humiliating defeat for Israel, while an Iranian paper expressed satisfaction that Israel had been "taught a lesson".


Talal Awkal in pro-Fatah Al-Ayyam

What happened yesterday in Palestine and on its borders was not a decision made by a faction… What happened was a popular and peaceful action driven by an overriding determination to confront the occupation and make the entire world hear the chants of freedom and insistence on Palestinian rights.

Editorial in pro-Fatah Al-Quds

What happened yesterday should make Israel reconsider all its political positions with regard to the Palestinians and their rights. It should stop deceiving itself that the Palestinians might one day agree to waive their constant and legitimate rights... Security, peace and stability in this region of the world will not be achieved as long as Israel continues to turn its back on international legitimacy and the rights of the Palestinian people.

Hisham Munawar in Hamas-run Filastin

The 15th of May, when the Palestinian people were driven from their lands, did not pass by routinely this year. Sixty-three years after what became known as Nakba Day, efforts to return to the lands of the fathers and grandfathers are still under way, which gives us hope that the Palestinian refugees will return to their villages and cities and that the lands will be liberated from occupation


Aluf Benn in Ha'aretz

The Arab revolution knocked on Israel's door yesterday… The demonstrators entering the Druze village in the foothills of Mount Hermon shattered the illusion that Israel can live comfortably, a "villa in the jungle", cut off entirely from the dramatic events surrounding it.

Yoav Limor in Yisrael Hayom

It is possible to sum up the Nakba Day events as the crossing of a dangerous line… A few hundred refugees armed with flags managed to do what the Arab armies and the terrorists organizations had failed to do, and penetrated Israeli territory… Yesterday's precedent could encourage residents of the refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan to march to "their homes" the moment a Palestinian state is declared in September.

Nahum Barnea in Yediot Aharonot

Now they march to the border fence: in Majdal Shams, in Marun Al-Ras, at Erez, in Qalandya. Waving the flags of Palestine and demanding to return to the villages their forefathers lost in 1948… I have something to say to you, dear cousins: this will not happen, not in your time. You will not return to the Israel of the Green Line.

Mordechai Kedar in English-language Jerusalem Post

In past years, Arab players have seen and heard that Israel concedes whenever it is subject to external pressure… And when Israel's enemies see it compromising its core "principles" under external pressure, and realize its "red lines" are at most pale pink, hope rises that further pressure will be rewarded with further concessions… This country must carefully weigh its actions in confronting the new realities.


Muhammad al-Kadhir in Syria's Al-Ba'th

The revolutionary Arab youth brought down Israel on the 63rd Nakba anniversary. Israel was defeated, with all its arsenal and its history of terrorism... This is another lesson that will have a profound impact on Israel, the Arabs and the whole world: that the compass is pointing in the direction of confronting the Israeli occupation. Victory is inevitable.

Editorial in Iran's Qods

Nakba Day has taught a lot to the Zionists, in understanding that they cannot occupy a country without paying the price.

Hesamuddin Borumand in Iran's Keyhan

An auspicious and grand event has taken place: it is the progress of waves of support for the Palestinian cause beyond geographical borders.

Ziyad Saydam in Iran's Arabic-language Al-Vefagh

The era of the Arab Spring masses has started to blossom and the time of the Arab tyrannical ruler is over... After September, there will be no Arab regime capable of protecting the Zionist entity and US interests against the will of the people, preventing them from marching to victory for the sake of Palestine.

Editorial in Egypt's Al-Jumhuriyah

The will of the Palestinian people is strong, and all the forces which love justice and peace in the world are with them. Furthermore, Palestinians are willing to make further sacrifices on their way back to Palestine.

Editorial in UAE's Al-Bayan

The unprecedented solidarity that took place yesterday on all fronts - Southern Lebanon, the banks of the River Jordan, Syria's Golan Heights and Egypt's Sinai - confirms that Palestine will remain alive in our minds and memories as long as there is a heartbeat from an Arab, right until the day of judgment.

Editorial in UAE's Al-Khalij

As we mark Nakba Day, the dream of the return of the Palestinians has been renewed from the river bank to the sea, from the shores of Lake Tiberias to the last grain of sand in the Negev.

Editorial in pan-Arab Al-Arab al-Alamiyah

The Nakba anniversary was marked in a completely different manner this year. It was not an occasion for tears and the penning of nostalgic statements. On the contrary, this year's event brings with it real hope that the people have become capable of thinking about regaining the land and bringing about the return of the millions who were expelled from the land of their ancestors.Papers throughout the Middle East hailed Sunday's disturbances at Israel's borders with the Palestinian territories, Syria and Lebanon as marking the beginning of a new chapter in the wave of protest sweeping the region.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.