MORE than 50 people attended at vigil in Machynlleth on Saturday organised by the Montgomeryshire Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

The vigil was organised to mark the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba – the forced eviction of three quarters of a million Palestinians from their homes by Israel in 1948 during the Arab-Israeli war. The vigil gained added significance due to the unsettling events currently taking place in Palestine and Israel.

At least 139 people have been killed in Gaza and nine in Israel since fighting began between the two countries on Monday, with this week's violence reported to be the worst since 2014.

The vigil attracted over 50 people from across Montgomeryshire and beyond.

Kathy Brooks, chair of the Montgomeryshire Palestine Solidarity Campaign branch, said: “The attempts to evict Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem and elsewhere in order to house illegal Israeli settlers shows that the Nakba continues to this day.

“We have been contacted by a friend working in a Jerusalem hospital who has confirmed Medecins Sans Frontieres reports that many Palestinian people have received eye injuries. This suggests a deliberate policy to fire tear gas canisters and baton rounds at protesters’ heads.”

The vigil was one of a number organised across Wales by various groups, including in Llanidloes, Presteigne, Abergavenny and Cardiff. Organisers say it is important to raise awareness of the dreadful situation of Palestinians living in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.

Saturday is the day when Palestinians commemorate what they call al-Nakba (the Catastrophe). It marks the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were forced or driven from their homes in the Arab-Israeli war which began the day after Israel's declaration of independence in 1948.

Thirteen people died in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, with 10 killed by an Israeli air strike at a refugee camp west of Gaza City, Palestinian health officials said. A Palestinian rocket, meanwhile, killed a man in Israel.

On Saturday afternoon, an Israeli air strike destroyed a high-rise building housing media organisations, including the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera, plus a number of offices and apartments.

Israel says dozens of militants are among the dead in Gaza, while Palestinian health officials say nearly half are women and children. A five-month-old baby is said to be the only survivor of that strike, found trapped in the rubble next to his dead mother. A number of people were also reported missing.