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Bill banning Nakba day accepted

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli government committee agreed that a bill banning the marking of Israel’s Independence Day as a day of mourning can be brought to the Knesset.

The Ministerial Committee on Law and Constitution on Sunday approved the proposal, which was introduced by lawmaker Alex Miller, of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party.

The bill would make it illegal to observe May 15, the day that Israel gained its independence, as the day that Israeli Arabs and Palestinians call the Nakba or catastrophe.

The observance would be punishable by up to 3 years in prison, according to the bill.

The motion will come before the Knesset next week for its first reading.

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