Palestinians are marking the 71st anniversary of their mass displacement during the 1948 war around Israel's creation.

Demonstrations were held across the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Wednesday to mark what the Palestinians call the "nakba," or "catastrophe."

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced from their homes during the war surrounding Israel's establishment. Today, there are an estimated 5 million Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah, hundreds of people marched from the grave of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to a rally downtown, demanding the right to return to lost properties in what is now Israel.

Sirens also wailed across the West Bank at noon in an expression of sadness.