Palestinians across the Middle East on Wednesday are marking the anniversary of their mass expulsion from what is now Israel, with protests and other events at a time of mounting concern over the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

The Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe,” refers to the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were driven out of what today is Israel before and during the war surrounding its creation in 1948.

More than twice that number have been displaced within Gaza since the start of the latest war, which was triggered by Hamas’ October 7 attack in Israel.

UN agencies say 550,000 people, nearly a quarter of Gaza’s population, have been newly displaced in the last week.