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Thousands of Palestinians have briefly put aside bitter political differences to mourn the anniversary of Israel's creation.
Members of the two main Palestinian political factions, Hamas and Fatah, marched together and carried Palestinian flags through the streets of Gaza Saturday, spending a second day marking what they call the Naqba, or "catastrophe."
They also carried a giant key - a symbol of their hope to return someday to their former homes in what is now Israeli territory.
In the West Bank, sirens wailed in Palestinian towns and villages. Israeli Arabs also joined in demonstrations.
More than 700,000 Palestinians are estimated to have fled or been forced to leave their homes during the war that followed Israel's declaration of statehood in 1948. The United Nations says there are now almost five million Palestinian refugees scattered across the Middle East.
Israel marks its Independence Day on April 20 each year.
Also Saturday, Egypt temporarily opened the Rafah border crossing, allowing Palestinians from Gaza to leave the blockaded territory to seek medical care. And the Israeli army confirmed an elderly Palestinian was shot and killed near the Israel-Gaza border.
Israeli and Palestinian officials said the man was at least 75 years old. Israeli officials said soldiers opened fire on a man who approached a portion of the border fence under the cover of darkness in northern Gaza overnight.
Officials said the man's body was recovered on Saturday.The man's family said he had been missing for two days.