JAI: The Ongoing Nakba Must End
May 15, 1948 is a date carved in the mind, soul and history of all Palestinians, not everyone who was alive that day is still alive today but everyone remembers and tells the story. It’s been 74 years since then. It is the” Nakba” (catastrophe) for the Palestinians. The purpose of which was to expel the Palestinians from their land and establish a “Jewish” state on it.
The consequences of the Nakba were dreadful for the Palestinians, as at least 10,000 Palestinians were killed in 50 documented massacres committed Zionist militia. About 750,000 Palestinians were displaced, ethnically cleansed and become “refugees” to make way for the new Jewish immigrants.
During the Nakba the Zionist groups seized 774 villages and towns in, destroyed 531 others. Since then, most of the Palestinian refugees’ live very bad health, education and socioeconomic conditions.
In 1949, the United Nations issued General Assembly Resolution # 194. The Resolution defines principles for reaching a final settlement of returning Palestine refugees to their homes. Article 11 of the resolution “Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible”.
Israel did pass the “Law of Return in 1950”, to allow Jews immigrants to come and live in the new state and have an Israeli nationality on arrival. But has neglected the Palestinians Right of Return based on the relevant UNGA resolution. Moreover, Israel continues to deny the rights of the Palestinians who has been forcibly displaced for the past 74 years. Not a single Palestinian has got this return as mandated by the United Nations.
At the end of 2020, the number of Palestinian refugees mounted up to some 7.1 million. This includes the Internally displaced people in Israel and the refugees living in the refugee camps in occupied Palestinian territory and the labouring Arab countries.
The United National Relief and Work Agency which is in charge of delivering theses basic services to the refugees is under much financial pressure in an attempt to stop its services, and neglect their rights articulated in the international law and in a clear violation of the right of the refugees to be served and until return and reparation is realized.
Until today, the Palestinian Nakba never stopped. More and more Palestinians are being forcibly displaced from their homes and their lands in several areas, such as Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem and the old city of Hebron and other Palestinian areas. The attempts to displace the Palestinian Citizens in Israel is still in the mindset of the Israeli leaders. I Israeli has recently declared its plans to evict the Palestinian Bedouin communities from their area in Negev in order for the National Jewish Fund to seize the land and build four settlements (towns) to move ultra-orthodox Jews to live there.
On 4th of May 2022 the Israel’s High Court dismissed all the petitions against the forcible transfer of up to 4000 Palestinians in a large part of Masafer Yatta (southern West Bank) that Israel has declared a closed military (Firing zone). On the following day the Israeli army has decided to drive Palestinians out of privately-owned agricultural land. Declaring most of the area as a closed military training zone was merely an excuse for Israel to take over their land.
We as Palestinians are still suffering from the impact of the ongoing Nakba, due to Israel’s impunity and non-accountability.
The Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and the YWCA of Palestine asks it partners and friends to support Palestinians in demanding their right to return to their homes and the right to reparation. We ask you to put political, social, and economic pressure on Israel to on their policy makers to recognize the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees and push Israel to respect this right of and put an end the oppression of the Palestinian people and its ongoing settler colonial apartheid regime.
The ongoing Nakba must end.